Author(s): Zitti Gianluca; Novelli Nico; Brocchini Maurizio
Keywords: Fish cage; Cage dynamics; Deformable net; Numerical model; Current and waves
Abstract: Over the last decades the aquaculture sector increased significantly and constantly, moving fish-farm plants further from the coast, and exposing them to increasingly high forcing due to currents and waves. The performances of cages in currents and waves have been widely studied in literature, by means of laboratory experiments and numerical models, but virtually all the research is focused on the global performances of the system, i.e. on the maximum displacement, the volume reduction or the mooring tension. In this work we propose a numerical model, derived from the net-truss model of Kristiansen and Faltinsen (2012), to study the dynamics of fish farm cages in current and waves. In this model the net is modeled with straight trusses connecting nodes, where the mass of the net is concentrated at the nodes. The deformation of the net is evaluated solving the equation of motion of the nodes, subjected to gravity, buoyancy, lift and drag forces. With respect to the original model, the elasticity of the net is included. In this work the real size of the net is used for the computation mesh grid, this allowing the numerical model to reproduce the exact dynamics of the cage. The numerical model is used to simulate a cage with fixed rings, based on the concept of mooring the cage to the foundation of no longer functioning offshore structures. The deformation of the system subjected to currents and waves are studied.