Numerical and experimental investigations on mooring loads of a marine fish farm in waves and current
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionJournal of Fluids and Structures. 2018, . 10.1016/j.jfluidstructs.2018.02.004
A realistic aquaculture fish farm system in both regular and irregular waves is investigated by numerical simulations and model tests. The main purpose is to develop a reliable numerical tool and in this respect to investigate the survival conditions of the system. The structural and hydrodynamic modelings of the system are briefly introduced. Numerical sensitivity analysis is performed to investigate which physical parameters are dominant when modeling the system. The considered fish farm comprises a floating collar with two concentric tubes, a flexible net cage including a cylindrical part and a conical part with a center point weight at the bottom, and a sinker tube attached directly to the net. The system is moored with a complex mooring system with bridle lines, frame lines and anchor lines, supported by buoys. The mooring loads in the front two anchor lines and bridle lines are investigated in detail. Numerical results are first validated by the experimental data. Both numerical and experimental results show that one of the bridle lines experiences larger load than the rest of the mooring lines, which is surprising. Then a sensitivity analysis is carried out. The mooring loads are not sensitive to the majority of the parameters. The flow reduction factor in the rear part of the net is the most important parameter for the anchor loads. Modeling the floating collar as a rigid body has a small effect on the anchor loads but not for the bridle lines as it will alter the force distribution between bridles. The mooring loads are not sensitive to the wave load model for the floating collar in both regular and irregular seas and modeling the floating collar as elastic with zero frequency hydrodynamic coefficients is enough to give reliable results. Finally, the survival conditions of the fish farms with different set-ups is studied. Numerical results indicate that the dominant limitation to move the conventional fish farms to more exposed sea regions is the large volume reduction of the net cage. The existing mooring system can be applied in offshore regions as long as the bridle lines are properly designed. The maximum stress in the floating collar is moderate compared with the yield stress.