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Copyright Material IEEE
Paper No. PCIC - xxxxxxxxxxx

Thomas Brinner, PhD, PE Robert McCoy Trevor Kopecky

Life Member, IEEE Member, IEEE Non-member
PM&D Engineering, Inc Borets Weatherford Borets Weatherford
P. O. Box 285 1600 N Garnett Rd 1600 N Garnett Rd
Broken Arrow, OK 74013 Tulsa, OK 74116 Tulsa, OK 74116
USA USA USA bert.mccoy

Abstract - Most hydrocarbon production using submersible but with a 63% efficient pump the motor would have to be
pumps requires the pumping of fluid that is 95% water or 175-hp. These numbers are for 3500-r/min operation.
higher. Energy used to produce salt water is wasted, and Centrifugal pumps running on 2-pole, 60-Hz motors have
disposal is expensive. Electricity costs are significant and been the standard. At lower speeds pump head is greatly
system efficiency is a major concern. In this application reduced. To compensate many more pump stages would be
induction motors are less efficient than permanent magnet required making the pump excessively long. Further, at 4-
motors. Laboratory tests measured efficiency, power factor, pole or 6-pole speed the torque required would be much
kilowatts, current and speed at various loads and frequencies. higher. Designing and building higher pole-number induction
Field-tests measured input power and flow, using the same motors in a small diameter is extremely challenging. Except
pump for both systems with negligible well drawdown. On for possible stalling, the centrifugal pump only requires
average the permanent magnet motor used 20% less power maximum torque at maximum speed.
than the induction motor. Historically the 2-pole, 3-phase induction motor (IM) has
been the machine of choice for these applications. Ambient
Index Terms -- Oil well electric submersible pumps, electric well temperatures can often reach 250 F. The induction
submersible pumps, ESP, permanent magnet motors, gas motor usually only has two failure modes, bearings or stator
production, water flood, gas-well dewatering. windings. Consequently it is a very rugged machine.
However, designing and building a small diameter induction
I. INTRODUCTION motor to meet the horsepower requirements in an ESP
application required major deviations from normal NEMA
The electric submersible pump (ESP) used for oil- or gas- motor designs. To comfortably fit inside common oil-well
well production is a very unique product. Head and flow casings the industry has mostly settled on outside diameters
requirements dictate a horsepower rating commonly between of 3.75””, 4.56”” or 5.62”” for the motor. Laminations for such
50 and 500. To obtain that kind of power near the bottom of a motors are more typical of NEMA fractional-horsepower
well medium-voltages, typically 1000 to 3000, are used to motors. Achieving the necessary horsepower means
permit power cables of a reasonable gauge. Obviously the designing a very long motor [2].
motor and pump must have small diameters to fit inside an oil Rotor length was a major consideration. Achieving an
well. The motor is normally oil-filled to prevent well fluid optimum length, given common manufacturing tolerances,
intrusion by equalizing inside pressure with that of the imposed a limit due to magnetic side-pull that caused rotor-
surrounding wellbore. This oil is also electrically insulating [1]. stator interference. The result was a concatenated multi-rotor
Multi-stage centrifugal pumps are required to move the design with bearings between adjacent rotors.
amount of fluid essential for production. For fluid specific Stator design had to choose between open and closed slots.
gravity = 1, hydraulic horsepower Generally the closed slot proved easier to manufacture and
more reliable. The stator lamination stack had to be equal in
HHP = (H x Q)/3960 (1) length to the multi-rotor assembly. Sometimes non-steel
laminations were inserted opposite rotor bearings. Because
where H is head in feet and Q is flow in gallons per minute, the slots were closed, manual needle winding was the only
gpm. However, oil-field operations measure flow in barrels possible alternative. To accommodate additional motor
per day (B/D), and an oil barrel is 42 gallons. Thus sections or tandems, windings start at the motor top and end
at the bottom. Thus each phase has one half-turn extra.
B/D = 34.3 x gpm. (2) Because each rotor added an equal, incremental amount of
horsepower to the motor, it was possible to use a per-unit
A typical example might be the pumping of water from 5000-ft equivalent circuit to represent all horsepower ratings in a
at 3000-B/D. The required HHP would be approximately 110, given frame size [3]. For any given horsepower multiple

