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The primary role of Distribution Devices in a separator is to distribute the fluids efficiently and evenly across the vessel cross-sectional area within the inlet processing zone, producing a homogeneous distribution in order to maximise phase separation in the gravity-settling zone.

Calming Devices are used to improve the flow distribution downstream of the inlet processing zone, to calm the gas/liquid interface during slugging and to reduce the effects of any wave motion at the free surface, especially when located on Floating Production Units (FPUs).

Zeta-pdm Ltd supplies a wide range of Distribution and Calming Devices and fully understands the importance of the appropriate selection and design of these systems and their effect on overall separation performance. When coupled with the correct type of inlet device and any other separation internals, this optimised arrangement can be relied upon to enhance the overall performance of the separator. In turn, this will lead to a reduction in both the Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) and the Operating Expenditure (OPEX).

Advantages of Distribution/Calming Devices

Distribution and calming devices are installed in both horizontal and vertical separators to:

  • Distribute and calm the fluids
  • Handle slugs and surges
  • Enhance interface level control
  • Enhance gas distribution on any downstream equipment
  • Increase gas / liquid separation efficiency
  • Enhance liquid distribution onto any downstream equipment
  • Increase liquid / liquid separation efficiency
  • Reduce surface waves and sloshing effects.

Case Studies

Upstream Piping

The upstream piping (or isometrics) will always dictate the condition of the flow entering the vessel. Special care should therefore be taken when designing the piping in a gas production system to minimize the risk of maldistribution and avoid the droplet shatter that could reduce the performance of the downstream separation internals. By modelling the isometrics with CFD, maldistribution can be reduced and the size of any droplets entering the separator can be predicted. This is useful for troubleshooting existing vessels and optimising the design of the process internals.

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