Design of a Simulation System for Qualification of Subsea Equipment

Photo of Isaac Gonzalez, Ryan Henderson, Abhay Jain Students: Isaac Gonzalez, Ryan Henderson, Abhay Jain

Sponsor: FMC Technologies

Date: Fall 2011

Requirements:
The system is required to control the temperature and flow rate of the surrounding water and also the temperature and flow rate of the oil/gas composition running through the component being tested. The temperature of the tank water must be adjustable down to 37°F. The flowrate within the tank must be adjustable from 0 to 1 ft/s. The fluid velocity running through each component was specified from a typical well production rate. The temperature of the fluid composition will be maintained at 350°F.

Problem:
FMC Technologies has requested that the team develop a simulation tank that enables full-scale testing for large subsea completions equipment. A simulation tank and corresponding system should accurately mimic subsea environments in the Gulf of Mexico as well as provide means for data acquisition (DAQ) for component analysis.

Solution:
An iterative process using computational fluid dynamics software was implemented to produce a tank design. After specifying the tank, two systems for controlling the simulation were created. Using a pump and heat transfer element on both cycles, an effective system was created to control the temperatures and flow rates. The proposed design concept will yield a payback after first use.

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