Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) facilities, which are a new type of floating platform, have been developed as an alternative to long pipelines for the exploitation of stranded offshore fields. FLNG vessels will be subjected to very complicated and onerous sea states in some regions and very severe motion responses must be avoided. The vessel motion can induce internal tank sloshing, which can in turn affect the global motion response of the vessel. This coupling response is of great importance for the safe design and operation of FLNG facilities in real sea states.
This paper investigates the coupling effect between FLNG roll motions and sloshing. Model tests are carried out for a section of an FLNG vessel containing a tank excited in roll by band-limited white noise waves. During the model tests, the FLNG model is ballasted with fresh water and equivalent steel ballast weights respectively, to quantify the coupling effects due to the internal sloshing. Time histories of the global motions and the internal sloshing oscillations have been measured. Statistical and spectral analyses have been carried out on the measured data. The response amplitude operators are obtained using measured motion spectra divided by the excitation wave spectrum. The influence of the internal sloshing on the global motions has been illustrated through the comparison of the experimental results between the liquid and solid (steel) ballast weight cases. Based on the experimental results, some conclusions regarding the coupling mechanism between FLNG motions and sloshing are drawn.