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IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INDUSTRY APPLICATIONS, VOL. IA-22, NO.

1, JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1986

Starting Characteristics

of

Electric Submergible

133

Oil

Well Pumps
ROBERT L. HYDE AND THOMAS R. BRINNER, MEMBER, IEEE

Abstract-The electric submergible pump (ESP) consists of a centrifugal pump powered by a medium-voltage three-phase induction motor.
Being constrained to operate within common well casings, the ESP is
rather unique; for example, a 500-hp motor may be less than 6 in in
diameter and more than 100 ft long. As such, its mechanical rotational
behavior under starting conditions can be severe, and some actions
normally thought to attenuate the severity can actually amplify it. Both
analytic and experimental approaches to understanding the starting
incident and its effects are presented. A model was developed to predict
the electrical and mechanical conditions prevalent when starting with
various types of reduced-voltage fixed-frequency starters. These include
the solid-state soft starter, reduced-voltage starters using variable or
switched series impedances and stepped-voltage starters. Direct on-line
full-voltage starting was used as a base case. Model predictions for the
various starting methods were compared against tests measuring transient
speed, voltage, current, and torque. Test results indicate that some
starting techniques can produce unstable operation, i.e., torsional
vibration. In large horsepower ESP's shaft strength safety factor is
reduced due to space limitations and torsional vibrations must be
minimized to avoid breakage due to fatigue. Depending on the application, configuration of the ESP and adequacy of available power, good
motor starter design can be crucial to reliability. Finally, it is believed that
this work has direct applicability to the starting of many more common
large induction motors.

I. INTRODUCTION

E LECTRICAL submergible pumps (ESP's) must operate in
one of the harshest environments encountered by any
electrical equipment. Bottom-hole well conditions sometimes
reach 350°F and 5000 lbf/in2. The fluids pumped are often
abrasive because of sand pulled from the formation and may
be very corrosive, due not only to their natural properties but
also to the corrosive properties of chemicals intentionally
injected for enhanced recovery, such as carbon dioxide. In this
environment the life expectancy of the equipment is substantially less than that expected for common industrial equipment.
Because down-hole environments and the quality of available
electrical power varies so greatly, it is difficult to estimate the
expected run life in any one application; however, on a
worldwide basis the average expected life is one to two years.
Replacing a failed ESP requires a rig to pull the failed unit
from the well and to run a new unit into the well. Rig costs can
be the largest percentage of the total installation costs.
Additional costs include the price of the unit to be run and the
Paper PID 85-10, approved by the Petroleum and Chemical Industry
Committee of the IEEE Industry Applications Society for presentation at the
Petroleum and Chemical Industry Technical Conference, San Francisco, CA,
September 10-12, 1984. Manuscript released for publication March 20, 1985.
The authors are with TRW Reda Pump, Bartlesville, OK 74005-1181.
IEEE Log Number 8405371.

value of deferred production while the well was inoperative.
To minimize the latter expense, many oil companies have done
exhaustive studies to predict ESP lifetime so that a replacement unit will be readily available when the operating unit
fails. Other companies have taken a more direct approach to
extending ESP run life. By working very closely with the
manufacturers to identify failure mechanisms in the ESP
caused by particular well conditions and instituting corrective
designs, one company [1] has been able to extend the run life
of their equipment appreciably. Another company seeking to
increase ESP mean run life took a different approach. Because
most failures appeared to occur during starting, an experiment
was begun [2] to demonstrate that reduced voltage starting can
increase the total number of starts before failure. The reducedvoltage starting method chosen utilized voltage control with
two reverse-parallel SCR's in each leg of the motor. To be
generally consistent with accepted nomenclature, this unit will
be called a solid-state soft starter.
Results of this latter study are incomplete, but insulation
failures appear to have been reduced. A review of the four
stresses contributing to all insulation failures [3],
1)
2)
3)
4)

thermal
electrical
mechanical
environmental.

is helpful in understanding this result. Any connection
between environmental stress and reduced voltage is implausible since the major source of this stress is well fluid
ingression. Similarly, the motor thermal time constant is
several orders of magnitude longer than the starting period,
implying minimal increases in heat and thermal stress. Any
mechanical movement of the end turns would be minimal
because intercoil forces and coil spans are small. Intercoil
forces are readily calculated for typical ESP starting currents
by substituting magnetic flux calculated from the Biot-Savart
equation into the Lorentz law for forces. The best explanation
for reduced insulation failures seems to be reduced electrical
stress attributed to controlled voltage application during
starting and stopping.
Although prospects for an increased number of starts and
mean life were the original justifications for soft starters on
ESP's, other applications were soon to follow. Owing to the
remoteness of so many oil wells, it is sometimes difficult to
obtain adequate electrical power to start larger horsepower
units. Further, when power company flicker requirements are

