When a riser array system is subjected to a uniform flow, an unstable flow-induced vibration commonly occurs among cylinders, generally called fluid-elastic instability. It can cause long-term or short-term damage to the riser array system. A numerical investigation has been performed in the present study. Generally, flow-induced vibrations include vortex-induced vibration (VIV), wake-induced vibration (WIV), jet switching, turbulent buffeting and fluid-elastic instability. The dynamic interactions among the fluid-induced vibrations, wake interference and proximity interference pose difficulties in the design and operation of the riser array system. The dynamics of a riser array system is very different from that of basic canonical configurations such as side-by-side, tandem and staggered arrangements. In a riser array system, the interferences come from all possible nearby constituent risers. There is a synchronization phenomenon among the cylinders, which may lead to detrimental collisions and short-term failures. It is known that the vortex-induced vibration (VIV) of an isolated circular cylinder is self-limiting. An extensive vibration occurs in the lock-in region within which the frequency of the vortex shedding matches the structural frequency of the immersed structure. In a riser array system, there is a point at which the vibration of cylinder suddenly increases. The vibration of the constituent risers increases without bound with the increment of the free-stream velocity. This free-stream velocity is defined as the critical velocity. The interference not only comes from the inline and cross-flow directions, but also the wake interference from the diagonal upstream risers. In a riser array system, each riser vibrates independently. However, there is symmetry of frequency spectrum observed about the inline direction along the middle row of the risers.
In this study, the dynamic response of the different risers in the array system is investigated with the help of the amplitude response results from the canonical arrangements (side-by-side and tandem) and wake flow structures. The long top-tensioned riser system can be idealized by two-dimensional elastically mounted cylinders to solve the complex fluid-structure interaction problem. The dynamic response of a typical riser array system has been analyzed at low and high Reynolds number. It is encouraging to see that the results reported in the present investigation can provide useful insight and suggestions in the design and optimization of riser systems to avoid collisions and various long-or short-term failures.