Development of self-heating pipeline pigging tool
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Paraffin deposition has been a long standing problem in pipeline flow assurance. The cooling of oil during transit in pipelines results in the deposition of paraffin onto pipeline walls. These depositions can lead to decreased throughput of the pipeline and decrease crack detection of smart pigs. Traditional methods of handling paraffin deposition include pushing wax down the line with pigging tools and solubilizing wax with heated oil. This paper investigates a novel method to address this issue: a self-heating pipeline pigging tool. This design utilizes a set of turbines driven by a by-pass flow through the pig. The turbines turn an inductive heating magnet array which heats the pig to reintroduce wax into the oil as the pig pushes the wax down the pipeline. The thesis work enclosed in this paper shows how we successfully designed and built a laboratory scale heater component of the pigging device. The turbine and inductive heating array were designed, built, and tested separately before coupled together. Efficiencies of 78% were achieved in the laboratory testing. Further work needs to be done to scale the heater to field scale and implement the heater into a working pigging device.