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Oil & Gas Downstream Processing

gas burnerANSYS FEA and CFD simulation software> has been used extensively in the design and engineering of the Oil & Gas equipment. A number of SimuTech customers are using ANSYS FEA and CFD software for Oil & Gas downstream processing projects.

SimuTech has completed many consulting projects directly associated with the downstream processing for Oil & Gas.

In addition to simulation software and services, SimuTech is a leader in vibration diagnostics to the Oil & Gas industry.


Combustion
Combustion/Reaction Modeling

Design ElementChallengesSimulation Benefits
Mixing
  • Mixing is a basic unit operation in chemical and hydrocarbon processing
  • Yet it is very complex and there are many parameters affecting “good mixing”
  • Selection of the right vessel geometry, type and related internals (shafts, baffles, coils, etc.)
  • Operating condition, selection of feed location, impeller speed, scale up
  • Blending, reacting and suspending of multi-component and multi-phase material
  • Optimizing yield, reduce power input and process time
  • Detailed results offer better understanding of mixing in single and multiphase flows (including heat and mass transfer)
  • Perform blending, mixing and residence time calculations
  • Optimize vessel geometry and select the right internals, sparger, dip tube and feed location, impeller speed
  • Calculate forces on impellers
  • Perform steady state or dynamic stress and thermal analysis
Particulate Flows
  • Create more final products through particulate formation
  • Control particle size and thus final product quality
  • Design of catalytic particulate (controlling particle attrition)
  • Design of efficient particle separation, classification and collection equipment
  • Fines capture and removal
  • Particle entrainment (environmental concerns)
  • Fluidization and fluidized bed reactors
  • Gasification of biomass and coal particles
  • Gas-solid hydrodynamics that provides insight into particle residence time, particle concentration, erosion, and separation
  • Heat and mass transfer studies involving homogenous and heterogeneous reactions
  • Effect of internals, including short-circuiting, flow distribution
  • Design and optimization of separators, filters, and other solid handling devices
  • Novel reactor design and scale up studies
Sloshing Separator Tank Design
  • Increased requirements in overboard water discharge
  • Continued interest in designing smaller and more efficient separator (size and weight concerns)
  • Increase range of operability
  • Account for wave induced motion of FPSO and offshore platforms
  • Estimate the hydrodynamic forces caused by sloshing in 6 degrees of freedom
  • Evaluate damping and performance of internals such as baffles and coalescers
  • Optimize the shape and location of inlets and outlets, and performance of any upstream gas –separators
  • Design for fatigue and structural stresses on vessel (pressure vessel codes), the supports and the internals
Liquid-Liquid Separator Tank Design
  • Increased need for highly polished discharged products
  • Design for performance, weight, operating cost, reliability across a range throughput
  • Complex flows including coalescence, and breakup, multi-phases
  • Structural integrity and reliability
  • Account of multiphase flow and its behavior in different parts of the separator
  • Include effect of particle size distribution, coalescence and breakup using population balance  
  • Optimize design and placement of internals including baffles, pores and packed sections, and size and location of inlets and outlets
  • Provide insight for design of separator sections including sizing, pressure drop analysis and overall performance
Hydrocyclones
  • Design separators to operate at wider cut ranges
  • De-oiling water and dewatering oil at much higher rates
  • Performance highly sensitive to
    • Geometrical shape and vortex core stability
    • Concentrations and droplet size
  • Design inlet configuration and geometry for high angular velocity
  • Evaluate separation efficiency for different oil to water and water to oil mixtures
  • Optimize placement of vortex finder
  • Develop multi-stage or collection of separators
Cyclones
  • Increased sand and particulate in many production lines
  • Separator design for possible downhole application
  • Continuous need for improvement in collection efficiency and increase throughput
  • Wide range of applicability and the associated need to design separators to operate for a broad range of particle sizes
  • Scale up and/or connecting in a series
  • Optimize inlet design to reduce erosion, increase efficiency and find the range of device’s usability
  • Geometry and design optimization for various particle loading in 2 phase and 3 phase applications
  • Relevant to many applications and any separator shapes, accounting for
    • particles mass, diameter, loading,
    • flow characteristics, pressure drop,
    • welding and structural stress, fabrication, erosion
