Production risers as well as drilling risers are often subjected to Vortex-induced vibrations (VIV) when exposed to ocean currents. VIV have been observed in the field and can cause fatigue failure and excessive drag on the riser. In order to suppress VIV and reduce drag, fairings are often used. This paper presents hydrodynamic qualification tests for two types of fairings: the short crab claw (SCC) and a tapered dual fin design. The short crab claw fairing design is a novel design that was developed by the Norwegian Deepwater Programme (NDP). As will be detailed in this paper, the SCC design offers very low drag, completely suppresses VIV and reduces riser interference.
In 2012, a model test campaign was undertaken to understand and qualify the hydrodynamic performance of fairings at prototype conditions. The program consisted of testing the three fairing geometries and a strake to understand the stand-alone performance in VIV and the performance in interference. This was accomplished by utilizing a single pipe setup for the standalone test and a two-pipe setup for the interference tests. The paper reports the results of the program and draws conclusions on the hydrodynamic performance of the VIV suppression devices tested.
Overall, all VIV suppression devices tested were able to suppress VIV with the SCC fairing being the most effective. In all cases tested, the downstream fairings / strakes were very effective in suppressing VIV in an interference scenario where a fairing was placed upstream. Contrary to the well-documented case of two strakes in tandem, in this case the upstream fairings did not reduce the effectiveness of the downstream fairings/strakes.