Numerical analysis of a vessel- shaped offshore fish farm
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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The aquaculture industry is aiming to move fish farms from nearshore areas to open seas because of many attractive advantages in the open water. However, one major challenge is to design the structure to withstand the environmental loads due to wind, waves, and currents. The purpose of this paper is to study a vessel-shaped fish farm concept for open sea applications. The structure includes a vessel-shaped hull, a mooring system, and fish cages. The shape of the hull minimizes the wave loads coming from the bow, and the single-point mooring system is connected to the turret at the vessel bow. Such a system allows the whole fish farm to rotate freely about the turret, reduces the environmental loads on the structure and increases the spread area of fish wastes. A basic geometry of the vessel hull was considered and the hydrodynamic properties were obtained from the frequency-domain (FD) analysis. A mooring system with six mooring lines was designed to avoid possible interactions with the fish cages. Time-domain (TD) simulations were performed by coupling the hull with the mooring system. A simplified rigid model of the fish cages was considered. The global responses of the system and the mooring line loads were compared under various wave and current conditions. The effects due to misalignment of wave and current directions on the responses were discussed. Finally, the responses using flexible and rigid net models were compared under steady current conditions.