Abstract

In this paper, the CFD framework REEF3D is utilized to investigate the hydrodynamics of a large offshore fish farm in waves. The solver consists of a rigid body dynamics solver for the frame structure coupled to a fluid solver including the shielding effects of the nets. The solver and the grid independence are validated using a 2D numerical wave tank, a free decay test, and a study of the wave loads on a rigid net panel. Then, the effects of regular wave parameters, the thickness of the vertical outer columns of the structure, and varies aspect ratios on the loads, response and maximum mooring tensions are investigated. It is concluded that the response is sensitive to the wave period rather than the wave height and that the net system accounts for about 30% of the total drag but does not influence the structural response to a larger extend. The effect of the aspect ratio on the hydrodynamics is more distinct than that of the frame thickness especially. Thus, the first step towards a systemic evaluation of the importance of different structural parts of an offshore fish cage for the expected responses is presented in this paper.

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