Aquaculture has experienced a tremendous growth in recent years. With a wealth and breadth of new fish farm concepts emerging from the industry, Semar has committed itself to providing engineering services that can make these a reality.  Using CFD and time domain analysis, our services reduce or eliminate the need for expensive model tests.

In 2017, Semar initiated a project to adapt our knowledge and software to solve practical engineering problems in aquaculture.  Using a combination of powerful marine analysis tools, experience from offshore, and research, Semar plans to bring itself to the forefront of aquaculture simulation.  Through accurate simulation, we can not only reduce the cost compared to model tests, we can also evaluate more concepts within the same time frame.

The project has already yielded results, where Semar has successfully calculated the forces and deformation of a fish farm in waves and current. Details can be found in the following pdf.  The project is planned to span 18 months, and using cases of gradually increasing complexity will develop Semar’s aquaculture simulation portfolio.

We are looking for partners in the aquaculture industry to provide engineering cases where we can apply our knowledge.


Fish Farms

The fish farm project is an ongoing SEMAR endeavour that aims to bridge the gap between offshore simulation technology and the aquaculture industry.  Initiated in 2017, it plans to leverage our offshore experience for the benefit of the aquaculture industry by adapting existing software that is extensively used in offshore.

While offshore simulation packages are powerful, there is undeniably a way to go before they can be applied to aquaculture. The bulk of the project concerns developing tools to handle the engineering challenges that are unique to aquaculture, primarily flexible nets.  Since a typical fish farm changes shape when exposed to forces from flowing current, and the shape heavily influences the forces the fish farm experiences, there’s an interplay between shape and forces that is vital to capture. 

By using our existing software as a base, it will be possible to include other marine vessels or structures we are already familiar with, be it a service vessel or a floating platform.  This allows for simulation of installation procedures, recovery operations and more.

We have so far shown that the time-domain software we utilize, OrcaFlex, can be used to give satisfactory answers for a fish farm in waves and current.  Further details can be found in the following pdf.  In some areas however, this methodology will give a conservative answer. Here we plan to include CFD analyses, that can through STAR-CCM+, calculate these effects precisely.  The project will not only include developing the tools necessary to effectively simulate complex phenomena, but also validate them against experiments to ensure accuracy.

Scope of work summary

›  Evaluate current methodology in both research and industry
›  Develop tools for easily and rapidly setting up time-domain analysis with fish farms
›  Develop custom API for co-simulation with between time domain and CFD software
›  Develop and validate models and methodology for the following:
›  Detailed local current effects
›  Global current effects in multiple fish farms
›  High solidity nets and high current, including effect of biofouling
›  Combination of large-volume structures and nets in close proximity, including shielding effects


Areas of competence

›  CFD and time domain analysis

›  Loads on nets

›  Mooring loads and design

›  Anchor loads and design

›  Marine operations: analysis, planning, and supervision

›  Hydrodynamic and structural design of large volume structures

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