Incorporating magneto-Rheological damper into riser tensioner system to restrict riser stroke in moderate-size semisubmersibles

  • Zainuddin, Zaid (Department of Ocean Engineering, Texas A&M University) ;
  • Kim, Moo-Hyun (Department of Ocean Engineering, Texas A&M University) ;
  • Kang, Heon-Yong (Department of Ocean Engineering, Texas A&M University) ;
  • Bhat, Shankar (Department of Civil, Structures and Offshore, Sabah Shell Petroleum Co. Ltd.)
  • Received : 2018.02.20
  • Accepted : 2018.05.10
  • Published : 2018.06.25


In case of conventional shallow-draft semisubmersibles, unacceptably large riser stroke was the restricting factor for dry-tree-riser-semisubmersible development. Many attempts to address this issue have focused on using larger draft and size with extra heave-damping plates, which results in a huge cost increase. The objective of this paper is to investigate an alternative solution by improving riser systems through the implementation of a magneto-rheological damper (MR Damper) so that it can be used with moderate-size/draft semisubmersibles. In this regard, MR-damper riser systems and connections are numerically modeled so that they can couple with hull-mooring time-domain simulations. The simulation results show that the moderate-size semisubmersible with MR damper system can be used with conventional dry-tree pneumatic tensioners by effectively reducing stroke-distance even in the most severe (1000-yr) storm environments. Furthermore, the damping level of the MR damper can be controlled to best fit target cases by changing input electric currents. The reduction in stroke allows smaller topside deck spacing, which in turn leads to smaller deck and hull. As the penalty of reducing riser stroke by MR damper, the force on the MR-damper can significantly be increased, which requires applying optimal electric currents.


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