voltage ratings are possible depending on the turns per demagnetization. Combining such a drive with a PMM, the
phase. This can be accounted for by multiplying base torque produced by the motor is nearly proportional to the
impedance, calculated from the voltage and current ratings of current. For production of wells with appreciable gas a torque
the motor, by the per-unit values to obtain the parameters in control automatically speeds-up the pump to compress the
Fig. 1. gas and avoid a gas-lock condition.
Today the ESP industry has no specified temperature-rise The central issue in this paper is comparison of the
rating standard for motors. The temperature of produced efficiencies and operating costs of small diameter ESP
fluids varies widely from field to field and well to well. Higher induction and permanent magnet motors. Motor equivalent
horsepower and current ratings are possible in cold wells, and circuits are used to explain various loss factors in the motors.
this has led the industry to adopt temperature dependent Laboratory tests were run to confirm performance curves with
ratings. This complicates calculation of a base impedance. 60- or 120-Hz power provide by ASDs and step-up
A shaft capable of supplying the needed pump torque had to transformers, cf. Figs. 4, 10 and 11. These data were used to
be small enough to fit inside the rotor laminations. Obviously explain variations in efficiency, power factor and current for
that shaft had to be long enough to extend through all the the three ESP motors and a common NEMA design motor.
motor rotors. Practical shaft design pushed the torque rating Additional tests were run at various speeds with 5000-ft of
limits and incurred significant flexibility and wind-up. Coupling cable and a dynamometer load on the motors. The
this with the rotary inertias of the rotors and pump stages, dynamometer was adjusted to simulate centrifugal pump
torsional vibrations could be produced under certain performance in a low drawdown well. Finally, field-testing
circumstances. procedures and measurements are presented, and field data
Initially all ESP operation was direct-on-line (DOL), i.e. a are used to compare ESP IM and ESP PMM system
suitably rated, three-phase contactor started and stopped the performance in an actual low-drawdown well.
ESP. Because of the small rotor diameter and resulting low
inertia, typical ESP starting times were less than half a II. EQUIVALENT CIRCUITS
second. However, for high horsepower ESPs DOL starting
produced significant inrush current and voltage sag on the Although an ESP motor has multiple rotors and stator
power system. Frequently the power utility would impose windings that extend the length of the motor, the impedance
inrush current restrictions, and solid-state soft-starters of winding segments opposite rotor bearings can be included
(variable voltage constant frequency) were often installed to in the stator resistance and leakage reactance [2]. Thus the
meet those restrictions. Over zealous operators, thinking familiar induction motor equivalent circuit, Fig. 1, is still
longer starts were better, caused the breakage of motor shafts applicable.
between tandem motor sections, not at the maximum torque For most of the past century one motor design (IM5) has
location between motor and pump. Speed hunting and dominated the industry, and components for it have now been
torsional vibrations were attributed to the negative damping manufactured oversea for 25 years. Since components are
characteristic of an induction motor at slips greater than readily available, barriers to entry into this industry are very
breakdown-torque slip [4,5]. low.
The major problems with DOL starting were changing well Before the advent of temperature-dependent motor ratings,
productivity and operation of the pump outside its best winding temperature-rise (TR) ratings were firmly established
efficiency range. With fixed frequency operation the pump and per-unit equivalent circuits had been determined. Each
was incapable of compensating for this change. motor had specified ratings for horsepower, voltage and
Adjustable speed drive (ASD) operation of ESPs was current, and base-impedance could be easily calculated.
introduced in the late 1970’’s, and this allowed pumping at Values for all parameters are presented in Table I.
speeds that better produced the well and kept the pump within A 456 series, 240-hp motor of this design rated 5-hp per
its best efficiency range. Outside that range electric costs rotor was used for the field tests. In the 60-Hz performance
changed little, but the reduction in fluid produced was curves that follow, values were calculated using this
unacceptable. Further, the ASD solved the problem of equivalent circuit and labeled as ESP IM5.
reducing inrush current during starting while still maintaining By present motor design standards this design had several
the induction motor in the low-slip, positive-damping speed deficiencies. Stator lamination teeth did not have parallel
range. Today ASD operation is commonplace. sides, probably to make needle winding easier. The rotor had
With the advent of permanent magnets capable of 16 round bars. For an 18 slot stator 16 is a poor choice for
withstanding the temperatures inside an oil well, the the rotor. Modern design would use an 18 to 23 or similar odd
synchronous permanent-magnet motor (PMM) has become a stator slot to rotor bar combination. Although round bar stock
viable power source for ESPs. Four magnets are embedded is readily available, contemporary design would use either
and constrained inside each rotor. An IM rotor has copper coffin or teardrop shaped bars. Such a new design rated at
bars and end rings. Except for this and the PMM being 4-pole 10-hp per rotor and labeled ESP IM10 is presented in the
there is no physical difference between the motors. following performance curves.
Equipment operating in oil-well environments must be able Losses are commonly catalogued as follows:
2 2
to handle temperature, pressure and corrosives. Because of Copper loss = 3(I1 R1+I2 R2)
these constraints, it has not been feasible to design control Iron loss = 3Vm /Rfe
and power electronics inside an ESP motor. With all Friction and windage, FW
electronics on the surface the only alternative for powering the Stray load.
PMM has been a sensorless drive control. Additionally, a By definition stray load is the difference between total loss
current source drive is preferred to protect against and the sum of copper, iron and FW losses. FW losses are

