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Research Papers: Offshore Technology

Experimental Analysis on the Velocity of Oil Drops in Oil–Water Two-Phase Flows in Electrical Submersible Pump Impellers

[+] Author and Article Information
Rodolfo Marcilli Perissinotto

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

William Monte Verde

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

Jorge Luiz Biazussi

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

Marcelo Souza de Castro

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

Antonio Carlos Bannwart

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

Contributed by the Ocean, Offshore, and Arctic Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF OFFSHORE MECHANICS AND ARCTIC ENGINEERING. Manuscript received September 5, 2017; final manuscript received November 6, 2018; published online January 17, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Longfei Xiao.

J. Offshore Mech. Arct. Eng 141(4), 041301 (Jan 17, 2019) (9 pages) Paper No: OMAE-17-1159; doi: 10.1115/1.4042000 History: Received September 05, 2017; Revised November 06, 2018

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, and 1200 rpm, for three water flow rates, 80%, 100%, and 120% of the best efficiency point (BEP). A high-speed camera (HSC) 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 (SB) have significantly higher velocities than oil drops that stay close to a pressure blade (PB). 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.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Electrical submersible pump prototype with transparent shell for flow visualization

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Fig. 2

Experimental facility with ESP prototype, water circuit, and oil system

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Fig. 3

Performance curves for ESP prototype working with water single-phase flow

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Fig. 4

Image of impeller at 600 rpm and water flow rate at best efficiency point. The impeller rotates clockwise.

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Fig. 5

Image of impeller at 900 rpm and water flow rate at best efficiency point. The impeller rotates clockwise.

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Fig. 6

Image of impeller at 1200 rpm and water flow rate at best efficiency point. The impeller rotates clockwise.

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Fig. 7

Image of impeller at 900 rpm and 80% of QBEP. Impeller rotates clockwise.

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Fig. 8

Image of impeller at 900 rpm and 100% of QBEP. Impeller rotates clockwise.

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Fig. 9

Image of impeller at 900 rpm and 120% of QBEP. Impeller rotates clockwise.

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Fig. 10

Example of oil drop with a trajectory close to a SB

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Fig. 11

Example of oil drop with a trajectory close to a PB

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Fig. 12

Example of oil drop with central path, from suction blade to pressure blade

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Fig. 13

Radial velocity of 12 central oil drops with different diameters

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Fig. 14

Tangential velocity of 12 central oil drops with different diameters

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Fig. 15

Radial velocity of five drops with different diameter on suction blade zone

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Fig. 16

Tangential velocity of five drops with different diameter on suction blade zone

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Fig. 17

Average radial velocity of oil drops on the suction blade region

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Fig. 18

Average tangential velocity of oil drops on the suction blade region

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Fig. 19

Radial velocity of seven drops on pressure blade region

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Fig. 20

Tangential velocity of seven drops on pressure blade region

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Fig. 21

Average radial velocity of oil drops on the pressure blade region

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Fig. 22

Average tangential velocity of oil drops on the pressure blade region

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Fig. 23

Comparison between average radial velocities of oil drops on suction blade and on pressure blade

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Fig. 24

Comparison between average tangential velocities of oil drops on suction blade and on pressure blade

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