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Investigating the Effect of Pipe Inclination on Two-Phase Gas-Liquid Flows Using Advanced Instrumentation

[+] Author Affiliations
Abolore Abdulahi, Lokman A. Abdulkareem, Safa Sharaf, Mukhtar Abdulkadir, Valente Hernandez Perez, Barry J. Azzopardi

University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK

Paper No. AJTEC2011-44239, pp. T30080-T30080-9; 9 pages
doi:10.1115/AJTEC2011-44239
From:
  • ASME/JSME 2011 8th Thermal Engineering Joint Conference
  • ASME/JSME 2011 8th Thermal Engineering Joint Conference
  • Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, March 13–17, 2011
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-3892-1 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3894-5
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME

abstract

Pipes that make up oil and gas wells are not vertical but could be inclined at any angle between the vertical and the horizontal which is a significant technology of modern drilling. Hence, this study has been undertaken to look at the effect of inclination on flow characteristics especially at 10 degrees from both horizontal and vertical. Air/silicone oil flows in a 67 mm slightly deviated pipe have been investigated using advanced instrumentation: Wire Mesh Sensor Tomography (WMS) and Electrical Capacitance Tomography (ECT). They provide time and cross-sectionally resolved data on void fraction. Both the ECT probes and WMS were mounted on the inclined pipes upstream just at the point where flows were fully developed. By keeping the liquid flow rate constant at 10 litres/min (or liquid superficial velocity of 0.052m/s), gas flow rate was varied from 10 litres/min to 1000 litres/min (or gas superficial velocity from 0.05m/s to 4.7m/s). Then other values of liquid superficial velocity were considered. Visual observations were considered. Time series and void fraction were then measured for WMS while time series and liquid holdup were measured for ECT. The raw data were processed and then interpreted for proper analysis. From an analysis of the output from the tomography equipment, flow patterns were identified using both the reconstructed images as well as the characteristic signatures of Probability Density Function (PDF) plots of the time series of cross-sectionally averaged void fraction as suggested by some authors. Bubbly, slug and churn flows were observed for 10° from vertical pipe while bubbly, plug as well as slug flow when the pipe was inclined at 10° from horizontal. Examples of the PDFs are well illustrated which compares the use of ECT with WMS. In addition, statistical data such as Power Spectral Density (PSD), dominant frequency, mean void fraction as well as the structure velocities from cross correlation of the two planes of ECT have been identified.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME

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