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Research Papers: Multiphase Flows

Influence of Gas-Liquid Two-Phase Intermittent Flow on Hydraulic Sand Dune Migration in Horizontal Pipelines

[+] Author and Article Information
Afshin Goharzadeh

Department of Mechanical Engineering, The Petroleum Institute, Abu Dhabi 2533, United Arab Emiratesagoharzadeh@pi.ac.ae

Peter Rodgers, Chokri Touati

Department of Mechanical Engineering, The Petroleum Institute, Abu Dhabi 2533, United Arab Emirates

Velocity ratio (ζ)=ratio of the average sand dune velocity to mixture velocity.

J. Fluids Eng 132(7), 071301 (Jun 29, 2010) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4001869 History: Received October 06, 2009; Revised May 18, 2010; Published June 29, 2010; Online June 29, 2010

This paper presents an experimental study of three-phase flows (air-water-sand) inside a horizontal pipe. The results obtained aim to enhance the fundamental understanding of sand transportation due to saltation in the presence of a gas-liquid two-phase intermittent flow. Sand dune pitch, length, height, and front velocity were measured using high-speed video photography. Four flow compositions with differing gas ratios, including hydraulic conveying, were assessed for sand transportation, having the same mixture velocity. For the test conditions under analysis, it was found that the gas ratio did not affect the average dune front velocity. However, for intermittent flows, the sand bed was transported further downstream relative to hydraulic conveying. It was also observed that the slug body significantly influences sand particle mobility. The physical mechanism of sand transportation was found to be discontinuous with intermittent flows. The sand dune local velocity (within the slug body) was measured to be three times higher than the averaged dune velocities, due to turbulent enhancement within the slug body.

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Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Mechanistic representation of gas-liquid two-phase intermittent flow

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Figure 2

Sand pattern formation inside a two-phase (liquid/solid) pipeline

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Figure 3

Experimental setup

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Figure 4

Multiphase flow loop air inlet details

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Figure 5

Measured versus predicted velocity distribution for single-phase flow (water, Re=6340)

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Figure 6

Measured conductance probe signals as a function of time. Note: V/Vmax=voltage ratio of Vmax, which is the maximum recorded voltage level corresponding to the slug body, and V, which is the instantaneous voltage, ts=slug phase duration, tf=film phase duration, Qg=3.5 lpm, and Qw=4.0 lpm.

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Figure 7

Comparison of the measured flow regimes for the current test facility with the reference data

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Figure 8

Comparison of the measured and predicted elongated bubble flow translational velocities for a fixed Qw=4.0 lpm

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Figure 9

Graphical illustration of the observed sand dune formation: (a) t∼5 min and (b) t∼25 min. Note: dimensions are not to scale.

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Figure 10

Evolution of sand dune formation for the single-phase flow: (a) t=0 min, (b) t=10 min, (c) t=20 min, and (d) t=45 min. Note: Image length in the flow direction is equal to 260 mm. Mean sand particle size and density are 230 μm and 2560 kg/m3, respectively.

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Figure 11

Elongated bubble flow induced sand transportation (Qg=3.5 lpm, Qw=4.0 lpm): (a) slug front (0 s), (b) slug body (0.75 s), and (c) slug tail (1.5 s). Note: Image length in the flow direction is equal to 260 mm. Mean sand particle size and density are 230 μm and 2560 kg/m3, respectively.

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Figure 12

Time evolution of measured sand dune: (a) average sand dune front velocity ratio (ζ); (b) geometry ratio (h/L)

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Figure 13

Sand dune velocity ratio versus geometry ratio

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Figure 14

Evolution of the sand dune pitch. Note: Pitch (P) is defined as the leading edge distance between two dune fronts.

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