Multiphase flow loop for the near horizontal hydronamics parameters measurement: Design, construction, and commissioning



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The state-of-the-art laboratory scale flow loop was designed and constructed in this study. The flow loop allows the measurement of two-phase gas-liquid and three-phase gas-oil-water hydrodynamics and heat transfer characteristic through visualization and heat transfer sections. The inner pipe diameter of 38.1-mm (1.5 in) and length of 6.70-m (21.98-ft) is selected to allow a capability on up-scaling the laboratory results to the related multiphase flow phenomena in horizontal well, subsea, and on-shore pipeline. The well-thought-out design of the flow loop allows convenient operation of 1) liquid holdup measurement, 2) stable temperature control of the test fluid in the range of 5 to 60 °C (41 to 140°F), 3) precise flow rate measurement and control, 4) absolute pressure inside the test section, and 5) Taylor bubble speed measurement.

This flow loop is designed to be capable of conducting hydrodynamics and heat transfer tests for air/high viscosity oil/water three-phase flow, air/oil and air/water two-phase flow, and single-phase flow of air, water, or oil in a pipe. To ensure that the constructed flow loop is capable of the hydrodynamics test of various flow pattern, the hydrodynamics test on air-water two-phase flow are conducted and compared to the existing theories. The flow pattern map for air-water cases are checked against Taitel and Dukler (1976) model prediction. The measured liquid holdup, slug frequency, translational velocity, slug liquid holdup, drift velocity and slug length are compared against available theoretical calculations. The comparison results show that the developed testing procedures and data analysis methods are reliable and can be used as based cases for further research.



Multiphase flow, Hydrodynamics, Slug flow, Pressure drop, Facility building, Gas-liquid two-phase flow