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In order to enhance the flow distribution downstream of the inlet processing zone (typically made up of an optimised inlet device and a distribution baffle) and to minimise the effects of any vessel motion and/or liquid surface waves, Perforated Calming Baffles can be utilised. These baffles calm the liquid flow, and maximise the efficiency of the liquid/liquid separation.

In most designs, the baffle will occupy the whole cross-sectional area of the vessel. This gives it an extremely important role in improving the gas distribution through the separator, helping to minimise mal-distribution effects on the downstream demisting equipment and maximising the efficiency of the gas/liquid separation process.

Perforated Calming Baffles can be used in all separation processes and are particularly suitable for application in separators on Floating Production Units (FPUs).

Separators on FPUs are subjected to oscillatory motions and accelerations which cause surface waves and sloshing of the liquid phases inside the process vessels. Pitch motions are the most serious and, unless countered, cause longitudinal sloshing in the separator which can lead to mixing, overflow of the weirs, and mechanical damage to the internals. Perforated Calming Baffles are used within the separator to divide the flow regions into linked sections, introducing damping and reducing the amplitude of any surface waves.

However, Perforated Calming Baffles are not recommended for dirty duties, due to the chance of fouling and blockage. In this situation, it is strongly recommended that our proprietary ZVB® Calming Baffle should be employed.

Advantages of Perforated Calming Baffles:

  • Distribute and calm the fluids
  • Handle slugs and surges
  • Enhance interface level control
  • Provide minimal pressure drop
  • Enhance gas distribution on any downstream equipment
  • Reduce or eliminate re-entrainment from the liquid surface
  • Increase gas / liquid separation efficiency
  • Enhance liquid distribution on downstream equipment
  • Reduce turbulence and re-circulation within the liquid section, promoting gravity separation
  • Increase liquid / liquid separation efficiency
  • Wide operational range - typically, providing 100% turndown
  • Easy to install in both new and existing separators
  • No moving parts so no maintenance (for clean duties)
  • Reduce surface waves and sloshing effects.

Applications of Perforated Calming Baffles:

  • Production Separators
  • Test Separators
  • Slug Catchers
  • Flash Drums
  • Produced Water Degassers
  • Enhanced Oil Recovery Systems
  • Floating Production Units (FPUs).

 

Case Studies

Slug Catcher Flow Assurance

Gas production systems may operate in the "slug flow" multiphase regime in which large volumes of liquid are interspersed with the gas. Under these conditions, the arrival of the liquid slugs can be detrimental to separation performance and the mechanical stress levels are greatly increased. In the example shown below, Zeta-pdm was asked to analyse the failure of a slug catcher vessel. Inspection showed that the slugs had caused mechanical failure of the separation internals. Subsequently, a simulation study yielded a vastly improved understanding of the flow behaviour, enabling Zeta-pdm to recommend internals better able to withstand severe operating conditions.

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