The Steel Lazy Wave Riser (SLWR) configuration is considered as one of the favorable solutions for deepwater applications. This is due to the SLWR’s capability to effectively absorb the dynamic motions from the vessel and the relatively lower cost that it offers. However, the application of SLWRs has its own challenges when it comes to fatigue due to Vortex-Induced Vibrations (VIV). The buoyancy section and the touchdown area may be critical to VIV due to curvature and current exposure onto the area. Furthermore, there is only limited previous research on VIV responses of a SLWR configuration.
This paper presents a parametric study of VIV responses of various SLWR systems. The study location is the deeper area of the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The main parametric variations are water depth, the length of the buoyancy section, the dimension of the buoyancy modules and the hydrocarbon content. These variations result in different lazy wave configurations, which give different trends of VIV responses. The analysis works are performed using the computer programs Riflex and VIVANA.
The observation results show that, for the type of current used in this study, riser configurations at the same water depth tend to have the same level of fatigue life. In addition, risers in shallower water have a lower fatigue life compared to risers in deeper water due to the current profiles used in this study and the higher system stiffness of the risers at shallower water.
The results also show that the buoyant section has only little to modest influence on the VIV-fatigue life. The influence will only become apparent when the buoyancy section creates a sufficiently high arch shape in the lazy wave configuration.
The riser’s selfweight mainly affects the riser’s fatigue life at the upper catenary part of the riser. Although the upper catenary part of the riser generally has sufficient VIV-fatigue lifetime, a riser with lighter content has a lower fatigue life at this part compared to a riser with heavier content.