Scaling strategies for multi-purpose floating structures physical modeling: state of art and new perspectives

Carlo Ruzzo, Sara Muggiasca, Giovanni Malara, Federico Taruffi, Marco Belloli, Maurizio Collu, Liang Li, Giulio Brizzi, Felice Arena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Multi-purpose floating platforms are emerging as a promising concept in ocean engineering applications, thanks to their capability of ensuring system integration, cost reduction and modularization. However, their increasing complexity requires the development of numerical tools, which need to be validated experimentally through adequate physical models. New challenges hence arise, since the subsystems integrated in the structure generally follow different scaling laws and may need relatively large physical models to achieve a reliable similitude between the full-scale structure and its physical model counterpart. The latter issue can be critical, because indoor tests in wave tanks and basins constrain the scale factors to the size of the available facilities. Open-sea experiments, albeit challenging because of the uncontrolled environmental conditions, could be a valid complement to the traditional indoor tests. This article proposes a review of the multi-physics scaling strategies for the subsystems usually embedded in multi-purpose floating platforms, i.e. floating support, mooring system, wind turbine, wave energy converter and aquaculture facilities, by providing a critical analysis on the relevance of the scaling factor and of the scaling strategy. The paper may also serve as a guide for practical applications involving one or several of the considered subsystems.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102487
JournalApplied Ocean Research
Early online date15 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2021


  • Froude scaling of floating structures
  • physical models
  • multi purpose floating structures
  • offshore wind turbines
  • floating wave energy converters
  • floating fish net cages


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