Series TR F R1 X1 R2 X2 Rfe Xm FW/hpr
375 40 0.046 0.080 0.053 0.095 84.71 1.414 88.7
456 50 0.036 0.069 0.049 0.104 122.82 1.842 69.6
540 60 0.029 0.067 0.047 0.113 154.15 1.980 46.1
738 70 0.022 0.073 0.042 0.094 174.23 2.064 122.1

unique to ESP motors because the motor is oil filled. It has an winding temperature should stay below the rating of the
““oil gap”” instead of an air gap, and FW losses are a significant insulation, normally class H, 180 C.
consideration. NEMA motors typically have a 40 C winding temperature-
rise. As mentioned above, there is no standard temperature
I1 R1 jX1 Vm jX2 R2 I2 rise for ESP motors. Possibly a standard is not feasible
because different types of oil are used; however, because no
Im standard exists customers are unable to compare products.
Vph/n Nonetheless, FW losses for either an ESP IM or ESP PMM
R2(1-s) should be the same for equal pressures, temperatures, rotor
Rfe jXm
s diameters and speeds.
A brushless PM motor can be operated on 3-phase sine
wave power like a synchronous AC motor or be fed
Fig. 1 –– Per Phase Induction Motor Equivalent Circuit rectangular voltages where two phases are conducting and
the third is open during sequential 60 electrical degree
The nature of oil flow in the gap has an effect on FW losses, intervals, one-sixth of a cycle. An IEEE-IAS design procedure
Fig. 2. At low temperature that flow is laminar and the losses stated, ““It is convenient to use the rated controller link current
are quite high. At high temperatures the flow is turbulent and Is as the base current. The current Is - - is switched
the losses are considerably less. The IEEE recommended sequentially to two phases in series. During the time two
practice for induction motors having liquid in the magnetic gap phases are conducting, the voltage induced in them is
[6] does not adequately address this issue. essentially constant. - - Es is the induced voltage in the two
phases in series, Is is the approximately constant current and
35 Vs is the average voltage applied to the terminals [7].”” Rs, Ll
and Lm are the winding resistance, leakage inductance and
magnetizing inductance of two phases in series. The
30 equivalent circuit for such a rectangular––fed PM Motor is
illustrated in Fig. 3.
25 Is Rs Ll Lm
Watts per inch

Vs Es

Fig. 3 –– Equivalent Circuit for Rectangular-Fed PM Motor

5 One possible drive source for this motor is shown in Fig. 4.

The input converter and chopper regulate the bus current Is.
A bus inductor and freewheeling diode (FWD) insure current
0 continuity. Current control is advisable to insure that faults in
125 150 175 200 225 250 275 300 the system do not produce large currents resulting in
Fluid Temperature (Degrees F) demagnetization.
The inverter section must provide brushless sensorless
Laminar Turbulent power to the remotely operated PMM. As mentioned above,
Transition Down Transition Up incorporating rotor position sensing or electronics inside the
motor is quite infeasible.
Fig. 2 –– FW Loss at 3000 r/min, 456 Series Motor
III. LABORATORY TESTS –– 60 and 120 Hz
This phenomenon has led to ““temperature dependent motor
ratings.”” If the well fluid surrounding the motor is reasonably Parameters in the Fig. 1 equivalent circuit are normally
cool, higher torque, current and temperature-rise ratings are determined by locked-rotor and no-load tests. The locked
acceptable. The motor actually runs more efficiently at the rotor test requires a variable voltage source to raise the
higher temperatures because FW losses are less. Obviously current up to rated value. For most NEMA motors the voltage

