Experimental investigations of two-phase flow measurement using ultrasonic sensors

Doctoral thesis English OPEN
Abbagoni, Baba Musa (2016)
  • Publisher: Cranfield University
  • Subject: Continuous wave ultrasound doppler | Pulse-wave ultrasound | Hilbert-Huang transform | Neural network

This thesis presents the investigations conducted in the use of ultrasonic technology to measure two-phase flow in both horizontal and vertical pipe flows which is important for the petroleum industry. However, there are still key challenges to measure parameters of the multiphase flow accurately. Four methods of ultrasonic technologies were explored. The Hilbert-Huang transform (HHT) was first applied to the ultrasound signals of air-water flow on horizontal flow for measurement of the parameters of the two- phase slug flow. The use of the HHT technique is sensitive enough to detect the hydrodynamics of the slug flow. The results of the experiments are compared with correlations in the literature and are in good agreement. Next, experimental data of air-water two-phase flow under slug, elongated bubble, stratified-wavy and stratified flow regimes were used to develop an objective flow regime classification of two-phase flow using the ultrasonic Doppler sensor and artificial neural network (ANN). The classifications using the power spectral density (PSD) and discrete wavelet transform (DWT) features have accuracies of 87% and 95.6% respectively. This is considerably more promising as it uses non-invasive and non-radioactive sensors. Moreover, ultrasonic pulse wave transducers with centre frequencies of 1MHz and 7.5MHz were used to measure two-phase flow both in horizontal and vertical flow pipes. The liquid level measurement was compared with the conductivity probes technique and agreed qualitatively. However, in the vertical with a gas volume fraction (GVF) higher than 20%, the ultrasound signals were attenuated. Furthermore, gas-liquid and oil-water two-phase flow rates in a vertical upward flow were measured using a combination of an ultrasound Doppler sensor and gamma densitometer. The results showed that the flow gas and liquid flow rates measured are within ±10% for low void fraction tests, water-cut measurements are within ±10%, densities within ±5%, and void fractions within ±10%. These findings are good results for a relatively fast flowing multiphase flow.
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