Design, Construction, and Visualization of Transparent Full Scale High Pressure Test Facility for Electronic Submersible Pumps
MetadataShow full item record
With the advent of aging oilfields and extraction in extreme conditions, artificial lift has become a necessity to make certain fields technically and economically feasible. One artificial lift method which has high throughput and can be adapted to a variety of production situations is electric submersible pumps. One issue with these pumps is their natural inability to handle two phase gas-liquid flow without considerable loss or failure in performance. A pump, the Baker Hughes Centrilift G470 multi-vane pump (MVP) was developed to handle two phase flow. To understand the flow patterns and phenomena that occur in the pump over a variety of conditions, a full scale, full speed, moderate pressure, and transparent pump was designed and constructed at the Texas A&M University Turbomachinery Laboratory. The closed loop test facility then provides a means for flow visualization of predicted recirculation, bubble coalescence, and stagnation. The pump was designed and constructed using the SLA manufacturing process with a polycarbonate casing for optimal clarity and safety. High speed photography with lighting sources allowed visualization through the eye of the impeller and in the channels of the diffuser. Recirculation between the blades of the impeller was observed. Within the diffuser, large recirculation zones on the suction side of the vane were observed blocking up to 75% of the diffuser channel outlet. Further analysis using advanced flow velocity measurements such as PIV or DGV will more fully characterize the pump. This will allow improvement of CFD simulations and even pump design.
Marchetti, Joseph Michael (2013). Design, Construction, and Visualization of Transparent Full Scale High Pressure Test Facility for Electronic Submersible Pumps. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from