JIP targets sea spray icing

Sea spray icing may pose a major challenge on Arctic operations

We aim to ensure that the design of icing-mitigation measures delivers both safety and cost benefits,” said Per Olav Moslet, Arctic technology programme director at DNV GL, which provides classification and technical assurance along with software and independent expert advisory services to the maritime, oil and gas, and energy industries.
The operational capabilities of conventional vessels and offshore structures do not meet the requirements for operating in harsh Arctic conditions, DNV GL said, adding that the trend towards increased activity in the Arctic and especially the ice-free areas meant the issue of sea spray icing needed to be addressed.
“Sea spray icing poses a threat on multiple levels, from blocking the operation of essential components to jeopardising stability and integrity and thus leading to an increased risk of capsizing,” Moslet remarked.
A number of recognised standards, for example DNV GL’s offshore standard Winterisation for Cold Climate Operations (DNV-OS-A201), provide guidance on mitigating ice accumulation using specified anti- and de-icing procedures. The standards available today give requirements to safety functions and to some extent describe mitigation solutions, but do not give a specific answer as to how and where they should be implemented. An optimal answer to these two questions, DNV GL said, can be given by even better understanding the physical phenomenon of sea spray icing via simulation and measurements. Overall, the benefit would be an improved safety and working environment in Arctic conditions.
“We've already made progress in addressing the challenge through the MarIce JIP, where DNV GL worked together with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and Statoil to create the world’s most advanced marine-icing model. However, this needs to be developed further," said Olga Shipilova, DNV GL’s project manager for the RigSpray JIP. "The present model still lacks an accurate representation of sea spray, which is a very important parameter for ice formation. Present knowledge of sea spray generation is limited to very local metocean conditions and sporadic vessel designs. We certainly need to fill this gap with more experimental and modelling studies.”
The first step is to develop a software tool to further understand sea spray icing using mathematical modelling and measurements. This will provide a solid basis for extending local ice estimations to a wider spectrum of metocean and structural conditions, which in turn will lead to safer and more cost-effective winterisation solutions for drilling rigs, production platforms and vessels operating in cold climate areas.

Noting that sea spray icing is a major challenge to Arctic operations, DNV GL said it was launching an industry collaboration to develop a simulation model that bridges functional winterisation requirements and real physical conditions for drilling rigs, production platforms and vessels. It is inviting experts from both the maritime and oil and gas industries to join the new joint industry project (JIP) "RigSpray".

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