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Structural Design and Validation of Closed Fish Farms in Sandwich Glass-fiber Reinforced Polymers

Alternative title: Konstruksjonsdesign og validering av lukkede flytende oppdrettsanlegg i sandwich kompositt

Awarded: NOK 2.4 mill.

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Project Period:

2021 - 2025

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With the current shift towards new production methods in the aquaculture industry, several new production platforms are under development, construction, and testing. Hauge Aqua Solutions develops the technology behind one such production technology ? called ?Egget®? (the Egg). It is a closed floating fish-farm for semi-exposed locations and as of June 2021, the first unit is being built. This project will study hydrodynamic and structural aspects of closed fish farming structures in glass fibre reinforced polymers. It is an industrial doctoral project, which will be carried out in cooperation with the University of Bergen and the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences. The goal is to investigate the workflows for hydrodynamic and structural analysis and to validate these. Furthermore, key structural failure mechanisms will be identified and ensured that these are properly accounted for in the design. This may enable further optimization of such structures to increase the competitiveness of closed floating fish-farms. The design methods used for design and analysis of closed fish farm will be investigated, applied, and validated. The first step will be to carry out a literature study to get the overview of the industrial practice and the current state-of-the-art for the relevant analyses. A structural safety assessment will be carried out to identify the critical failure modes. The literature study and safety assessment will create the framework for the further work. The second step is to study and carry out numerical analyses (such as finite element method) and draw on state-of-the-art research to create precise results. Further lab-scale experiments will be used to validate central assumptions in the analysis, and finally full-scale units will be equipped with sensors to validate the design in a real environment. These results will also be used to investigate the benefits that a structural digital twin may yield.

Egget® is a closed fish tank made from sandwich glass-fibre reinforced polymers. The first unit (2000 m3) will be completed by 2022, resulting in the opportunity to gather data and investigate how such structures behave in a real environment. This doctoral project will deal with the structural response in terms of both design and validation. Six work packages will be carried out. The first two aim to document the design process and assess the structural risk. Here we will investigate each design step and use this as basis for a structural safety assessment. The results of this will include knowledge gaps that can be used to guide further work. The third and fourth work packages will include laboratory experiments and numerical analysis. These are used to increase the knowledge about the loading and response in harsh weather. A series of lab-scale experiments will be carried out. The two last work packages deal with the full-scale structure. Here full-scale data is gathered, and a simple structural digital twin is developed. We cannot control the weather, and it is unlikely that the full-scale units will ever incur its dimensioning load states. For this reason, a combination of full-scale measurements, data from the lab-scale experiments and the numerical studies will be used to validate the structure. Three journal articles are planned: The first on the topic of design and laboratory experiments. This will focus on the work that is carried out before a closed fish farm unit is built. The second is about development and deployment of a digital twin for closed fish farms. This relates more to the operational aspects and will contain, among other topics, identification of damage modes. The third and final will discuss the complete design process with a view to the full-scale experiments. This will include full-scale validation and provide insights regarding the accuracy of each design step. Further one or more popular science papers and presentations are planned.

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