Traditionally, the design practice of floating production systems (FPS) employed uncoupled numerical tools where firstly the hydrodynamic analysis of the hull is performed with the lines represented by scalar models (leading to the hull motions); subsequently, these motions are prescribed at Finite Element (FE) models of the lines. Nowadays, it is widely acknowledged that coupled analysis tools should be employed for deep-water applications, considering that the overall behavior is dictated by the interaction between the hydrodynamic behavior of the hull and the structural behavior of the lines.
In this context, considering that in some situations the use of coupled formulations can lead to excessive computing times, this work presents a formulation for the analysis of FPS, referred here as the semi-coupled (S-C) strategy. Its goal is to attain faster simulations than a coupled formulation, with better accuracy than usually provided by the classical uncoupled scheme. In this strategy, for each load case a coupled static simulation is performed. From this simulation a global 6-DOF stiffness matrix that represents the array of lines is automatically calculated and added to the global matrix for the subsequent dynamic analysis to solve the equations of motion of the hull. Therefore, this dynamic analysis will adequately consider the nonlinear stiffness contribution of the lines, as well as the effect of the current profile acting on them, all evaluated at the static mean position for each load case. Case studies are presented to compare the computational costs and accuracy of this S-C strategy with coupled formulations.