Multiphase flows are complex and unpredictable however they have a significant bearing on the safety, costs and revenues of many processes – particularly in oil and gas, but also in aerospace, chemicals and other sectors.
Process tomography is a powerful tool in visualising multi-phase flows and ITS has more than 10 years experience of applying its technology to see inside process pipelines, enabling engineers to better understand complex flow regimes.
These include visualisation of slug / stratified / annular and other flow regimes in all pipe orientations – vertical, horizontal and inclined.
Capacitance sensor arrays can be used for non-conducting (air / oil-continuous) flows; whilst resistance sensors provide information on aqueous based systems. Combining the two modalities allows measurements to be taken across a wide range of flow regimes.
ITS has developed simple sensors for use in laboratories and flow loops. Pipe diameters from 7.5mm up to 1.2m have been installed at customer facilities. In addition, ATEX rated, high pressure / high temperature sensors have been deployed to provide real time information on complex flow regimes under production conditions.
Recent developments in resistance tomography instrumentation has also led to new instrumentation which can take data with highly conductive process water.
In addition to measuring flow regimes, tomography sensors can also provide information on the pipe conditions, for example measuring the build up of wax deposits.