In this research, the estimation of the fatigue life of a semi-submersible floating offshore wind platform is considered. In order to accurately estimate the fatigue life of a platform, coupled aerodynamic-hydrodynamic simulations are performed to obtain dynamic stress values. The simulations are performed at a multitude of representative environmental states, or “bins,” which can mimic the conditions the structure may endure at a given site, per ABS Floating Offshore Wind Turbine Installation guidelines. To accurately represent the variety of wind and wave conditions, the number of environmental states can be of the order of 103. Unlike other offshore structures, both the wind and wave conditions must be accounted for, which are generally considered independent parameters, drastically increasing the number of states. The stress timeseries from these simulations can be used to estimate the damage at a particular location on the structure by using commonly accepted methods, such as the rainflow counting algorithm. The damage due to either the winds or the waves can be estimated by using a frequency decomposition of the stress timeseries.
In this paper, a similar decoupled approach is used to attempt to recover the damages induced from these coupled simulations. Although it is well-known that a coupled, aero-hydro analysis is necessary in order to accurately simulate the nonlinear rigid-body motions of the platform, it is less clear if the same statement could be made about the fatigue properties of the platform. In one approach, the fatigue damage equivalent load is calculated independently from both scatter diagrams of the waves and a rose diagram of the wind. De-coupled simulations are performed to estimate the response at an all-encompassing range of environmental conditions. A database of responses based on these environmental conditions is constructed. The likelihood of occurrence at a case-study site is used to compare the damage equivalent from the coupled simulations. The OC5 platform in the Borssele wind farm zone is used as a case-study and the damage equivalent load from the de-coupled methods are compared to those from the coupled analysis in order to assess these methodologies.