The Wiggle: Reducing the Oscillation of Oil Risers
Saoud Rana, Dan Schmitt
Teacher: Dr. Johnson, Dr. Hinkle
In underwater oil drilling, oil risers are used to pump oil from the bottom of the ocean to the surface. As currents flow past the oil riser, it oscillates from side to side. This oscillation is called strouhal effect or strumming. Strumming over a long period of time causes damage to the oil riser, which can be very expensive to repair. In this experiment, different shapes of oil risers were designed in order to determine the optimum design for reducing oscillation. In order to test this, cylinders with different shaped stabilizer fins were observed in uniform water flow. The control being a regular cylinder, with no fin. It was determined that the “tear-drop fin” was better than the regular cylinder because it had an identical oscillation range and had a slower period of oscillation. This fin moved with the same overall displacement, but it did so in a slower manner.