Predicting the Remaining Useful Life of Flow Meters During Erosive Flow Conditions

Case Study

Case Study

Sector Challenge

In hydrocarbon recovery, it is inevitable that sand will be present within the fluid passing through flow meters. Under such conditions, the meter’s internal components will be eroded away and critical parts may also be damaged. Significant repair costs are associated with such outcomes as well as the potential for invalid device measurements after a given period of exposure. It is not always possible to perform a visual inspection of devices installed in the field and even in cases where this is possible a physical intervention is required and end-users rely on subjective interpretations on the impact of erosion on meter performance.

How Can TÜV SÜD National Engineering Laboratory Help?

Erosion_graphWe have analysed our historical erosive flow datasets, which were initially obtained using our Erosion test facility. The study focussed on two differing brands of Coriolis meter and one turbine meter. The meters were exposed to the same erosive conditions, while diagnostic data was logged from the meter digital registers.

Our Digital Metrology team then applied advanced mathematical and statistical modelling techniques to the datasets, and in doing so, developed a tool which was capable of predicting the life expectancy of flow meters after exposure to sand erosion. Machine learning algorithms were then built to predict the level of sand concentration present within the fluid, based on the response of the meter’s digital outputs.

Sector Impact

By applying new modelling techniques to a dataset that until now had resided on a server, unopened for 5 years, we have extracted new information relating to the performance of the meters. We have provided a means of predicting flow meter life expectancy in harsh environments without the need for removing and inspecting the meter by hand. Furthermore, by analysing the correlations between diagnostic values, it is possible to determine the concentration of sand within a flow system essentially creating a sand-flow measurement meter. Such diagnostic tools are becoming ever more critical to production and metering operations where reduced downtime and overall costs are key focus for end-users.

Next Steps

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