Local multiphase flow characteristics of a severe-service control valve

Dharminder Singh, Aliyu Aliyu, Matthew Charlton, Rakesh Mishra, Taimoor Asim, Antonio Oliveira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

For safety-critical industrial applications, severe-service valves are often used, and the conditions during operations can be either single phase or multiphase. The design requirements for valves handling multiphase flows can be very different to the single-phase flow and depend on the flow regime within valves. The variation in flow conditions during the operation of such valves can have a significant effect on performance, particularly in oil and gas applications where multiphase behaviour can rapidly change within the valve causing unwanted flow conditions. Current practices in designing and sizing such valves are based solely on global phase properties such as pressure drop of the bulk fluid across the valve and overall phase ratio. These do not take into account local flow conditions, as with multiphase fluids, the flow behaviour across the valve becomes more complex. In this work, a well-validated computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model is used to locally and globally quantify the performance characteristics of a severe service valve handling multiphase gas and liquid flow. Such flows are frequently encountered in process equipment found in vital energy industries e.g. process and oil & gas. The CFD model was globally validated with benchmark experiments. Two valve opening positions of 60% and 100% were considered each with 5, 10, and 15% inlet air volume fractions to simulate real life conditions. The results show that while the non-uniformity in pressure field is along expected lines, there is severe non-uniformity in the local air, water and void fraction distributions within the valve trim. To quantify the phase non-uniformities observed, an equation for the distribution parameter was defined and used to calculate its value in each localised quarter within the trim. Phase velocity and void fraction data extracted from the CFD results were also used to obtain relationships for the local void fraction distribution and flow coefficient. The detailed investigation that has been carried out allows for local flow characteristics to be determined and embedded in sizing methodology for severe-service control valve systems with multiphase gas and liquid flow.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107557
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Petroleum Science and Engineering
Volume195
Early online date5 Jul 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Jul 2020

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