CFD Simulation and Experimental Testing of Multiphase Flow Inside the MVP Electrical Submersible Pump



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The MVP is a special type of Electrical Submersible Pumps (ESPs) manufactured by Baker Hughes, model no. G470, and is capable of handling multiphase flow up to 70% Gas Volume Fraction (GVF). Flows at high GVF cause conventional ESPs to surge. However, the special design of the impeller blades of the MVP ESP enables it to handle higher GVF. Dynamic behavior of the multiphase flow is studied experimentally and theoretically for this pump for the first time. In this work, a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulation of an entire pump and detailed experimental analysis are performed. Meshing and CFD simulations are performed using the commercially available software ANSYS Fluent. An experimental facility has been designed and constructed to test the pump at different operating conditions. The pump is modeled and tested at two speeds; 3300 and 3600 rpm, using air-water mixtures with GVFs of 0, 5, 10, 25, 32 and 35%. The flow loop is controlled to produce different suction pressures up to 300psi. Pump pressure head is used to validate the CFD model for both single and two phase flows. Single phase CFD model was validated at 100 psi inlet pressure, while two phase models were validated at 200 psi inlet pressure. CFD simulations can predict the behavior of the pump at different speeds, flow rates, GVFs, and inlet pressures. Different diffuser designs are studied and simulated to improve the multistage pump performance. Enhanced diffuser designs increased the pump pressure head to up to 3.2%.