Wind is an important environmental parameter that influences the design of floating offshore structures, particularly in harsh environment. Because wind spectrum is broad-banded, computation of wind load on the floating structure is complicated. Moreover, the wind-induced slow-drift oscillation is an important design criterion. Simulated environment in a model test often includes wind effect. Accurate modeling of wind in a laboratory environment is, however, a difficult task. The wind tunnel provides a steady load on the superstructure quite accurately, but fails to show the effect of the changing free surface as well as dynamic effect. Therefore, simultaneous simulation of wind in the wave basin is desirable. A weight representing the steady wind load with a string and pulley arrangement at the center of the application of the superstructure is inadequate since it fails to simulate the variation of the wind spectrum. The generation and control of the design wind spectrum by an overhead bank of fans facing the model superstructure is an extremely difficult task due to large windage area. This paper presents an accurate and highly controllable method of the generation of variable wind simultaneously with waves and current in the wave basin that can be used with a variety of floating structure model. The concept was originally proposed by Kvaerner Oil & Gas International and implemented by the offshore model basin (OMB). In this method, a fan equipped with a constant-speed motor and blades with an adjustable pitch angle is directly mounted on the model deck above water. A digital signal generated from the specified wind spectrum is used to run the fan much like the wavemaker. A feedback system ensures the proper generation of the wind with the model motion. The method was successfully applied in several model tests of deepwater floating structures in which broad-banded wind spectra were generated. An example from an earlier such test is given here. The importance of the effect of the simulated wind spectrum on floating structures should be clear to a design engineer from this example.

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