Long spools are often required to absorb the end expansion of deep water high pressure and high temperature flowlines. These spools typically have significant metrology and fabrication tolerances. Metrology and spool fabrication tolerances lead to misalignments at the connector hub face. Residual loads then arise from spool deformation due to the installation forces that are required to match-up the connector faces.

It is a current industry practice to design the spools for multiple independent tolerances at extreme limits in all directions. Previous project experience shows that the Algebraic Sum (AS) combination of multiple independent tolerances at extreme limits may result in large spools where the probability of occurrence of these tolerances at extreme limits is quite low.

The use of less conservative SRSS (square root of sum of squares) combination has been suggested in this paper as an alternative to the Algebraic Sum combination. Due to the large number of misalignment components, the probability of exceeding the loads in the spool and at the connector obtained by the SRSS method is small and is within the applicable failure probabilities defined in DNV-OS-F101. The SRSS method is demonstrated in this paper by using a Monte Carlo simulation.

Five different spools have been analysed to demonstrate the suitability of using SRSS misalignments when the spools are designed to DNV-OS-F101. The spools considered include 10″, 16″ and 20″ outside diameter spools to represent different sizes at different loading combinations. Maximum bending moments in the spool and maximum moments at the connector have been considered to check the SRSS feasibility. The results indicate that it is acceptable to use SRSS misalignments as an alternative to AS misalignments. Considering SRSS misalignments in preference to AS leads to reduced spool size and reduced loadings on connectors.

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