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Analysis of the Hydrodynamic Behaviour of Berthing and Mooring Structures. The Leixões Harbour Oil Terminal Case Study

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Portuguese title: Análise do Comportamento Hidrodinâmico de Dispositivos de Acostagem e Amarração. O Caso Crítico do Terminal Petroleiro do Porto de Leixões
Reference no: PTDC/ECM/72835/2006
Acronym: DOLPHIN
Period: January 2005 till December 2010
Status: Completed

Institutes (5)  Top 

Operational and security conditions in a port terminal are closely related with the behaviour of moored ships, namely with the ship motions
amplitude and the magnitude of the forces in the mooring lines and fenders.The behaviour of moored ships does not present a simple relationship with the incident wave heights, but it is dependent of many parameters such
like, incident wave period, wave grouping, wave direction relative to the berthing structure, characteristics of the moored ship and berthing
structure, elastic characteristics of the mooring lines and fenders, among others.
The port berthing and mooring structures are therefore submitted, directly and indirectly, to several types of forcing loads, with different natures,
that confer themselves a real complexity and in many cases an objective difficulty in its analysis and knowledge, for a more efficient management
of the activities associated to these structures, within the port environment.
These forcing loads are related with wave hydrodynamics in the structure surrounding area (phenomena such as reflection, refraction, breaking,
diffraction, seiches, etc.), with vessels motions during berthing and mooring and with exceptional interactions that could also occur in the system
ship/mooring system/fender/structure.
The interconnection between the different parts of this system is quite complex (see file-1 attached), that demands a continued research effort; in
particular in the analysis and study of real cases, whose conclusions could have practical applicability and some generalization to similar cases.
Due to the diversity and complexity of the present phenomena, to deal with the problem it is important to use a methodology that combines the
use of physical models tests with numerical simulations, taking advantage of potential synergies. Results of prototype measurements, although for
a limited range of conditions not controllable by the researcher, are also a key element in this study, making possible the validation and calibration
of both physical and numerical models.
Prototype data, experimental simulations in wave tank and computational programs are going to be used in this research project. The aim is to
present innovative contributions to the conception and design of mooring and berthing structures, in particular the dolphins (including mooring and
fender systems), in order to improve the operational conditions at port terminals, through the reduction of the moored ship motions and forces on
mooring lines and fenders. The project numerical component will include the improvement and the calibration of an existing numerical model, and
the development of a new numerical model. Innovative experimental techniques will be used during the project.
Due to the referred complexity it is essential to study in detail a real facility with problems, making use of prototype results and numerical and
laboratory simulations, allowing a possible application to similar cases. Therefore, the behaviour of the berth A oil terminal of Port of Leixões (see
file-2 attached) will be studied with a physical model. In fact the actual behaviour of this structure do not assure, in average, the operationally and
security conditions during approximately 30% of the days. This fact causes obviously operational costs, as well as environmental and safety risks,
to the port authority, thence the importance of this study.
The studies “Operational conditions on the oil terminal at Leixões Harbour - Porto - Portugal – IHRH - FEUP/IST” and “Porto de Leixões – modelação
numérica do comportamento de navio amarrado ao Posto A”, as well as the cooperation of APDL – Administração do Porto de Douro e Leixões and
oil terminal operators, are of particular importance to the general framing of this work. The level of knowledge that the project team have of this
real situation will be determinant for the project success.

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