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Article
Publication date: 18 May 2018

Adriana Bonilla Riaño, Hugo Fernando Velasco Peña, Oscar Mauricio Hernandez Rodriguez and Antonio Carlos Bannwart

The purpose of this paper is to study planar sensor geometries for the measurement of film thickness in a viscous oil–water flow. The study is relevant due to there are…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study planar sensor geometries for the measurement of film thickness in a viscous oil–water flow. The study is relevant due to there are only a few measurement techniques for oil-water flow and these techniques involve oil with low viscosity (close to the water viscosity). Specifically, some techniques have been used in the studies of annular flow (gas–liquid and liquid–liquid flows), but applications in other flow patterns were not encountered.

Design/methodology/approach

Different sensor geometries were numerically simulated to compare their characteristics and choose the best to measure the water film thickness in the oil–water flow through an impedance-based technique. Finite element method was used for resolving the tridimensional electric field over each sensor. The compared characteristics were the penetration depth, the sensitivity, the minimum spatial resolution (high spatial resolution) and the quasi-linear curve.

Findings

The best geometry tested has a spatial resolution of 2 × 2 mm, a penetration depth of 700 µm and a quasi-linear response in the measuring range. This geometry was tested by means of conductance and capacitance static experiments. From these experiments, it could be determined that conductance and the capacitance systems are promising for measuring water film thickness in an oil–water flow.

Originality/value

Several measurement techniques such as micro-PIV, planar laser-induced fluorescence and planar conductive or capacitive sensors that are supposed to be adaptable to the liquid–liquid flow have been proposed recently. Micro-PIV and planar-induced fluorescence need transparent pipes and fluids. On the other hand, conductive or capacitive methods have been only applied to low viscosity fluids. In that context, this paper proposes to study a new technique for non-intrusive measurement of the liquid-liquid flow. The main goal is the validation of the new planar sensor as a reference tool for the development of instrumentation for oilfield application.

Details

Sensor Review, vol. 39 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0260-2288

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Article
Publication date: 16 March 2015

Adriana Bonilla Riaño, Antonio Carlos Bannwart and Oscar M.H. Rodriguez

The purpose of this paper is to study a multiphase-flow instrumentation for film thickness measurement, especially impedance-based, not only for gas–liquid flow but also…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study a multiphase-flow instrumentation for film thickness measurement, especially impedance-based, not only for gas–liquid flow but also for mixtures of immiscible and more viscous substances such as oil and water. Conductance and capacitive planar sensors were compared to select the most suitable option for oil – water dispersed flow.

Design/methodology/approach

A study of techniques for measurement of film thickness in oil – water pipe flow is presented. In the first part, some measurement techniques used for the investigation of multiphase flows are described, with their advantages and disadvantages. Next, examinations of conductive and capacitive techniques with planar sensors are presented.

Findings

Film thickness measurement techniques for oil–water flow are scanty in the literature. Some techniques have been used in studies of annular flow (gas–liquid and liquid–liquid flows), but applications in other flow patterns were not encountered. The methods based on conductive or capacitive measurements and planar sensor are promising solutions for measuring time-averaged film thicknesses in oil–water flows. A capacitive system may be more appropriate for oil–water flows.

Originality/value

This paper provides a review of film thickness measurements in pipes. There are many reviews on gas – liquid flow measurement but not many about liquid – liquid flow.

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