Is or FW becomes a larger percentage of the mechanical power
ESP cable 100
and PM 95

% Efficiency
Control motor
Fig. 4 –– Current Source Rectangular Feed Drrive, 6-Step
to current ratio is nearly constant, i.e. the imppedance is linear. 75
However, ESP IMs have closed stator slots, and at low 70
voltage the impedance is very high. The imp pedance does not 65
become linear until the bridges between stator lamination
teeth saturate. The ESP PMM also ha as closed stator
lamination slots, but in operation the flux provided by the 25 50 75 100 125 150
magnets saturates the bridges. % Rated
d Load
No-load tests measure magnetizing inducctance and core- IM10 PMM NEMA IM5
loss resistance. To minimize the influence of FW the rated
voltage test can be performed with no oil in tthe motor and ball omparison
Fig. 5 –– Efficiency Co
With regular bearings and oil filled, FW b becomes a major The IM10 compared had impro oved lamination designs.
loss factor in the motor. Power measureme ents are taken as Obviously its peak efficiency is at ap
pproximately 65% of rated
the applied voltage is reduced from rated d down to motor load. This motor was rerated to 10 hp/rotor for competitive
stalling. Power in the stator windings is subtracted from these reasons and because at 100% loa ad its efficiency was still
measurements, and the result is extrapolate ed to zero voltage greater than the IM5.
for determination of FW [8]. Unfortuna ately attempts to Variations of input currents versus load are displayed in Fig.
simulate actual oil-well temperatures and d pressures and 6. As a percentage of full-load currrent, the NEMA and ESP
measure FW are problematic and extremely d dangerous. PMM motors behave almost identica ally. At 150% of rated load
Additional tests required the use of a dynamometer to apply the ESP PMM draws more current than the ESP IM. This is
various loads to the motor. A saturation tesst measures input attributed to FW, because the PMM is running at synchronous
current at rated load and frequency as voltag ge is varied about speed, 3600 r/min, but the IM is runnning at only 3350 r/min.
the rated value. At fixed frequency and constant voltage, On the other end of the curve the ESP IM has much higher
performance tests measure efficiency, kW W, current, power current due to relatively smaller mag gnetizing reactance. This
factor and speed as the load is varied. Moto or output power is is not a problem with the ESP PM MM because the magnets
measured with the dynamometer. An average motor provide the flux. In the much larger diameter NEMA motor
temperature is determined from measurem ment of the stator magnetizing reactance is much grea ater relative to the winding
winding resistance at short intervals imme ediately after the resistance and leakage reactance than it is in the ESP IM.
motor is stopped. These data are extrapolated back to the
stopping instant. Because copper wire chan nges resistance in 175
proportion to temperature and knowing th he initial ambient
temperature and resistance, an average vvalue of running 150
% Rated Current

temperature can be calculated.

A comparison of various performance pa arameters for the 125
IM10, PMM, IM5 and a common 200-hp, class B, 460-V,
444TS frame induction motor (NEMA) are presented below. 100
Of vital importance is motor efficiency, m mechanical output
shaft power divided by input electrical power. Higher 75
efficiencies mean the same work is being g done with less
electrical energy. Efficiencies are compared in Fig. 5. 50
The NEMA motor compared had a m much larger rotor
diameter and was running in air. The latter m makes FW losses
substantially less. Of the three ESP, oil-fille ed motors the two 25 50 75 100 125 150
IMs had lower efficiency because of copper a and iron losses in % Rate
ed Load
the rotor. Since a PMM has no rotor copper,, those losses are IM10 PMM NEMA IM5
zero. Turning at precisely synchronous sspeed only minor
fluctuations in flux occur, and these produce minimal rotor iron
loss. Fig. 6 –– Input Current versus
v Load
At light loads efficiency drops off for both the IMs and the At no-load input current relative to rated current is 24.8% for
PMM. This is attributed to the oil-filled facttor. Shaft output the NEMA motor and 43% for the IM10. For the PMM it is
power of an ESP motor must divide betwe een FW and the only 16.9%. However, for the IM M5 it was 52%. It was
mechanical load. Thus as the mechanical lo oad is decreased, mentioned earlier that the IM5 was s a very old design. This

