The project aims at developing Real-Time Hybrid Model Testing for studying structures and systems exposed to extreme marine environments. Hybrid testing is a testing method in which the physical system under study is partitioned into two (or more) substructures: a physical substructure tested experimentally in model-scale, connected in a real-time with a numerical substructure, simulated on a computer. The two parts interact with each other in real-time using a network of sensors and actuators.
The last couple of months in the project have been used for reporting the last activities in the project and for summarising the main experiences into best practice guidelines.
The project has been very fruitful in the number of new competences that have been learned and new products that are now made commercially accessible. The project has also opened a world of new opportunities that will be further researched in new research projects.
The fundaments of hybrid testing for marine technology have been defined in the project based on the work done in other fields (e.g. seismic engineering) and on strong international collaborations. Hybrid testing is now an active research topic for SINTEF Ocean and NTNU. The knowledge gained in the project and the new collaborations have introduced us to new research fields and methods which will be actively researched and applied in the near future.
New products were developed in the project to allow for testing of oil and gas platforms, fish farms, offshore wind turbines, and machinery systems with a higher degree of fidelity then what was possible before. This will lead to better and safer designs in the industry.
Our newly acquired knowledge about hybrid testing makes it now possible to use hybrid testing as a cornerstone of the new Ocean Space Centre, for testing of complex systems without the need for gigantic infrastructures (cost-reducing measures).
Real-Time Hybrid Model Testing (or simply "hybrid testing") is the science of combining advanced simulations, state-of-the-art experimental methods with active control system into a novel approach, to verify the safety and efficiency of marine structures and operations. In hybrid testing, one part of the system is studied physically, while another part is represented by a numerical model. Both parts interact in real-time through actuators and sensors.
Within this project, the following practical issues will be addressed:
- Development and operations of oil fields in ultra-deep water, whose verification would require an ocean basin with much larger water depth and heavy equipment for environmental control than available in present large-scale laboratory infrastructures.
- Similar issue faced by the aquaculture industry when considering operating larger fish farms in deeper and more exposed locations.
- Experimental issues (Reynolds and Froude scaling incompatibility) when validating offshore wind turbines concepts in an ocean basin
- Optimization of the performance, fuel consumption, and emissions of machinery under DP operations in realistic conditions, also including e.g. propeller ventilation.
Such a technology will contribute to the strategic need for the Norwegian industry for safer, cleaner and more cost-effective operations in challenging environments. It will push forward the research front in the fields of marine hydrodynamics, machinery and control systems, and open for new innovation areas for existing and emerging industries.
Similar approaches have been used in e.g. earthquake engineering and automotive industry, and are still the focus of the academia in Europe, USA, and Asia. The technology transfer of existing methods to marine technology is not straightforward due to the different nature of the phenomena of interest. This has especially consequences on filtering and control methods, and efficiency of existing numerical tools.