The horizontal motions of a moored offshore structure in waves are dominated by the resonance phenomena that occur at the natural frequencies of the system. Therefore, the maximum excursions of the structure depend on both the wave loads and the damping in the system. At present, potential flow calculations are employed for predicting the wave loads on offshore structures. However, such methods cannot predict hydrodynamic damping which is dominated by viscous effects. Therefore, the current practice in the industry is to obtain the low-frequency damping based on model testing. Nowadays, CFD simulations also have the potential to predict the low-frequency viscous damping of offshore structures in calm water. To obtain confidence in the accuracy of CFD simulations, a proper validation of the results of such CFD calculations is essential.

In this paper, the flow around a forced surging or swaying LNGC is calculated using the CFD code ReFRESCO. The objective is to assess the accuracy and applicability of CFD for predicting the low-frequency viscous damping. After a description of the code and the used numerical methods, the results are presented and compared with results from model tests. Both inertia and damping coefficients are analyzed from the calculated hydrodynamics loads. Extensive numerical studies have been carried out to determine the influence of grid resolution, time step and iterative convergence on the flow solution and on the calculated damping. The numerical uncertainty of the results are assessed for one combination of amplitude and period for the surge motion. The CFD results are compared to experimental results indicating that the calculated damping coefficients agree within 5% for both surge and sway motion.

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