This paper presents a series of numerical analyses performed with the potential theory-based Green Water engineer tool KINEMA3. KINEMA3 was designed to predict wave-induced impact loads on FPSOs in steep irregular waves, and for use in design load analysis. The purpose of the study presented herein is to validate KINEMA3 green water (deck overtopping) predictions in nonlinear irregular waves with results from model tests performed at the TPN (Tanque de Provas Numérico) laboratory at the University of São Paulo, Brazil. Comparisons are made for a selection of irregular wave cases, for two choices of anchoring conditions (free floating vessel and fixed vessel) and for three wave headings (180°, 225° and 270°: head, quartering and beam seas, respectively).

KINEMA3 statistical green water predictions present a general good agreement with observations from the TPN model tests for all wave cases, headings and mooring conditions. Overall, observed trends for occurrence of green water and standard deviation/maximum of relative wave height are successfully reproduced by KINEMA3. In agreement with model test results, it is predicted that green water occurs more frequently for a free floating vessel and for beam seas.

Additional comparisons between KINEMA3 predictions using different FPSO panel models (low-order and high-order models) present negligible differences with respect to green water estimates. The results presented herein demonstrate the robustness of the tool towards the prediction of green water for variable wave headings and sea states, and highlight the capability of KINEMA3 to be employed as an engineering-like tool for fast and multiple estimates of green water in early design studies.

This work is a part of the research project “Green Water and Wave Impact on FPSO” carried out for and in cooperation with PETROBRAS.

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