This paper describes the prediction of environmental loads on a typical three-leg jack-up platform under freak wave conditions. Considered were cases where the air gap is small and the hull is subject to impact-related wave-in-deck loads. The technique to predict wave loads was based on the use of a validated CFD code that solves the Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes equations. This code relies on the interface-capturing technique of the volume-of-fluid type to account for highly nonlinear wave effects. It computes the two-phase flow of water and air to describe the physics associated with complex free-surface shapes with breaking waves and air trapping, hydrodynamic phenomena that had to be considered to yield reliable predictions. The Stokes fifth-order wave theory initialized volume fractions of water, velocity distributions in the solution domain, and time-dependent boundary conditions at inlet and outlet boundaries. This paper demonstrates that this technique can be a valuable numerical tool for preliminary designs as well as subsequent safety assessments. In particular, it shows that effects of different operating and design parameters on wave-in-deck loads, such as wave direction, wave height, wave period, and wind speed, can be evaluated with an affordable computing effort.

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