Association Technique Maritime et Aéronautique

Numéro : 2714 - Year : 2017

"Weathervaning" - Rotation of a floating unit in response to the environmental conditions

Pierre-Alain GUBIAN, Jonathan HUET, Pierrick DE GOUZILLON DE BÉLIZAL, Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore – Département Technique Offshore (Paris La Défense - France)

In the offshore industry, the term "weathervaning" refers to the rotation of a floating unit in response to the environmental conditions of swell, current and wind. The system, an FPSO in this study, is built around a fixed point anchored at sea and naturally balances in planar rotation around the latter. The dimensioning of such a structure first passes by determining the critical configurations of the system {FPSO –Turret}. This analysis then requires, and it is the subject of this paper, the rigorous modelling of the pivot link between the FPSO and the Turret.

Indeed, it is paramount to assess the weathervaning system is operational by checking that no load case is likely to prevent the free rotation of the floating unit around the turret. The pivot link is made of a top area, the Main Bearing, which supports the vertical loads and a bottom area, the Lower Bearing, for the horizontal loads. The work of Bureau Veritas on this analysis was to verify that the contact loads and the deformations remained below the operating limit of the system.

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