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Three Phase Erosion Testing and CFD Analysis of a Helico Axial Pump
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Electrical Submersible Pumping (ESP) has been developed to be an indispensable artificial lifting method in industry due to its high productivity. However, the reliability of an ESP system is a disadvantage when being compared with other approaches. Erosion is one of the leading factors that causes the reduction of productivity and failure of an ESP system. In order to guarantee the longevity of the system and reduce the cost, it is necessary to perform erosion tests on a new pump before being installed in an oil well. This study explores the erosion on a Helico-Axial (Poseidon) ESP manufactured by Schlumberger. The erosion test rig was built at Turbomachinery Laboratory at Texas A&M University. A 200-hour erosion test with 0.24% sand concentration by weight has been operating at 3600 RPM with a liquid flow rate of 880 GPM and 20% inlet Gas Volume Fraction (GVF) has been performed. During these 200 hours, 7 performance tests were made to acquire the performance maps of the ESP by varying liquid flow rate (600-1100 GPM) and GVF (0-45%). Meanwhile, the vibration characteristics corresponding to each operating condition were collected simultaneously. After 200 hours, a combined analysis of components wear measurement, performance and vibration are used to investigate the effect of 200 hours of wearing on this pump. In order to evaluate the volume of metal loss by this ESP, 3D scan technology is applied, allowing comparison of the original and eroded impellers. Furthermore, CFD simulations on both the original and eroded pump geometries are developed in ANSYS-FLUENT to evaluate the performance variation. An erosion model for predicting erosion rate is introduced to the result of simulation and calibrated by the loss of thickness of the impeller that measured.
Chen, Yi (2017). Three Phase Erosion Testing and CFD Analysis of a Helico Axial Pump. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from