    • performance in stages or in an assembly
Valves, Chocks, Regulators
  • Design products that work reliably at harsh environments and for complex applications
  • Concerns about, erosion, cavitation, throughput, leakage, pressure drop, dynamic response, flow uniformity
  • Thermal and structural stresses
  • Controls and electronic devices, sensors sometimes used with these devices
  • Manufacturing processes and cost
  • Applicable to design, analysis,  production and operation of these types of devices
  • Ability to engineer the entire system using full range of multi-physics capabilities
  • Understand structural and thermal stresses to increase reliability and safety
  • Predict erosion spots and design to reduce its impact
  • Design to minimize cavitation
  • Improve pressure drop and the range of the equipment operability
  • Accelerate design by performing parametric and design optimization
Heat Exchangers
  • Heat exchanger efficiency
  • Avoid fouling, maldistribution
  • Sizing and type selection
  • Thermal and structural design
  • Fabrication and manufacturing practices
  • Design to code using ASME pressure vessel tools and analysis
  • Retrofit exciting devices for process improvement and efficiency
  • Look at flow and heat transfer to design around dead or hot spots
  • Design tubes, baffles and heat exchangers geometry to meet overall process objectives
Induced Gas Flotation (IGF) System
  • Major design challenge because of high level of separation in a single cell vertical column induced gas floatation (IGF) system
  • Tightened regulations and heightened concerns about produced water has resulted in requirements to purify water to less than 20 parts per million of total oil content
  • Develop and inject fine gas bubbles (100 to 500 microns)  into the vessel with contaminated water.
  • Save weight and space on offshore platforms.
  • Generally time consuming and expensive to perform conventional physical testing
  • Simulate existing standard eductors used in gas flotation devices  to understand why they do not work for this purpose
  • Help design experiments to validate the concerns
  • Design new gas distributor and perform detailed studies to observe their effectiveness
  • Account of multiphase flow and its behavior in different part of the IGF
  • Reduce prototyping and product development by better understanding of problem areas
  • Sample client case:  New injector and baffling system created well distributed gas bubbles and eliminated undesired recirculation zones
Combustion Systems: Flares
  • Control flame shape and flare performance for different fuel and wind velocity
  • Avoid back mixing and flame blow out
  • Design flare support system and placement
  • Reduce maintenance cost
  • Optimize flare design, shape and burner internals
  • Compare performance of different arrangements and best placement
  • Perform radiation and heat transfer studies from the flame
  • Learn about thermal and structural stresses
Burners/Combustors
  • Burner performance
  • Back mixing and burner design
  • Pollution and NOx reduction
  • Fatigue and creep from thermal stresses
  • Flame shape, instability and interaction
  • Burner design and performance for various fuels
  • Help in developing low and ultra-low NOx burners
  • Predict temperature and NOx, with varying fuel, load and swirl
  • Predict thermal loads and stresses for different designs
  • Burner spacing, orientation and resulting thermal performance of the system
Erosion in a Pipe-Reduction
  • Piping changes are necessary
  • Erosion in elbow and/or reduction areas can lead to material depletion and leaks
  • An estimate of life for given piping and evaluation of extend of wear are required
  • Erosion can accelerate after pitting occurs
  • Erosion impact can be calculated as a function of
    • Angle of impingement
    • Impact velocity
    • Particle diameter
    • Particle mass
    • Collision frequency between particles and solid walls
    • Material type (FEA) modelling can find erosion rates for field conditions for equipment lifetime
  • Eroded material is removed leading to better material thickness predictions
Erosion
  • Higher flow rates, increased solid concentration in eroding equipment
  • Substantial costly maintenance and shutdown costs
  • Quite common in many aspects  of oil and gas processing
  • Can find erosion rates for field conditions for equipment lifetime
  • Optimization of production, operation, inspection and maintenance
  • Maximum erosion in complex flows and geometries can be predicted to within a factor of 2-3
Erosion in Filters/Screens
  • Many operations include sand particles
  • Screens and other filtration devices routinely are subjected to erosion
  • Use filters to separate particles of different size
  • Design characteristics of the screen and filters
  • Observe build up of larger particles and effectiveness of the screen design
  • Gain better understanding of particle build up and particle accumulation
  • Predict erosion and schedule appropriate operation and maintenance