Annular flow regimes in a novel down-hole gas liquid separator and pump connector
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Flow patterns were investigated in a novel dual-use pump connector and down-hole gas-liquid separator. The device was designed by Dr. Paul Bommer with The University of Texas at Austin and is currently on file with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. A detailed description of the pump connector is provided. This includes a discussion of the theory underlying its design and possible applications for its use. Two-phase annular flow occurs throughout this device. This flow has been well documented throughout the literature and is discussed in this report. Following this review are experimental results from testing performed at J.J. Pickle Research Campus at The University of Texas at Austin. Visual observation was used to characterize the upward gas-liquid flow in the prototype’s concentric annulus. The pump connector exhibited flow regimes consistent with those seen in literature in its vertical orientation. Additional flow regime maps were generated at 10, 20 and 45 degrees. Increasing the inclination up to 45 degrees delayed the onset of churn flow and appeared to improve the effectiveness of this device. This is the first study to investigate fluid flow in this apparatus. The results of this research will aid in a better understanding of the pump connector and assist in its improved design.