Design and Fabrication of a Vertical Pump Multiphase Flow Loop

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Kirkland, Klayton 1965-
Vertical pump test loop; Two-phased flow test loop; Electric Submersible Pump
thesis / dissertation description
A new centrifugal pump has been devised to handle two-phase flow. However, it requires full scale testing to allow further development. Testing is required to verify performance and to gain information needed to apply this design in the field. Further, testing will allow mathematical models to be validated which will allow increased understanding of the pump's behavior. To perform this testing, a new facility was designed and constructed. This facility consists of a closed flow loop. The pump is supplied by separate air and water inlet flows that mix just before entering the pump. These flows can be controlled to give a desired gas volume fraction and overall flow rate. The pump outlet flows into a tank which separates the fluids allowing them to re-circulate. Operating inlet pressures of up to three hundred PSIG will be used with a flow rate of twelve hundred gallons per minute. A two-hundred fifty horsepower electric motor is used to power the pump. The loop is equipped with instrumentation to measure temperature, pressure, flow rate, pump speed, pump shaft horsepower, shaft torque, and shaft axial load. The pump itself has a clear inlet section and a clear section allowing visualization of the second stage volute interior as well as numerous pressure taps along the second stage volute. This instrumentation is sufficient to completely characterize the pump. Design and construction details are provided as well as a history of the initial operating experiences and data collected. A discussion of lessons learned is given in the conclusions. Future projects intended to use this facility are also given. Finally, detailed design drawings are supplied as well as operating instructions and checklists.