high no-load current was attributed to magn netic saturation in where N = speed in r/min and s = slip.
s This is important for
both stator and rotor teeth and in the rotor yoke. Rotor flux comparison with the field tests, bec
cause pump speeds must
must also pass through the shaft. C
Consequently the be identical.
magnetizing inductance is relatively lower. B Because current is In the laboratory it was possible to measure input 460 V
often used for detection of gas-lock and pum mp-off conditions, power to the ASD, input power to the motor and motor shaft
the greater range of input currents with an E ESP PMM makes power. Equipment efficiency, labe eled Equip in Fig. 8, was
accurate detection easier for these two underr-load conditions. determined from the first two po ower measurements and
At 150% rated it was noted that current in nto the PMM was included the combined efficiencies of
o the drive, filter, step-up
higher than currents into IM10 and IM5. Thiss was attributed to transformer and cable. This equipm ment is illustrated in Figs.
speed cubed change in FW. The PMM wass running at 3600 10 and 11. Motor efficiency was ca alculated from the last two
r/min while the IM10 and IM5 were running ne ear 3300. measurements.
The major effect of low magnetizing inducttance for the ESP 95
IM is a dramatic decrease in power factor a at reduced loads,
Fig. 7. This decrease in power factor in ndicates that, by
definition, motor current has become much m more reactive. As 90

% Efficiency
a result for the same light loads, the current into the two IMs is
much greater than for the PMM, i.e. much higher kVAr is 85
required. This is a problem if the electric utility charges a
penalty for low power factor.
Reduced power factor at higher loads for the PMM is 80
surmised to result from the increased voltage e drop across the
leakage and magnetizing inductances.
2300 2700 3100 0 3500 3900
90 Speed (rr/min)
Power Factor (%)

80 PMM Equip IM10 Equip PMM IM10

70 Fig. 8 –– Equipment and Motor Efficie

encies at Various Speeds
Total efficiency is the product of
o equipment and motor
50 efficiencies, Fig. 9.

25 50 75 100 125 150
% Rated Load 80
% Efficiency


Fig. 7 –– Power Factor versus Lo
oad 70



Data presented to this point have only beeen for the motors 60
themselves running on 60-Hz power (120-Hzz for 4-pole PMM) 2300 2700 310
00 3500 3900
with variable load. An IM5 was not availab ble for these tests Speed (rr/min)
preventing a direct comparison with equipment in the field
test. However, a more efficient IM10 was substituted in an PMM System IM10 System
effort to identify system losses.
For centrifugal pumps head varies as spe eed squared and m Efficiency
Fig. 9 –– Total System
flow directly with speed, thus the motor load
d varies as speed
cubed, cf. equation (1). A pump running att half rated speed Finally, it is noted in passing thhat required pump torque
would only require one eighth rated power and one quarter increases as the square of the spe eed and a motor sized for
rated torque. Given these pump affinity law ws and having an rated output around 3600 r/min will be overloaded at higher
ASD to set the speed, dynamometer torque e was adjusted to speeds. To avoid severe overloading common ESP industry
change with speed squared. The reference e point was rated practice is to restrict the speed too +10% and -20% about
torque at 3600 r/min. 3600. This provides more than adequate flow range to
Drives for ESP IM applications are nearrly always in the produce nearly any well due to the variable speed
constant torque (constant V/f) mode that kkeeps breakdown characteristics of centrifugal pumps.
torque nearly constant over the frequency rannge. For the two-
pole ESP IM frequency for a given speed N iss: IV. FIELD TE
Table II lists the identical equipme
ent that was used for both
f = N/[60(1-s)] (3)

ESP cable 6000’’ #4 AWG Lead Flat
Lower Motor Seal 400 Series
Upper Motor Seal 400 Series
Intake section 400 Series Bolt-on intake
Pump 285 stage 400-3000
Flow measurement Liquid turbine flow meter
Pressure measurement Wellhead pressure gauge
Input power measurement Industrial grade power analyzer
Output power measurement Industrial grade power analyzer
Output (step-up) transformer 520 kVA, VFD, connected delta-wye
Input (step-down) transformers 3-100kVA,12470/480, connected wye-delta
Input disconnect 400 A, 600 V
Output junction box Medium-voltage rated
Test well High productivity minimal draw-down
Pump intake pressure measurement

