The paper analyzes freak wave-in-deck load effects on a typical three-leg jack-up platform stationed in the North Sea. Considered were cases where the air gap is small and the hull is subject to impact-related wave-in-deck loads. Wave load predictions were based on the use of a validated CFD code that solves the Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes equations. The code relies on the interface-capturing technique of the volume-of-fluid type to account for highly nonlinear wave effects. It computes the two-phase flow of water and air to describe the physics associated with complex free-surface shapes with breaking waves and air trapping, hydrodynamic phenomena that had to be considered to yield reliable predictions. Stokes 5th order wave theory was used to initialize volume fraction of water and velocity distribution in the solution domain, as well as to prescribe time-dependent boundary conditions at inlet and outlet boundaries. It was demonstrated that CFD methods can be used to predict the load phenomena under extreme wave conditions and thus serve as a valuable tool for both initial design and subsequent assessment of safety aspects. In particular, we demonstrated that effects of different operating and design parameters on wave-in-deck loads, such as wave direction, wave height, wave period, and wind speed, can be evaluated with an affordable computing effort using personal computers.

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