The objective of this paper is to discuss and demonstrate how numerical modelling, such as Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), can be used with detailed physical testing, such as Wind Tunnel Testing, to validate the design of Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) units and Floating Production Systems (FPS). The paper will discuss the importance of numerical modelling and / or wind tunnel testing during the design phase. It will be highlighted that numerical modelling does not replace pure theoretical or pure experimental results but acts as a complement in gaining a greater overall picture. Using case studies, findings will be presented in such a way to discuss the advantages of both approaches and highlight findings where one technique may be more suitable than the other. Numerical modelling can be used to analyse a number of different issues such as the risks associated with the loss of containment of hydrocarbons and their subsequent ignition or the impact of turbine exhaust dispersion and turbulence on helicopter operations. Wind Tunnel Testing, on the other hand, can be used to determine wind and current loads acting on the FLNG topsides and hull and can avoid conservatism in design reducing size and weight (e.g. mooring loads) and therefore reduce costs.
Using both wind tunnel testing and numerical modelling will highlight key design recommendations that can be made early in the design process, considerably optimising design and ensuring the FLNG unit or FPS can last throughout its operational design life.