IM5 and PMM field testing. It was felt necessary to have as 21.6-kV
much common equipment as possible to conduct an unbiased Cutout Meter ASD Filter Cable
field test. Box and
Voltage ESP
If the same pump was used for both tests, it should be run Source IM5
at the same speed for both tests. Because IM speed is 480-V
slightly less than synchronous speed due to the slip factor,
eqn. 3, the ESP IM5 system should be run at a slightly higher Fig. 10 –– ESP IM Equipment Configuration and
frequency to compensate. Instrumentation
The most reasonable approach appeared to be adjusting
the frequency to have identical flow rates at the wellhead with 21.6-kV
Cutout Meter ASD
constant wellhead pressure. However, from experience Box
Filter and
turbine flow meters can be erratic due to entrained gas in the Current
produced fluid. Pump intake pressure was more easily PMM
480-V Source
regulated, because the fluid at the intake is under
considerable pressure eliminating any gas breakout. Fig. 11 –– ESP PMM Equipment Configuration and
Maintaining constant pressure across the pump ensures Instrumentation
constant flow. Still flow meters are needed to measure the
cumulative quantity of fluid produced, and this averages out Test system differences were as follows:
between the two systems. • IM5 - 456 series, 240 hp, 2x1295 V, 59 A motor
When pulse-width modulated (PWM) drives were first used
• Filter between drive and step-up transformer
with ESP systems serious current oscillations were
• PWM - 117mm, 266 hp, 2466 V, 62 A motor. This
encountered that quickly destroyed the drives. This was
rating is for 3600 r/min operation.
particularly true for systems with cable longer than 5000 feet
[9,10]. Analysis indicated that step-up transformer leakage • 250 kVA input harmonic filter
inductance resonated with cable input capacitance, and this • Current Source Drive
series resonant circuit was easily excited by the harmonic-rich Data collection involved the use of telemetry to continuously
output of a PWM drive. Since then low-pass filters have been monitor parameters and display them via a website. Data
designed and installed between the drive output and the included flow, intake pressure, power quality, kW, volts and
transformer to convert voltage source PWM waveforms into amps. The well was produced at similar stabilized production
sine waves before being stepped up. This is one feature the rates to ensure test accuracy. With each system, tests were
ESP IM5 system had that was different. The ESP IM5 system run at various identical speeds for several days. From the
electrical configuration and instrumentation are shown in the instantaneous data collected, average and cumulative data
Fig. 10 diagram. were calculated. Between system change-outs, the pump
Input power harmonics were felt to be a problem with was laboratory tested per API standard [11] to check for any
operation of the ESP PMM system in current mode. An input performance deterioration. The net result is shown in Fig. 13.
filter was installed between the input 460-V, 3-phase power Table III and Fig. 13 represent a significant decrease in
and the drive input. This is a feature the ESP PMM system power usage with ESP PMM production. At 3000 B/D the
has that is different. A slightly different equipment difference in power was 42.4-kW. Assuming energy costs are
configuration was required, Fig. 11. This placed the filter $0.1/kWh, a 24-hour day and a 30-day month, this results in
ahead of the ASD. Otherwise instrumentation was identical to savings of 30,540 kWh per month. The monthly dollar saving
that used in Fig. 10. would be $3,053. Further, these savings continue month after
The actual surface equipment used for the ESP PMM test is month.
shown in Fig. 12.

housing making heat transfer easie In all the PMM runs
much cooler.

hp per Total
Type hp rotor # dia
ameter length length
NEMA 200 200 1 10.67 7.0 7
IM5 240 5 48 2.27 13.0 624
IM10 240 10 24 2.21 13.9 332
PMM 266 22 12 2.64 13.5 162

A short motor has two additio onal advantages. Since

Samarium Cobalt magnets are prob bably the most expensive
component in the motor, that cost can be offset against the
increased amount of copper and irron in induction motors of
equal power. Second, shorter moto ors have lower FW losses
and are more easily installed in devia
ated wells.
Fig. 12 –– ESP PMM Drive, Filter, Transsformer and
Instruments V. CONCLUSIONS

Laboratory tests were run to ve erify and emphasize the

improvement in ESP PMM efficienc cy over ESP IM for same
size, small-diameter motors. The current source ASD was
220 also more efficient than the PWM AS SD with a filter. Field tests
200 were run to relate these efficiency im
mprovements to production
operating costs. The ESP PMM wa as shown to use 20% less
180 power for the same production.

