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Prediction of riser VIV with staggered buoyancy elements


Steel lazy-wave riser (SLWR) are attractive deepwater applications for offshore oil and gas industry. When subjected to current, both the buoyancy elements and the riser may experience Vortex Induced Vibrations (VIV). Such vibrations are the result of the periodic hydrodynamic forces that are induced by the interaction of slender bodies and external fluid flow. If the vibration period is close to the natural period of the system, it can lead to fast accumulation of fatigue damage to the risers and amplified drag loads. There is a competition between the vortex induced forces acting on the buoyancy element and the riser segment due to its different diameters. The interaction of the vortex shedding from the riser and the buoyancy element depends on many parameters, such as the arrangement of the buoyancy element, aspect ratio of the buoyancy element, etc.

Shell Oil Company conducted VIV model tests with a straight flexible cylinder and staggered buoyancy elements corresponding to a buoyant section of a SLWR in MARINTEK in 2011. Five different buoyancy element configurations were tested. The test data has been extensively studied (Rao, et al 2015 and Jhingran, et al 2012). The interaction of the buoyancy elements and bare riser and its influence on the riser response (frequency, displacement and fatigue damage) have been investigated.

Semi-empirical VIV prediction software, such as VIVANA [4], SHEAR7 [13] and VIVA [11] are most commonly used by the offshore industry in the riser systems design against VIV loads. However, these software are not purposely designed to account for the interaction of the bare riser section and the buoyancy elements. It is of great interest to evaluate the prediction accuracy. The purpose of this study is to benchmark the VIV prediction of riser with buoyancy elements using VIVANA. The prediction is compared with Shell model test results with focus on CF responses. Uncertainty and improvement of the prediction are also discussed.


Academic chapter/article/Conference paper




  • Jie Wu
  • Malakonda Reddy Lekkala
  • Muk Chen Ong


  • SINTEF Ocean / Energi og transport
  • University of Stavanger




The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)


ASME 2016 35th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering, Volume 2: CFD and VIV





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