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research-article

Experimental Analysis on the Velocity of Oil Drops in Oil-Water Two-Phase Flows in ESP Impellers

[+] Author and Article Information
Rodolfo Marcilli Perissinotto

School of Mechanical Engineering, University of Campinas, Rua Mendeleyev, 200, Cidade Universitária, Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil, 13083-860
rodolfomp@fem.unicamp.br

William Monte Verde

Center for Petroleum Studies, Rua Cora Coralina, 350, Cidade Universitária, Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil, 13083-896
wmv@unicamp.br

Jorge Luiz Biazussi

Center for Petroleum Studies, Rua Cora Coralina, 350, Cidade Universitária, Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil, 13083-896
biazussi@unicamp.br

Marcelo Souza Castro

School of Mechanical Engineering, University of Campinas, Rua Mendeleyev, 200, Cidade Universitária, Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil, 13083-860
mcastro@fem.unicamp.br

Antonio C. Bannwart

School of Mechanical Engineering, University of Campinas, Rua Mendeleyev, 200, Cidade Universitária, Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil, 13083-860
bannwart@fem.unicamp.br

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4042000 History: Received September 05, 2017; Revised November 06, 2018

Abstract

The objective of this research is to investigate the velocity of oil drops within the impeller of an electrical submersible pump (ESP) working with oil-in-water dispersion flows at different operational conditions. An experimental study was conducted using an ESP prototype with a transparent shell designed to enable flow visualization within the impeller channels. The tests were performed at three rotational speeds, 600, 900, 1200 rpm, for three water flow rates, 80%, 100%, 120% of the best efficiency point (BEP). A highspeed camera with a lighting set captured images of the oil-in-water dispersion at 1000 frames per second. The images observation suggests the presence of a turbulent flow in the impeller. The turbulence, associated with high rotation Reynolds numbers, causes the oil drops to become smaller as the impeller rotational speed and the water flow rate increase. Despite this rotating environment, the oil drops generally have a spherical shape. Regarding the kinematics, the images processing reveals that the velocity of oil drops has a magnitude around a unit of m/s. The velocity depends on the oil drop position in the channel: oil drops that stay close to a suction blade have significantly higher velocities than oil drops that stay close to a pressure blade. Considering a complex flow with water velocity profiles and pressure gradients, the analysis of oil velocity curves indicates the occurrence of accelerations that may be caused by drag and pressure forces acting on the oil drops.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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