The use of closed flexible bags is among the suggestions considered as a potential way to expand the salmon production in Norway. Few ocean structures exist with large, heavily compliant submerged components, and there is presently limited existing knowledge about how aquaculture systems with flexible closed cages will respond to external sea loads. The flexibility and deformation of the bag is coupled to the hydrodynamic forces, and the forces and deformation will be dependent on the filling level of the bag.

In order to get a better understanding of the drag forces on, and deformation of, such bags, experiments were conducted with a series of closed flexible bags. The bags were towed in a towing tank in order to simulate uniform current. Four different geometries were investigated, cylindrical, cubical, conical and pyramidal, and the filling levels were varied between 70% and 120%. The main findings from the experiments were that the drag force was highly dependent on the filling level, and that the drag force increases with decreasing filling level. Comparing the drag force on a deflated bag with an inflated one showed an increase of up to 2.5 times.

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