TÜV SÜD National Engineering Laboratory is pleased to be currently helping the University of Glasgow advance its research on multiphase flow. To enable the research team to carry out their testing, TÜV SÜD modified the advanced multiphase facility (AMF) to fit their requirements. The result was a unique setup which hasn’t been carried out anywhere else in the world.
The University of Glasgow contacted TÜV SÜD to ask for our help with a multiphase flow research project being funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). Professor Gioia Falcone (Rankine Chair, Head of Energy and Sustainability Research Group) explained that they are carrying out experimental research on multiphase flow in relation to an EPSRC-funded project looking at MUltiphase Flow-induced Fluid-flexible structure InteractioN in Subsea applications (MUFFINS). The main aim is to look at how the flow inside the pipe is reacting to the movement induced in the pipe itself. The extensive length of pipe required for the project provided a challenge which required some creative thinking from TÜV SÜD.
The AMF is a high-pressure, high-flow rate three-phase fluid flow facility with an unparalleled performance envelope. The facility was designed to meet the current and future needs of the energy flow measurement industry. However, this project shows the flexibility of the facility and how our team do their best to meet clients’ requirements outside of standard setups. By working closely with the University of Glasgow, we were able to make modifications to accommodate them in our AMF. The result was a unique setup which hasn’t been created anywhere else in the world.
As TÜV SÜD came up with a solution to the non-standard setup required by the MUFFINS project, the University of Glasgow has been able to successfully carry out its tests.
They have been able to plan out the test points that they wanted to examine. By using advanced computer modelling techniques, they could pick the different flow rates to best give the vibrations that they’re looking for within the pipes.
The experimental setup involved a very long, flexible riser which is unique as it hasn’t been done so far anywhere else in the world. Gioia gave further details saying: “We’re flowing a two-phase flow system through the pipe from the bottom to the top. We have observation windows to inspect the flow and we are also monitoring the movement of the pipe as the flow is going through it. We have instrumentation all the way from the bottom to the top. We have an acquisition system which has been set up in a bespoke fashion in order to capture all the important data.”
Dr Graeme Hunt, Research Associate at the University of Glasgow considers the testing to have gone “very, very well”. They've gone through a number of test points so far which have produced very different results. There has been little to no movement in the places they expected little to no movement. However, they recorded fairly vigorous motion of the pipe under high energy conditions.
Graeme went on to praise the TÜV SÜD facilities and staff: “Working here at the National Engineering Laboratory has been an extremely positive experience. I find the staff here to be extremely helpful and understanding. There have been times when test points have not worked as well as we might have hoped. In which case we’ve had to change values of flow velocities or water values on the fly. The technicians and other staff have been extremely helpful and understanding in facilitating our needs.”
Colin Lightbody, Principal Consultant for TÜV SÜD said, “This project has been a fantastic indicator of how the facility can be modified to meet the needs of other industry and academic sectors. If you have a flow or flow measurement project, please get in touch with our team and we’ll be more than happy to assist with your research.”
Find out more about our advanced multiphase facility and our flow measurement services. If you're interested in improving your flow measurement knowledge, take a look at our flow measurement training courses.
We’re pleased to share that the research was published in March 2024 in the Journal of Fluids and Structures titled: "An experimental investigation into the effect two-phase flow induced vibrations have on a J-shaped flexible pipe”.
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