This paper present results from numerical simulations and laboratory experiments investigating the flow around a riser with fairings at Reynolds number of 5000. We present fully resolved direct numerical simulations (DNS), large eddy simulations (LES) and compare the results with flowfields obtained from particle image velocimetry (PIV) experiments in a circulating water tunnel. The DNS and LES results do agree very well on surface integral quantities such as drag and lift force, but there are discrepancies in first order statistical flow parameters such as recirculation length. This indicate that a comparison of force coefficients is not sufficient to validate this type of bluff body wake flows. Comparing the simulation data with the experimental PIV data, also reveals significant discrepancies in the mean flow field, although the Strouhal number agrees between DNS and PIV results.

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