0093-9994/86/0100-0133$01 .00 © 1986 IEEE

When the shaft breaks inside the motor. Practically. surprisingly. and other phenomena must provide the required damping reduction. incident. typically zero flow at reduced current. THEORETICAL CONSIDERATIONS Torsional vibration in rotating machinery is by no means a new problem. especially in higher horsepower units where the available shaft strength safety factor is reduced due to diametric constraints. Owing to the excessive shaft length to motor diameter ratio. motor friction and windage losses are substantially different than for an air gap machine. that part left connected to the pump generally stalls and the unloaded remainder free-wheels at nearly synchronous speed. starting kVA restrictions are imposed. In this range the slope of the torque versus speed curve is positive. are investigated for the various starting methods. The alternate twisting action is produced by energy being transferred between rotary kinetic and shaft deformation forms. Oscillation amplitude is primarily limited by shaft compliance nonlinearity at high stress levels. attributed to subsynchronous resonance caused by series capacitors in the transmission line. Design constraints dictate the maximum diameter of the shaft and for usual lengths. In one instance of measuring a 300hp motor. and in the relatively recent Mohave power plant III. 1. Two conditions must exist for critical speeds to be a problem in an ESP: perturbations of the correct frequency or speed and reduction in damping. the ESP typically starts in less than 0. broken shafts.355 kg * m2 (8. Damping in the pump is due to the properties of the fluid being pumped and consequently can vary greatly as fluid viscosity and specific gravity change. In an ESP with typical rotor and impeller diameters as indicated in Table I. Calculation of these speeds corresponded very closely with the rated running speed of the equipment. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1986 broadly applied to include the fast starting ESP. Because the motor is oil filled. and load. From diametric constraints the motor is usually twopole having rated running speed of 3450 r/min. The method assumes that all damping in the rotating system is absent and that periodic perturbations at critical speed induce torsional oscillations which grow in a positive exponential fashion. Conditions necessary for sustained torsional vibrations. The two phenollena are not independent since torsional vibration has the effect of reducing the failure point. because the unit is nornmally many thousands of feet in the ground. However. damping. a 300-hp unit might have a total rotary inertia J = 0. Coordinates and parameters were defined according to the mobility-electrical analog technique [7] in which current torque T - voltage angular velocity w . All other cases can be related to these two. Shaft breakage inside the pump reduces both produced head and motor load. NO. and the reduction continues until a pump-off or gaslock steady-state condition prevails. To the contrary. but the observed result is the same. supply current was overly restricted in some of the first installations and for fixed frequency operation rated speed was never reached. the oscillations consist of positive and then negative twisting of the shaft while it is rotating with some average angular velocity.3 s on reasonably stiff power systems. and the possibility of shaft damage due to fatigue is increased. By reducing ESP damping torsional vibrations are more pronounced. Initial research into this question produced a rather large multivariable ESP model as depicted in Fig. total rotary inertia. each rotating mass was assigned a speed relative to the stationary pump housing. Starting time normally relates to available accelerating torque. 1. Unfortunately. For completeness. Perturbations could also be caused by uneven pump loading as occurs prior to pump-off or gas-lock during the gas-slugging interval. a phenomenon which effectively offsets damping as illustrated later. notably reduced damping and sources of excitation. this was the first time that excessive shaft stress could be attributed to restricted starting kVA. The results presented here are similarly concerned with torsional phenomena in ESP's and its effects on bearing and shaft life. This last condition has the added effect of reducing damping. similar failures in ESP's are uneventful and initially difficult to detect. the bottom rotor turned one quarter revolution before the top rotor closest to the pump began to turn at all. the failure was quite awesome [51. Shaft damage results from applied torques approaching the yield rating or from simultaneous average and oscillatory torques approaching fatigue strength limits. Detuning of the ESP by simply changing the motor and pump configuration eliminated the problem. Shaft diameters and compliances are also tabulated in Table I. Although broken shafts have been witnessed before.134 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INDUSTRY APPLICATIONS. IA-22. The combination of this energy initially stored in the elastic shaft with subsequent rotational energy is one source of the torsional vibrations observed and reported in this work. and overload cases typically relate to the pumping of kill fluid or pump binding. An induction motor operated at values of slip greater than the slip required for maximum torque is in a statically unstable range. II. One apparently logical solution to this dilemma was to install soft-starters to restrict the amount of current drawn from the feeder line. quickly reaching excessively large values. even with high-strength materials. the failures were. ESP CHARACTERISTICS The starting characteristics of an ESP are very unique by comparison with standard industrial equipment.41 lb -ft2). The no-load limiting case relates to gas lock. In this work several case histories were reviewed in which repeated ESP shaft failures were encountered for a particular design. Most past attempts to explain shaft damage have been related to torsional vibrations and the existence of critical speeds in the ESP [41. these criteria do not exist during the starting period when most torsional failures occur. shaft windup is observed. When this occurred. Rotational perturbations can be caused by binding of the shaft at one particular point per revolution as might result when equipment is operated in deviated wells or when current unbalance conditions are sufficient to produce lateral vibration. Critical speeds at which torsional resonance occurs are readily calculated using the Holzer method available in any reasonable text on mechanical vibrations [6]. VOL.

