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Research Papers: Design and Analysis

Model-Based Design of Energy Accumulators for Control of Subsea Wells

[+] Author and Article Information
Roberto Cipollone

Mem. ASME
Department of Industrial and Information
Engineering and Economics,
University of L'Aquila,
via Giovanni Gronchi18,
L'Aquila 67100, Italy
e-mail: roberto.cipollone@univaq.it

Fabio Fatigati

Mem. ASME
Department of Industrial and Information
Engineering and Economics,
University of L'Aquila,
via Giovanni Gronchi18,
L'Aquila 67100, Italy
e-mail: fabio.fatigati@univaq.it

Davide Di Battista

Mem. ASME
Department of Industrial and Information
Engineering and Economics,
University of L'Aquila,
via Giovanni Gronchi18,
L'Aquila 67100, Italy
e-mail: davide.dibattista@univaq.it

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Pressure Vessel and Piping Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF PRESSURE VESSEL TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received November 10, 2017; final manuscript received September 9, 2018; published online November 12, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Steve J. Hensel.

J. Pressure Vessel Technol 140(6), 061202 (Nov 12, 2018) (11 pages) Paper No: PVT-17-1227; doi: 10.1115/1.4041489 History: Received November 10, 2017; Revised September 09, 2018

Hydraulic accumulators are vessels charged with inert gas used to store pressurized fluid to actuate specific functions. In particular, they are widely used as controls for remote system such as in deep water drilling. In this application, they assume a fundamental importance because they are responsible of the actuation of the blowout preventer valves (BOP), which have to be intrinsically safe and reliable. A direct method (DM) for the design of the subsea rapid discharge accumulators is presented and compared with the API 16D Method C, which is the primary international standard concerning the accumulators sizing. The design must ensure that the entire functional volume required (FVRtot) by all the functions will be delivered at or above the minimum operating pressure (MOPi). The DM presented is based on a fully mathematical model of the charging and discharging phases, which evaluates the pressure inside the accumulators during all the actuations. The actuator design includes physical representation of the processes, the influence of the operating conditions, and the effect of thermal uncertainties. A specific “failure plane” has been demonstrated, in a sequence of three actuations, where failure at specific condition of subsea and surface temperatures may occur.

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References

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Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

0-State: The accumulators are filled only with propelling gas and they are still on the rig. The initial pressure of the gas defines the precharge state P0j and the temperature is the rig temperature Tsurf.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

1-State: The accumulators have been submerged and charged with the control fluid

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

ith actual state: The thermodynamic state of the gas once the ith actuation has been performed. After the accumulators were sited on the BOP stack, specific sequences of fluids (FVRi) are extracted and used for specific actuations. The remaining liquid and gas rearrange to a unique thermodynamic state in terms of pressure. After each liquid extraction, the pressure must keep a pressure level above a specific value (MOPi).

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Accumulators predicted by DM and API 16-D for sequence 1 (Table 1). Being the number of accumulators multiple than one, in the figure, the number of accumulators are represented in a discontinuous way.

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Fig. 5

Actual pressure trend in the accumulators Pai for the ith function (sequence 1) after its FVRi discharge for DM design (a) and API 16 D (b)

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Fig. 6

Volume of propelling gas (a) and actuating fluid (b) stored in the accumulators after charge phase (before the actuations) varying precharge pressure. Being the number of accumulators multiple than one, in Fig. 6, the volume of the propelling gas and working fluid change in a discontinuous way.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Volumetric efficiency varying the precharge pressure. Being the number of accumulators multiple than one, in the figure, the volumetric efficiency is represented in a discontinuous way.

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Fig. 8

Accumulators predicted by DM and API 16 D for sequence 2. Being the number of accumulators multiple than one, in the figure, the number of accumulators is represented in a discontinuous way.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Actual pressure trend in the accumulators Pai for the i-th function of sequence 2 (Table 2) after its FVRi discharge for DM design (a) and API 16 D (b)

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Fig. 10

Accumulators predicted by DM and API 16-D for sequence 1 choosing as MOP the operating pressure of first function

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Fig. 11

Map of failures due to the surface and subsea temperature combined uncertainties (%). Region A: fulfillment of the three actuations; Region B: failure of the second actuation; Region C: failure of the three actuations; Region D: failure of the second and third actuation; Region E: failure of the third actuation.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 12

Decrease (%) of volume of control fluid delivered by the accumulators for the first function (a), second function (b) and third function (c)

Tables

Errata

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