Investigation of a Multiphase Twin-screw Pump Operating at High Gas Volume Fractions
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The use of twin-screw pumps for moving fluids is not new technology but its application to wet gas compression (high gas volume fraction [GVF]) is still considered relatively new. There are many advantages for using twin-screw pumps for oil field applications; three of the immediate improvements include reducing hardware costs, reducing well bore pressure, and producing a pressure boost to move the product to a central collection facility. While there are many advantages to using twin-screw pumps in wet gas applications, there are some problems that have been encountered while operating at high GVFs. When operating at high GVF, over 95 percent twin-screw pumps experience a severe loss of efficiency and an increase of operating temperature. A common way to increase the efficiency while operating in the high GVF range includes adding a liquid recirculation system where a portion of liquid is stored downstream of the pump and is injected into the pump inlet. These systems lower the effective GVF of the multiphase fluid below 95 percent in order to increase the pump efficiency. The first objective is to characterize the performance of a twin-screw pump fitted with a liquid recirculation system while operating under high GVF conditions. The second objective is to investigate the transient heat rise associated with high GVF operation. While traditional twin-screw pumps can be fitted with a liquid recirculation system to allow them to operate under high GVF conditions the pumps themselves are not optimized for wet gas compression and still suffer performance penalties. The results of this investigation show that the liquid recirculation system can allow the pump to operate under high GVF but the heat added to the system reduces the systems efficiency. Without a method of removing the heat generated in the pumping process the pump will not run at its optimal efficiency. The following investigation provides recommendations for further research in area of multiphase pumping using twin-screw pumps based on the characterization and transient studies provided in this thesis.
Kroupa, Ryan Daniel (2011). Investigation of a Multiphase Twin-screw Pump Operating at High Gas Volume Fractions. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from