NVN K34 K23 12 ND 4T 4J N33 N D D 2T _N w DX Dy D2 (a) KO WI223 CIDi I .04 1.18 1.00 1.93 3.21 2.01679 0.395 1.50 147. z .30187 0.3 10-3 10-4 10-4 10-4 10-5 9.023 2.05 3.87 1.02 4.23 0.02 4.17465 0.09 Inertia Diameter 0.00 4.984 1.377 1. N( N.25 17.26225 0.34 5.26 6.87 6.73 9.54 7.78 2.88 2.05 Pump Impeller Shaft Monel Compliance rad/ft2 lbf x x x x Steel Compliance rad/ft2 lbf 10-4 10-5 1O-5 1.00020 0.07728 0.96 7.18 1.02 9.75 0. (a) Physical representation. Right: pump.32 1. Left: motor.96 4. J 9iD9XDfJyt0J(b - (b) Ti 1 D1+ pJI 1 pK12 T3 0 pK12 D2 + PJ2 1 pK23 1 0 pK 23 D3 3 + pJ3 0 1 DX 0 1 0 0 pK 0 0 ID + y -J y 1 pK x 0 PJX + Dz (A) 1 PK + y yz pJ yz (c) Fig.63 2.11 0.65 8.08 10-5 Shaft Monel Compliance rad/ft2 lbf 1.50 68.56 1.02382 0.72 4.37 1.39 0.181 1.968 0.25 6.70 1.67 10-5 10-5 10-5 10-5 10-5 10 -4 10-4 10-4 10-4 10-4 10 -4 10-4 10 -5 10-5 10-5 10-5 x x x x x x x x x x x KUV Kvw Kwx Kx Ky J1~~~NIT~~ J2 J3 Ui 1)2 ~~~~D3 N. Left: motor.TbiD 1i 1D D J.43 6.47 9. (c) System equations.50 1.57 7.00417 0.33 6.63 1.4713 0.135 HYDE AND BRINNER: STARTING ELECTRIC SUBMERGIBLE OIL WELL PUMPS TABLE I ESP ROTOR AND IMPELLER PARAMETERS Motor Rotor Motor Series 375 456 540 738 Rotor Length (in) Rotor Diameter (in) Rotor Power hp @60 Hz Inertia (lb* in* s2) Diameter (in) Inside Diameter (in) 10 13 15 18 2. (b) Mobility electrical analog.0-1788 0.94 x x x x x x x x x x x 10-4 x x x x 10-5 10-5 10-6 Steel Compliance rad/ft2 lbf 10.87 3.00139 0.56 5. ESP system model.62 0.75 Pump Series Pump Type 338 400 450 540 562 650 675 862 950 1000 1125 A400 DN750 EN1450 GN2500 HN13000 IN10000 JN21000 M520 N1050 N1500 P2000 Load (hp/stage) Flow Impeller Diameter (in) (gal/min) 2. > 1 X>-4-~ JK IK i ': - K4 J D4 E WTe Ds IT.01230 0.68 (in) (lb-in-s2) 0.414 2. T .98 12 22 42 73 379 291 612 520 1050 1500 2000 3.00 601 Ns 1.69 4.96 11.40 58.38 0.66 2.00203 0.50 1.03242 0.05 1. Right: pump.62 0. 1.06783 0.804 3.25 0.38 3.33 1.12 5.04 4.5 5 10 20 0.

