Numerical predictions of sand erosion in a choke valve
Two-phase turbulent flow of crude oil and sand in a choke valve is analysed in the present article using 3D computational fluid dynamics simulations. The discrete phase mathematical model is used to simulate the sand flow and its interaction with the oil flow in the system. Parametric study is done to identify the governing parameters to minimize the sand erosion in the system. The valve geometry and dimensions are taken from an industrial oil production project. The parameter considered in the present study are the percentage valve opening, flow rate of the sand and the pressure difference between the inlet and outlet pipes. The simulation results are presented to show the erosion rate variation with the valve opening, sand flow rate and the pressure difference. It is found that the erosion rate is high for small valve opening as well as large valve opening. Minimum erosion rate is found when the valve opening is between 20-30% for all the cases with various pressure differences. Locations of maximum erosion rate are predicted in the simulations.
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