120 The authors wish to thank David Self
S of Borets Weatherford
100 for invaluable assistance with the field-testing.
2400 2600 2800 3000 3200 3400
Flow B/D

MM [1] T. R. Brinner, ““Voltage e and Cable Impedance
Unbalance in Submergible Oil Well Pumps,”” IEEE
Fig. 13 –– Cost of Production Comp Trans. Ind. Appl., vol. IA A-20, no. 1, pp. 97-104,
Jan./Feb. 1984.
TABLE III [2] T. R. Brinner, ““Just Ano other Motor?”” SPE ESP
kW COMPARISON AT THREE FLOW RATES Workshop Short Course, Ho ouston, TX. April 2001.
kW % [3] IEEE Recommended Prac ctice: Definitions of Basic
B/D IM5 PMM Differencce Change Per-Unit Quantities for AC Rotating Machines, IEEE
2400 167.3 132.9 34.4 20.6 Std 86-1987, Institute of Electrical and Electronic
Engineers, February 16, 19 987.
3000 203.4 161.0 42.4 20.8
[4] R. L. Hyde and T. R. Brinner, ““Starting
3400 224.8 204.3 20.5 9.1 Characteristics of Electric c Submergible Oil Well
Pumps,”” IEEE Trans. Ind. Appl.,
A vol. IA-22, no. 1, pp.
Lastly, Table IV depicts a comparison of th he physical size of 133-144, Jan./Feb. 1986.
all the motors used. Motor diameters are 4..56 inches for the [5] C. Concordia, ““Induction mootor damping and
IMs and 177 mm or 4.61 inches for the PMM M. Concentrating synchronizing torques,”” AIIEE Trans., pp. 364-366,
on just the active part of the motors, the rotorrs, the differences Jan. 1952.
in length are striking. For the induction moto ors the old design [6] IEEE Standard Test Prrocedure for Polyphase
rated for 5 hp/rotor (IM5) is essentially twicce as long as the Induction Motors Having Liquid in the Magnetic Gap,
rerated new design at 10 hp/rotor (IM10)). IM5 has two IEEE Std 252-1995, Ins stitute of Electrical and
tandem sections each rated for 1295 V fo or a total voltage Electronic Engineers, Re eaffirmed 26 September
rating of 2590. The rating for the PMM is p possible because 2007.
there is virtually no heat generated in the rotors. Further, [7] P. Pillay, Ed. ““Performance and Design of
being a 4-pole design the stator windings can be closer to the Permanent Magnet AC Mottor Drives,”” IEEE IAS
Conference, San Diego, CA A. October 1989.

[8] IEEE Standard Test Procedure for Polyphase the bottom of the spool. Frequently the ESP is pulled
Induction Motors and Generators, IEEE 112- 1984, because an electrical short occurred in the cable or motor.
Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, Thus it is possible that spooling equipment and possibly the
Jan. 20, 1984. rig itself could see hazardous voltages. During work-over
[9] T. R. Brinner, D. Divine and J. Semon, ““6 Step and operations all equipment must be grounded to the wellhead.
PWM Drives for ESP’’s A Laboratory Further, the phase wires at the bottom of the spool should be
Comparison,”” SPE ESP Workshop, Houston, TX, shorted together and grounded.
April 1997.
[10] T. R. Brinner and K. Packard, ““Methods to Reduce
Electrical Stress in Variable Speed Drive
Applications,”” SPE ESP Workshop, Society of
Petroleum Engineers,”” Houston, TX, April 1998.
[11] API Recommended Practice for Electric Submersible
Pump Testing, RP-11S2, American Petroleum
Institute, Washington, D.C., October 1, 1997.