. but the results were difficult to interpret especially in regard to damping reduction and negative damping.136 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INDUSTRY APPLICATIONS. the two inertia motor and pump model in Fig. This technique. Therefore. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1986 conductance capacitance inductance - - damping D rotary inertia J compliance K = 1/stiffness. rotor. with p = d/dt. This procedure is consistent with an earlier comprehensive work [11] which calculated induction motor damping for a wide range of rotor hunting amplitudes and speeds. with the prolonged starting periods produced by weak power systems or various reduced-voltage starting methods. The value of the motor damping term is the negative speed derivative of motor torque. direction. system with two rotary D(361)3 =hp rating (6) and pump damping Dp = Dw. and i as voltage. NO. respectively. It is the nonlinear nature of the damping-hunting relationship which ultimately limits the magnitude of torsional vibrations. reduction in accuracy was minimal. i. motor damping is negative. and k denote direct axis. Accelerating torque Ta was taken as the difference between motor torque supplied and pump torque demanded Dw2. Turbulent flow friction and windage reduces available torque by a factor approximately (2) proportional to speed squared and independent of increasing temperature. reveals that the characteristic can be modeled by a constant torque (current) shunting a damping (conductance) component. the latter including the thrust bearing runner and pump impellers. STARTING PARAMETERS COMPARISON To compare the various aspects of ESP starting. was calculated using (4). one representing all motor rotors and the other all pump impellers. stator. 2(b).e. Rotating masses are either motor rotors producing torque or masses dissipating energy. r. Shaft damping could have a direct bearing on low cycle fatigue and shaft life. and friction and windage was included in the formula for motor torque T for turbulent oil flow in the gap. (5) where Dp was the pump damping. quadrature axis. X. 1.. Pump damping was computed from a speedsquared torque requirement assuming the pump required rated input power at motor rated speed. the instantaneous torque per rotor is 3 inertias.. IA-22. q. The stator is common to all rotors. VOL. 2(c' was substituted for the earlier model.e. The following quasi-sinusoidal approach provided better guidance. analogous to electrical-circuit nodal analysis requiring a voltage reference. Acceleration ceased when acceleration torque equaled zero. . Motor damping D. The equivalent analog representation of the model is shown in Fig. Subscripts d. Other researchers modeling steam turbine generators emphasize the importance of including coupling backlash [8] and shaft damping due to stress-strain hysteresis [9]. Self-inductance and resistance parameters Lrr and rr must be specified per rotor. and practical insight to the problem even though absolute accuracy was somewhat less. linearly increasing with speed. Ks was assLumed to be zero.. and mutual coupling between each rotor and stator depends on the angle 6k between them with Wk = dOk/dt. Taking v-. Fig. and net system damping was computed from . These equations dT (4) dw and for speeds less than maximum torque speed. similar to amplitude limitations in negative-resistance relaxation oscillators. 2(d). However. however. w = 361. 2(a). Fig. It was reasoned that a large value of shaft compliance Ks would effectively isolate the pump from the motor and prohibit the transfer of higher frequency vibrations. and rotor number. Damping calculated in (4) corresponds to the value at the inception of rotor hunting. neither of these features was included in the initial simulation. DM= Dn=Dm+Dv Following the procedure of [10]. or (3) after converting to dqO coordinates and referring rotor quantities to the stator. was especially well suited to ESP modeling because the pump housing becomes the obvious reference. i. Adding to the computational complexity of the system equations is determination of the torque produced by each motor rotor. s. ** Lsr(On) 0 Lrr lr2 Tk = {X qrk 2 idrk-Xdrk iqrk} _j were solved for a --( IV. A simple extension of the mobility analog applied to an induction motor torque-speed characteristic for small perturbations about chosen operating points. Motor torque and starting current were calculated using the conventional steady-state induction motor equivalent circuit. flux linkage and current vectors produced by the applied threephase voltages with Lsr(Gk) the mutual inductance per rotor then (1) Vs =pxs + rSis Vrl =PXrl + rrirl Vr2 =PXr2 + rrir2 Vrn = PXrn + rrirn X Lsr(Gi) Lsr(02) ss Lrr 0 Xrl Lsr(Ol) Xr2 L Lsr(02) O Lrr Xrn Lsr(Gn) 0 . The number of rotors n and the motor length are determined by dividing output horsepower required by hp/ rotor and multiplying by the rotor length.

