Sofec is designing a new FSRU and asked MARIN to evaluate and optimise the offloading procedure.

Real-time bridge simulations for Sofec ‘bring design to life’

LNGC approaching FLNG

MARIN ran simulations in fast time and real time to evaluate weather limits for various shuttle tankers approaching, offloading and deberthing from an offshore tower yoke moored FSRU. The vessel approach study provided some initial insight into the requirements and limits for tugs. However, these simulations do not take into account the human element. To understand this side of the equation real-time bridge simulations were studied.

Arjan Voogt,

A workshop with an experienced mooring master, the mooring system designer and involvement from the operator, helped to optimise the procedure. Or as Allen Liu from Sofec expressed it: “The simulator helps bring the design to life and shows the signif- icance of the approach and departure to the moor- ing design.” MARIN’s tried and tested time domain analysis tool was utilised in conjunction with bridge simulation studies to achieve a thorough analysis from the engineering and operational perspective. These software programs are powerful tools, but become even more powerful and applicable when combined with real-time bridge simulations involving experienced operators.

With the advent of the Dolphin software, integra ting MARIN’s manoeuvring and mooring software, simu- lators are building a bridge between engi neering and operations. Consider for example, the vessel’s departure after a side-by-side offloading operation. Without visual feedback, it is difficult to apply the correct and realistic tug action. At the same time, the mooring line loads are non-linear and depend on the complex coupled motions of the vessels. The new simulation software includes the correct loads in the lines and realistic tug responses and can there- fore be used to optimise the departure procedure.

With the new software, the simulator bridge becomes an even better tool for concept design. At the recent opening of MARIN’s new bridge simulator in Houston, Dr. Bas Buchner explained its purpose: “To develop safer and smarter offshore structures and opera- tions, MARIN wants to use its simulations, model tests, training and full scale monitoring activities in an integrated way. The new simulator allows direct interaction between engineers and operational personnel and opens new possibilities for more operational input in the design.”

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