Liquid 'sloshing' inside separators and other process vessels on floating oil production facilities can cause serious operational constraints and unexpected loads on equipment if the analysis and designs are not appropriate.
Produced water treatment and oil and gas separation specialist, Opus, has recently completed a significant number of separator upgrades on floating production facilities in order to improve throughput and solve performance difficulties due to the motion of the sea.
The company has recently carried out a successful development project in collaboration with its business partner, engineering simulation technology and solutions provider CD-adapco.
The objective of the project was to corroborate and verify the results from Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Visual Dynamic Modeling (VDM), for studying the influence of motion on the fluids within a separator, operating on FPSOs.
An actual upgrade application for a 1st stage production separator on a North Sea FPSO was used as the subject. The troubleshooting and upgrade scope for the separator included VDM sloshing analysis.
Opus developed a mutual scope of work with CD-adapco to develop the best methodology to analyse the sloshing within the separator using CD-adapco's versatile STAR-CCM+ CFD software.
Comparisons were then made between results from the Visual Dynamic Modeling and the CFD analysis.
The project encompassed a 3D multi-phase CFD analysis of the separator at the same scale and geometry of the model separator so that direct comparisons could be made between the CFD and the VDM results through the creation of real time animations.
The pioneering nature of this project was to consider verification between two scaled models of the actual separator; with the objective of not only obtaining a good correlation between the motion behaviour of the liquid/gas interface, but also achieving correlation with the simulated liquid flowing through the separator concurrent with the real flow conditions in the actual vessel.
The extensive elements of the computational model provided challenges to an already complex problem solving exercise. However, with the combined knowledge and experience of Opus and CD-adapco personnel, these challenges were overcome.
The final results have provided an excellent correlation between the CFD and the VDM techniques, not only in terms of the interface tracking but also in terms of the flow field behaviour within the liquid pool.
Opus is a leading technology and solution provider to major companies in the oil industry, providing an integration of expertise, analytical facilities and technology to achieve enhanced throughput and environmental performance of production facilities.
For further information about Opus please call 01483 414 037or visit www.opusmaxim.com
Issued by Mackenzie PR on behalf of Opus Plus Ltd. For further information please contact Paul Beaton or Andrew Reid on (01224) 580 188 or email firstname.lastname@example.org