and distribution feeder impedances. Ta The foregoing comparison parameters are plotted versus for a series resistance starter shown in Fig. In actuality the uwb. Further. (d) Equivalent analog. Typical cable impedance angles are less than 250.1 pu D About increments. and again the (b) 0. Zbase = rat appreciable ESP speed changes are possible because of low <3 Irated T OR<DJ. and damping are Impedance in series with the motor is the sum of cable. t= o Ta VI. (a) Torque-speed characteristic. (c) Two inertia ESP model. Both circuits discussed earlier acceleration available from employ closed transitions to DOL operation wherein power is Starting time was computed + Obviously. During this interval. and conse.4 pu or greater. currents that have can be difficult.voltage too little power reaches the motor for it to attain rated quently a truly stiff power source is not exceedingly common speed. it is prudent not to make the transition until net T=. but rated current is not attained either. never removed from the motor but simply increased when torque and total rotary inertia Jp. 5 for several values of pu voltage. thus permitting sustained torsional vibration. but some of the guidelines given may make not dropped to the rated value within 1-2 s should be cause for this easier. Timing and the type of transition to DOL operation can be crucial to successful utilization. and damping have slightly different waveforms than before. 4.4-pu transformer. An infinite bus was assumed to drive the motor through this series impedance. rated motor voltage was V. For resistances of 0.1 s. is in close agreement with test well Wb WUa where a reasonably stiff source is available. (c) voltage and current are nonsinusoidal. Aw Tb subsynchronous operation occurs with negative net system damping. shown in Fig. contactor R is closed. 3. Note that saturable reactor starting _/. In any regard this impedance must be (ACCELERATING TORQUE) (NET DAMPING) considered.J0tm mmr V w rmTnillm u IJp is somewhat akin to this method except that reactance is Wp TO WM m~Dm DP changed continuously. SWITCHED SERIES IMPEDANCE STARTING taken as the base.4-pu resistance start is extremely severe because steady-state or wa. As a basis for comparison.\T 0.HYDE AND BRINNER: STARTING ELECTRIC SUBMERGIBLE OIL WELL PUMPS 137 where Vrated and Irated are rated motor voltage and current. but sizes were tried to evaluate integration inaccuracy. Depending on the cable length and later shown Tot some degree of reduced voltage starting is produced gauge. Determining the amount of series impedance former as well as series impedance starters. as indicated by nearly rated current.4-pu reactance would create the most severe operating condition. Motor damping. Ta < O Tbj DmAW Ta > 0 starting current never drops to the rated value. Starting time. For autotransin the oil field. torque. Zero pu time Tb or direct-on-line (DOL) is included in this figure and starting 2fl N W 60 used elsewhere as a basis for comparison. (b) Mobility of the foregoing two cases. from an PUMP MOTOR initial high value to practically zero at running speed. d Dm -w Series reactance starting is illustrated in Fig. torque. the motor . analog. Current. AUTOTRANSFORMER STARTERS The integral was evaluated by Simpson's rule and various step Autotransformers dissipate less energy during starting. With 0. all series impedances concern. 2. and so as not to excite torsional Ta =J phenomena. fr7 ranging from a negligible effect for short cables to prohibiting starting altogether when a substantial length of cable overly Ta:a Tm Tp Dn a Dm* Dp restricts the current. This operation does impose a torque dw pulsation on the pump. 8. applied Wm impedance has a decided effect on motor starting as Cable J Ks D in Fig. are expressed in per unit (pu) of motor base impedance defined The main difficulty in applying autotransformer starters to as ESP's relates to the open transition between voltage levels (8) when power is completely removed.~~TalI D stops accelerating and runs at a subsynchronous speed while wa. = J J. For comparison purposes. Other experience (a) curves presented are for series resistance increased in 0. savings are inconsequential. AINA Dmn -IP . jd system damping is positive. by means of a control winding. and the current. (d) and starting characteristics would be a weighted combination Fig. because of the very short starting period. (7) -_ dco. approximately 0.

6(a). 3. Open transitions are normally required to avoid possible shorting and damage to the autotransformer windings. (b) Starting current. 2 9 2 2. SOLID-STATE SOFT STARTERS By incorporating back-to-back SCR's in each leg of the motor. 11. IA-22. 0 0 .5 1. it is possible to chop up the incoming . VII.0 TnME (s) 3pu z 0 TME (s) (c) (d) Fig. I1 pu 1. 1. (a) Basic circuit. Autotransformer and switched series impedance starters are explained in most books on motor control [12].138 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INDUSTRY APPLICATIONS. rotary inertia. SUBSYNCHRONOUS E z 2pu 7K SPEEDS 1. VOL. large torque and current pulsations often occur with destructive results. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1986 8 0 1pu 2PU Icr TIME (s) (b) (a) 2. Series resistance starting. particularly if the motor is still in the negative damping statically unstable region. (d) Net damping. 5 2. Thus when the next higher voltage is applied. Fig. (c) Accelerating torque. NO.

0 TIME (s) .4pu 0 z pu co 1.a 4z c: w .5 2. (a) Basic circuit. 6 are for sinusoidal voltage and current. Expansion of the damping scale should be compared to similar scales for the starting methods discussed are not . (c) Accelerating torque. w -j 2pu (. Cy----] R L' °-1 F _MMOTOR x IR M mu] x L30 (a) _s . applied voltage is regulated to maintain constant current. and consequently rated motor current is used for the base value in Figs. (c). 3pu ~~~~~.i1 pu 3- 2Pu 0 2. 4. . net system damping is negative throughout the start until the SCR's are gated full on. . Series reactance starting. effectively providing continuous control through variation of the gating angle [13]. (d) Net damping. For currents of 2. Results presented in Fig. and (d).0 (b) 1. Since current is ramped on during start and off during stop. 6(b). Typically. current and voltage transients are minimized.5 pu and greater. 3pu TIME (s) (c) E z z 3. except during the brief ramping periods.-L w z (d) Fig. 1pu w a- 01.5 1. In practice these curves quite so steep just prior to full speed operation due to maximum slewing rate limitations.139 HYDE AND BRINNER: STARTING ELECTRIC SUBMERGIBLE OIL WELL PUMPS x(pu) = xXactual ~~~Zbase L. 5 TIME (s) . (b) Starting current. voltage.

