Research Papers: Petroleum Transport/Pipelines/Multiphase Flow

Design and Performance of Slug Damper

[+] Author and Article Information
Antonio Reinoso, Luis E. Gomez, Shoubo Wang, Ram S. Mohan, Ovadia Shoham

Tulsa University Separation Technology Projects (TUSTP), Petroleum Engineering Department, and Mechanical Engineering Department, The University of Tulsa, Tulsa, OK 74104

Gene Kouba

 Chevron Energy Technology Company, Houston, TX 77002

J. Energy Resour. Technol 130(4), 043002 (Nov 07, 2008) (12 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3000137 History: Received August 21, 2007; Revised September 21, 2008; Published November 07, 2008

This study investigates theoretically and experimentally the slug damper as a novel flow conditioning device, which can be used upstream of compact separation systems. In the experimental part, a 3 in. ID slug damper facility has been installed in an existing 2 in. diameter two-phase flow loop. This flow loop includes an upstream slug generator, a gas-liquid cylindrical cyclone (GLCC© , ©The University of Tulsa, 1994) attached to the slug damper downstream and a set of conductance probes for measuring the propagation of the dissipated slug along the damper. Over 200 experimental runs were conducted with artificially generated inlet slugs of 50 ft length (Ls/d=300) that were dumped into the loop upstream of the slug damper, varying the superficial liquid velocity between 0.5 ft/s and 2.5 ft/s and superficial gas velocity between 10 ft/s and 40 ft/s (in the 2 in. inlet pipe) and utilizing segmented orifice opening heights of 1 in., 1.5 in., 2 in., and 3 in. For each experimental run, the measured data included propagation of the liquid slug front in the damper, differential pressure across the segmented orifice, GLCC liquid level, GLCC outlet liquid flow, and static pressure in the GLCC. The data show that the slug damper/GLCC system is capable of dissipating long slugs, narrowing the range of liquid flow rate from the downstream GLCC. Also, the damper capacity to process large slugs is a strong function of the superficial gas velocity (and mixture velocity). The theoretical part includes the development of a mechanistic model for the prediction of the hydrodynamic flow behavior in the slug damper. The model enables the predictions of the outlet liquid flow rate and the available damping time, and in turn the prediction of the slug damper capacity. Comparison between the model predictions and the acquired data reveals an accuracy of ±30% with respect to the available damping time and outlet liquid flow rate. The developed model can be used for design of slug damper units.

Copyright © 2008 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Schematic of the GLCC© compact separator

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Figure 2

Schematic of the slug dissipation

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Figure 3

Schematic of the experimental facility

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Figure 4

Location of the conductance probes

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Figure 5

Slug propagation versus time (Run 1–2; vSL=0.5 ft/s, vSG=15 ft/s, OH=1 in., and MVC)

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Figure 6

GLCC liquid level versus time (Run 1–2; vSL=0.5 ft/s, vSG=15 ft/s, OH=1 in., and MVC)

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Figure 7

Orifice differential pressure versus time (Run 1–2; vSL=0.5 ft/s, vSG=15 ft/s, OH=1 in., and MVC)

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Figure 8

Outlet liquid flow rate versus time (Run 1–2; vSL=0.5 ft/s, vSG=15 ft/s, OH=1 in., and MVC)

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Figure 9

Overall experimental results for Run 2–22 (vSL=1.0 ft/s, vSG=20 ft/s, OH=1 in., and MVO)

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Figure 10

Slug damper model nomenclature

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Figure 11

Available damping time versus vM for different orifice openings

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Figure 12

Available damping time versus superficial gas velocity for vSL=1.6 ft/s

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Figure 13

Slug damper capacity versus mixture velocity

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Figure 14

Slug damper operational envelope for liquid carry over for 1.5 in. orifice height and middle valve closed

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Figure 15

Comparison between model predictions and experimental data for 1 in. orifice, MVC, and vSL=1.6 ft/s

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Figure 16

Slug propagation in damper and outlet liquid flow rate comparison between model and data (vSL=1.6 ft/s, vSG=30 ft/s, OH = 1 in., and MVC)

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Figure 17

Overall comparison for available damping time

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Figure 18

Overall comparison for outlet liquid flow rate

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Figure 19

Kouba model (4) comparison for vSG=0 ft/s

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Figure 20

Kouba model (4) comparison for vSL=1.6 ft/s




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