Model based design of energy accumulators for control of subsea vessels

[+] Author and Article Information
Roberto Cipollone

University of L'Aquila, via Giovanni Gronchi18, L'Aquila 67100, Italy

Fabio Fatigati

University of L'Aquila, via Giovanni Gronchi18, L'Aquila 67100, Italy

Davide Di Battista

University of L'Aquila, via Giovanni Gronchi18, L'Aquila 67100, Italy

1Corresponding author.

ASME 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 for remote functions control, as in deep water drilling. In this sector, 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 for the design of the subsea rapid discharge accumulators was presented in this paper and compared with the API 16D Method C, which is the most important international standard concerning the accumulators sizing. The design done according to the regulation insures that the entire volume required by all the functions will be delivered at least at the minimum operating pressure of the last function. Nevertheless, intermediate actuations require also minimum pressure levels above which the actuating fluid should be kept: this requirement is mandatory to fulfill the actuation. The Direct Method presented is based on a fully mathematical model of the charging and discharging phases allowing the evaluation of the pressure inside the accumulators during all the actuations. Having based the design on the physical representation of the processes, the influence of the operating conditions is discussed as well as the combined effect of thermal uncertainties, which are generally unavoidable on site. A specific "failure plane" has been presented to put in evidence, in a sequence of three actuations, which one of them fails for a specific couple of data of subsea and surface temperatures.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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