5 1. EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS The torque and speed oscillations which constitute torsional vibrations often occur at frequencies of once per revolution or higher and present an interesting measurement challenge.5 pu [2].8 pu were not sufficient to accelerate the motor to full speed. and thus the bearing configuration is improper for use in vertical shaft ESP's. Practical breakaway torque requirements suggest that current should never be regulated at less than 2. 5 1. but this can be easily sensed since motor voltage never approaches rated value either. it is difficult to ascertain precisely the 60-Hz input electrical power and the developed output torque. VIII. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1986 MOTOR (a) 1z Vrated =. (b) Starting current. 0 TIME (s) (c) . but even here it was emphasized that the motor manufacturer should be actively involved to ensure a successful application. but this is of little value in assessing starting performance. Benefits to using soft starters have been catalogued in the past [14]. the user must be cautious about how the current is measured. continuous operation at an extremely low speed producing cogging or at a critical speed is not recommended practice. being quite nonsinusoidal at angles approaching 1500. and since some degree of filtering is used the speed of response is often less than desired. and since both voltage and current waveforms are nonsinusoidal and vary with gating angle. IA-22. Notwithstanding. VARIABLE-SPEED DRIVE STARTING All the starting methods discussed thus far were fixedfrequency 60-Hz reduced-voltage starters. [16]. Transition to DOL operation is never made before the motor is up to speed at rated voltage.0 TIME (s) (b) . 5 t.5 1. but most drive manufacturers have designed controls to circumvent this problem. VOL. Still some operating ranges can induce instability [15]. Magnitude and frequency of the various harmonic components of vibration can be measured at constant speed with a spectrum analyzer. and the criterion of concern here is for full motor voltage to be reached in less than 2 s to avoid prolonged unstable operation.8 58 n1t / E 4pu -SUBSYNCHRONOUS SPEED I30 1. 0 2.5 pu exhibit two regions for which net damping is negative. and some of the test data presented later verify torsional oscillations for currents in this range. 5 8pu cr w 0 1.140 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INDUSTRY APPLICATIONS. drives control both frequency and voltage and as such always operate the motor at small slip values. By far the biggest problem is that available cells . (a) Basic circuit. to ensure that adequate current is available to start the motor. Currents held constant at less than 1.8 and 2. IX. 1. 0 0 z 3-1 (d) Fig. Therefore. (c) Accelerating torque. On the contrary. Available strain-gauge type torque cells employ either slip rings or rotating transformers to transfer strain gauge signals from the rotating shaft to the external processing electronics. Further. From the experimental data it appears that peak current was used for control in the unit tested. most torque cells are designed for horizontal shaft applications. In practice the current waveshape varies extensively with gating angle. NO. Values obtained from a true reading rms ammeter cannot be easily equated to a specific value of 60-Hz current into the motor.1pu w CC a: 58 pu 0 0 z U) 0 . Autotransformer starting. This is particularly true for ESP units larger than 200 hp where soft starters must be applied with caution to minimize torsional vibration and associated shaft fatigue. (d) Net damping. 1. earlier. Current levels between 1. 0 cc 0 H F cc w -J w 0 f- ' 58pu 5- \ 4pu 0 . 5. particularly for control purposes.

0 -" 1. water intrusion quickly renders the cell unusable. After numerous attempts to use off-theshelf instrumentation.5 1.a 0 o 1.5 IME (s) -4- 8 t2 0 TIME (s) 11. 5pu (c) (d) Fig. o . 8PU 2. Torque and speed measurements presented in the following torque. normally by lifting the strain gauge from the shaft. Counting the period between the pulses from one gear and inverting (dividing into one) produced a proportional speed signal.0 . figures were obtained from two gears mounted on opposite ends of a solid elastic shaft with position sensed by magnetic pickups. 6. 5 2. Solid-state soft starter. a totally different approach was taken. (d) Net damping. (c) Accelerating are not generally designed to be watertight. 4pu t 5 I EI zI 2ZE 2 --SPEED I : 2. 5F- 6 1. 0 spu a wI1.0 TIME (s) 2. (a) Basic circuit.5 0 (b) (a) 2. (b) Starting voltage. 0 SUBSYNCHRONOUS 2 I 8pu 1. and when mounted between the submerged motor and pump. but the pulsewidth had to be obtained between the . Torque was similarly measured by counting a pulsewidth.141 HYDE AND BRINNER: STARTING ELECTRIC SUBMERGIBLE OIL WELL PUMPS 1.