Introducing a new technology into a mature industry can be

very dangerous, especially when most of those involved with
servicing the product have a mind-set as to how things should
be done. In the past a check-valve was included in the tubing
string a few feet above the pump discharge. This kept the
tubing string filled when the ESP was shut off, which avoided
the need to refill the tubing before production could begin
again after restart.
In recent years the check valve has been almost completely
eliminated so that well acidizing can be done down through
the tubing string. Now the column of oil in the tubing flows
back down through the pump until the static level in the well is
reached. In the process the pump spins backward, often at
speeds exceeding synchronous. This is referred to as
Typically the electric cable is continuous from the motor
pothead, through the wellhead into a junction box. The cable
is opened up inside this box to prevent conducted explosive
gases from reaching an ignition source, such as a
switchboard or drive. Voltage measurements are commonly
made inside the junction box.
In backspin an ESP IM will generate from eight to twelve
volts phase-to-phase due to residual magnetic flux in the
motor. Attempting a start during backspin frequently causes
shaft breakage due to plugging and hunting. Therefore
service personnel monitor this voltage until it drops to zero. At
that point the motor has stopped turning, and it can be safely
started. Controls are programmed to lockout a restart during
backspin. This is common operating practice.
Following this practice with an ESP PMM is extremely
dangerous. Magnetic flux in the motor is provided by SmCo
permanent magnets. From zero to almost any speed the flux
level is unchanged. However, voltage changes directly with
speed. At a backspin speed equivalent to operating speed
the PMM will generate operating voltages, and these are
Obviously appropriate warning labels must be placed on the
junction box. An additional insulating, possibly transparent,
shield plate might be provided between the door and the cable
connection terminals. Certainly personnel training must
emphasize this hazard.
Pulling an ESP PMM out of a well or running one back into a
well will cause motor rotation. Under such circumstances
voltages will also be produced at the open end of the cable at


Thomas R. Brinner (Life member IEEE) received his BS

degree from Washington University, St. Louis, MO, MS
degree from Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, D. Sc. from
Ohio State University, Columbus, in 1963, 1969 and 1973, all
in electrical engineering.
Upon graduation in 1963 he joined the IBM Corporation at
Endicott, NY as an electronics design engineer. In 1973 he
was associated with the General Electric Transportation
Technology Center in Erie, PA, designing high-power
electronics for subways. From 1976 to 1981 he was an
Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University
of Arkansas, Fayetteville. In 1981 he was Manager of
Electrical Engineering at the TRW Reda Pump Division,
Bartlesville, OK, and in 1990 Manager of Submersible Design
at Franklin Electric, Bluffton, IN. Since 1995 he has been with
PM&D Engineering specializing in lightning protection of oil
field equipment and surge suppressor design.
Dr. Brinner is a Past Chairman of the Ozark Section of the
IEEE and is a Registered Professional Engineer in the States
of Ohio and Oklahoma.

Robert H. McCoy (Member IEEE) received the BSEE from

Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, OK in 1970 and
continued in post-graduate studies. After graduation he joined
the US Air Force and completed pilot training. He then joined
LaBarge Electronics in Tulsa, OK actively involved in all types
of DOD electronic countermeasures research and
manufacturing. In 1981, he joined Raytheon at Seismograph
Service Corporation in Tulsa for Geophysical exploration
technologies, later transferring to Raytheon Data Services,
which became part of Memorex Telex. At Memorex Telex, he
was the general manager of the Airlines team developing
more than 85% of the airlines communications at airports and
travel agencies. In 1990, he joined United Video as Sr. VP of
Engineering and was part of the executive team, which
purchased TV Guide. He served as VP Engineering and CTO
for TV Guide during the development of satellite MPEG data
communications and store and forward video. In 2001, he
joined Baker Hughes leading the downhole instrumentation
and surface power systems for submersible pumping
systems. Robert joined the advanced technology team of
Borets in 2010 and is based in Tulsa OK responsible for
surface and instrumentation technologies.

Trevor Kopecky received his BS degree in Mechanical

Engineering Technology from the University of Houston in
2004 after serving in the United States Navy as a nuclear
Machinist’’s Mate from 1992-1997. He worked as a drafting
intern in the Fishing Tools division of Baker Oil Tools during
college. He has worked for Weatherford and Borets-
Weatherford since 2004. His primary duties have included
work on mechanical design of electric motors and power
connections. He is currently Engineering Manager
responsible for the R&D lab & special projects, including
Borets permanent magnet motors.