A Numerical Study on a Flopper Stopper for Leg Positioning of a Jack-Up Barge
Chapter, Peer reviewed
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Jack-up barges are commonly used for marine operations in the offshore oil and gas, and offshore wind industries. A critical phase within the marine operation activities is the positioning of the jack-up legs onto the seabed. During this process, large impact velocities and forces may arise from the barge’s heave, roll and pitch motions, and structural damage of the legs can occur. This paper numerically investigates the effect of a flopper stopper (FS) on the motion responses of a jack-up barge from the offshore wind industry. The FS is known as a passive roll compensation device. It is suspended from the side of the barge by means of wire ropes and cantilever beams. A simple geometry of an FS is proposed, and the working principle introduced. For the loading condition before the leg-soil impact occurs, global dynamic analyses of the coupled system are conducted. Characteristic values of impact velocities are used to establish the jack-up operational limits in terms of the significant wave height and peak period. By comparing the operational limits for the barge with and without FS, it is found that FS should be placed on the weather side. At beam seas, the current FS can lead to a maximum increase in the operational wave height limit of 35%, whereas for the other wave headings, it may not be beneficial to use FS.