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In a horizontal separator, where a low Gas to Oil Ratio (GOR) exists, the ZPV Inlet Device or "Rainmaker" can be installed on the inlet nozzle to eliminate the potential for droplet shatter and to distribute the fluids evenly. Although the ZPV Inlet Device is not a foam free device, it has been shown to be a very flexible unit for use in a crude stabilisation system, where foam reduction is not important, especially when supplied in conjunction with the appropriately designed baffle arrangements.

Advantages of the ZPV Inlet Device (Rainmaker):

  • Handles high throughput and inlet momentum
  • Reduces the momentum of the inlet stream, thus minimising the potential for droplet shatter
  • Reduces foaming problems
  • Provides a minimal pressure drop
  • No operational pressure limit
  • Reduces any turbulence and/or recirculation within the liquid section, thereby promoting gravity-separation
  • Enhances interface level control
  • Effectively handles slugs and surges
  • Wide operational range - typically, providing 100% turndown
  • Reduces the size of the inlet nozzle on a new build project
  • Allows a greater fluid throughput for a set nozzle size on a revamp project
  • Easy to install in new and existing separators
  • Multiple Inlet nozzles can easily be connected
  • No moving parts, thus no maintenance.

Applications of the ZPV Inlet Device:

  • Production Separators
  • Test Separators
  • Slug Catchers
  • Free Water Knock-Out Drums
  • 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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