Starting DOL with 4000 ft of number 4 cable reduces peak two gears. 9. IA-22. stage r\ \A <J base case stiff source DOL start with neglible cable is The 322A---" ~~~CURRENT shown in Fig. A minor slowing in the pump speed is indicated around 1600 r/min indicating the interaction between electrical and mechanical system components. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 490 AN 1986 GENERATOR CURRENT MOTOR PEAK CURRENT Ljl&g 2 1:tt} . Starting DOL tooth gears were used in the first torque cell made. 10. SPEED 1600 RPM VOLTAGE SP 2194 RPM 195% FL CURRENT-3 TORQUE OSCILLATIONS Fig. to SPEED determine the time. 7. at 16. 8. a series 540 protector. Start with 4000-ft cable. Here starting time is approximately 100 ms. it is often easier to count the Fig. Two ten. but gear with a 150-kW diesel generator and no cable produces the runout caused an amplitude modulation of the pickup signals results shown in Fig.6 ms each. but measured peak current is higher than predicted by the steady-state induction motor equivalent circuit. A newer cell. which produced a small oscillation in the recorded torque signal. High source impedance start.same as DOL starting with a soft source. DOL start. The equipment tested was a 540 series 100-hp 960-V 66-A motor. 10. 3 is quite good. current and speed were recorded on an oscillograph along with the torque between motor and pump.142 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INDUSTRY APPLICATIONS. 7. 9. and a 36'OLTAGE = 980 VOLTAGE G220 pump. Time agreement with Fig. but because the starting event is so rapid.95 pu. These results are approximately the expected by linear deformation of an elastic shaft. Medium-speed soft start. Signals for motor voltage. NO. stiff and load impedance is increased due to the cable. 1. Fig. 67A FLC>Q TORQUE . Base case TORQUE I Fig. VOL. 8. Dividing this signal by the one gear tooth to tooth starting current to 4 pu and extends the starting period to 211 count produced a signal proportional to torque as would be ms as shown in Fig. which eliminates this runout problem. but peak starting current is slightly over 7 pu. Diesel generator start. has been fabricated. 11. The time scale was either 16 in/s or 8 in!/s. 1. This effect plus inrush current is largely responsible for the slightly higher current.LC = 67 AMPS GENERATOR VOLTAGE MOTOR VOLTAGE 980 VOLTS -VO 490fVOLTS 163% FLT 0 Fig. Only under faulted conditions in the field would higher 0 TORQUE be observed because there the power source is less currents Fig. number of voltage or current cycles.

5 pu. 36. permanent damage may occur due to subsynchronous Whether associated vibrational torques are injurious to the operation... M. than REFERENCES Starting times displayed in all these figures are noticeably [1] D. 6(d) occurs near the upper speed.. actual 60-Hz electrical power and the nonsinusoidal voltage [2] A.. 1536 RPM 1920 RPM GENERATOR CURRENT7 . Aug. N. New Orleans. Reversal 1) ESP applications larger than 200 hp should be carefully of net system damping polarity. corresponds rather favorably with the lower speed. 1984. 2) series impedance should never be too high or starting . A. MOTOR SPEED. Phys. New York: transitions should be attempted at less than 90 percent of Pitman. pp. PAS-94. 2. For series impedance and LA. several operating conditions should be set or moniequipment. by a 150-kW diesel generator." J. This fact tends to confirm of East Wilmington field: A 17-year review. autotransformer starters. "The mobility method of computing vibration of negative damping. IA-14. 119-127. H.. H. Traylor.- 0 TORQUE Fig. CONCLUSION cage induction motors. equipment is difficult to ascertain from the torque signal ACKNOWLEDGMENT because of runout oscillation and measurement at only one The authors wish to express their appreciation to the many point in the ESP. 2) presented in Fig. vol.. vol. pp. C. linear mechanical and acoustical systems: Mechanical-electrical analogies. "Submersible pumping Long Beach unit greater than predicted by Fig... Assuming that stiction is not a problem and that rated load is [4] T. T. who contributed Pump is time and are starting prohibited currents below 2. 653-656. M. Syst. E.1. Brinner. The first critical speed for this ESP damage. Appl." SPE-JPT.. illustrated in Fig. kiA AILA. tored to avoid severe shaft stress.5 pu 2 s. 13. Elementary Mechanical Vibrations.W ." SPE-JPT.5 Figs. B.55 pu. 1984. 36.. pp. vol. current levels if motor current is 1. H. 1982.143 HYDE AND BRINNER: STARTING ELECTRIC SUBMERGIBLE OIL WELL PUMPS 2194 RPM SPEED 1536 RPM MOTOR VOLTAGE MOTOR CURRENT GENERTO N . Results starting current should not be set less than 2. pp. However. clearly should be stopped immediately to avoid permanent approximately 2050 r/min. 12..42 and respectively. Firestone. 373-387. 1. 1975. 1. "Causes and prevention of vibration induced failures in submergible oilwell pumping applied. 6. and R. June 1938.4 pu or greater 2 s after starting. 1878-1889. Power 1) only closed transition types should be used and no App. "Analysis of winding failures in three-phase squirrel X.95.-MEA SURED TORQUE Fig. pp. Sept. 1948. Bowler. Low-speed soft start.. and all In 2. Meet. [5] D. R. paper SPE 11043. May-June 1978. Neely and M. Patterson. vol. [3] A. 11-13 were obtained with a soft starter regulating at pu. Stewart. and accounting for the frequency lowering effect of positive system damping. concerns expressed earlier about the discrepancy between 1321-1325. pp. N GENERATOR VOLTAGE ~~~~L | E . F. L. Walker.LOAD TORQUE. Apr.. the protector. Ind. voltage so low that initial starting current is less than 2. Soft starter with diesel generator power. [6] A. Allis and W. vol." presented at the AIME-SPE Annu." IEEE Trans. rated speed to avoid torque pulsations in regions of [7] F. 13 were obtained with a soft starter powered 3) if rated motor voltage is not reached in less than 2 s./Oct.. and current outputs of the soft starter. E. from positive to negative as planned to minimize shaft fatigue. field experience in the Engineering Department of TRW Reda individuals when starting ESP reliability tends to indicate improved less to this work. "Results of subsynchronous resonance test at Mohave. MTOR CURREN 'C-."~ -t~~~~~C 44P.. Church. was calculated at 1747 r/min. Jackson. Sept. Bonnett. of 1.. and R. "Soft start of submersible pumped oil wells." IEEE Trans. 3) are in the signal oscillations speed two disturbing these figures operation is indicated and the unit subsynchronous at the and r/min upper 1550 around lower the visible. this For soft starters. 223-226.55.42 pu. Capps. 9. J. pu. Appi.

degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1961. Rogers. Power Designs. "Stability analysis of a symmetrical induction machine. Mach. P. J. Bartlesville. Commencing in 1961 he was responsible for electronic designs of ac and dc power supplies and inverters at Sorenson Divi- sion of Raytheon. in 1963.. A.. NY. and at Nova he was Vice President and Chief Engineer responsible for their inverter and frequency changer products. and downhole instrumentation systems. . H. in 1949 and the M. particularly automated measurement of switching-times. "The effects of torsional elements [9] [10] [11] [121 [13] [14] [15] [16] on the transient performance of large induction motor drives. Krause. J. Power Mate and Nova." Dep. Oct. R. Straughen. NY. New York: PrenticeHall. Lorenzen.Sc. Upon graduation in 1963 he joined the IBM Corporation at Endicott. he was employed by Shell Oil and Shell Development Companies working in the areas of cathodic protection. "Controlled starting of ac induction motors. PAS-88. Urbana. 1980.S. New York: Wiley. W. and the D. Power Semiconductor Circuits. Varo. high-voltage underground distribution and laboratory instrumentation.S. Appl. Syst. E. 1710-1717. Univ. MO. degree from Syracuse University. designing thyristor power-conditioning equipment for subway cars. degree from Washington University. Brinner is a past chairman of the Ozark Section IEEE and is a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of Ohio.. 1983. Jan. degree from the University of Illinois. Since 1976 he has been with the Reda Pump Division of TRW. degree from The Ohio State University.E. Thomas R.S. NO. He was later associated with the General Electric Transportation Technology Center in Erie. Dewan and A. and 1973. Syracuse. Nov. OK. Robert L." Elec. vol. Eng. J." IEEE Trans. "Induction motor damping and synchronizing torques. 1952. Since 1981 he has been Manager of the Electrical Engineering Department of the TRW Reda Pump Division. Krause and C. pp." Brown Boveri Rev. Nov. 650-663. C. pp. IA-22. He currently holds four patents related to inverters.E.. Nov. W. 1969. Control of Electric Machines. Brinner (M'75) received the B. Jan.144 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INDUSTRY APPLICATIONS. Buckley. Nelson. H. 1038-1053.. 1. P. "Experimental determination of the variation in shaft damping with cyclic torque variations. pp. all in electrical engineering. Mykura. 1014-1018. Ind. Thomas. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1986 18] G. "Self-excited torsional vibrations of three-phase induction machines./Nov./ Dec. Audworth. Louis. R. From 1976 to 1981 he was an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Arkansas. VOL.E. S. Smith. Power App. Lambda Electronics Division of Veeco. and C. vol. pp. Dr. At Power Designs and Power Mate he held the position of Director of Engineering. Columbus. St. pp. 1969. 1973. vol. Starting in 1973 he was employed by Weston-Schlumberger specializing in the design of analog and inverter circuitry for military and nuclear applications. 5. 1975. motor protectors. 53-64. 1968. S.E. 364-366. Hyde received the B. For the period between his two degrees. pp. B. PAS-84. 1965./Feb." IEEE Trans. Colleran and W. W. vol. Electromech. "Simulation of symmetrical induction machinery. T. Lipo. the M.. and packaging high-speed digital circuits.. Power App. I." IEEE Trans. of Aberdeen. PA. 175-198. Kosow." AIEE Trans. C. C. Syst. pp.S. and P. Concordia. IA-19. designing electronic circuits to test computer components.