This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
1 Introduction 3 Hydraulic power unit (HPU)
For more than 20 years the oil industry has been using computers for the dimensioning of hydraulic lines in umbilicals. The need for accurate calculations is heightened by the fact that the umbilical is one of the most expensive individual components in a subsea installation. If it is dimensioned incorrectly, it will result in major time and cost overruns. In this article we set out how a model for simulating this kind of system can easily be set up and designed using SimulationX® software and the SimulationX® subsea hydraulic library. The model example is based on available information from the various suppliers of this kind of components and systems. We have chosen to look at a system for the completion and work over of a subsea well. The principle is identical for traditional subsea production systems.
The Hydraulic Power Unit (HPU) for these systems is normally located on the deck of the vessel from which the operation is being controlled. There are different types of pumps, but the most common type uses accumulators that are charged by fixed pumps. These pumps which start and stop at various preprogrammed pressures, are controlled by a PLC. Figure 2 shows a simplified schematic diagram of a pumping unit as described above.
Simplified schematic diagram of a pumping unit (HPU)
A typical completion and/or work over system for subsea wells consist of four main components. 1. 2. 3. 4. Hydraulic power unit (HPU). Umbilical. Subsea control module (SCM). Valve actuator.
The Surface HPU is an element in the SimulationX® subsea hydraulic library and Figure 3 shows the graphical presentation of it.
Figure 1 shows a typical system with two valve actuators and return to sea.
All parameters of the different components in the Surface HPU element are easily accessed from the parameter window of the Surface HPU. Figure 4 shows one of the pages from the parameter window.
System sketch Figure 4. Surface HPU properties
These components are the main components in the system and can be found as pre-made elements in the SimulationX® subsea hydraulic library. By using a library like this, the user will benefit in shorter time for modeling and easier re-use of previous models.
As a general rule, to make models easy to reuse it is important to keep them tidy and clearly laid out. The documentation must be easily accessible so the next user quickly gets to know the structure of the model. Our experience is that many companies don’t give this high enough priority which again results in difficulties sharing models between engineers.
www.simulationX.com Page 1 of 6
inertia/acceleration of the fluid as well as the flow.com Page 2 of 6 Figure 8. In temporary systems.agito. Note that the Ve input is the derivate of the values found in the data sheet. or if the umbilical goes straight down to the seabed leaving the extra umbilical lengths subsea (vertical first.no . the restriction. then vertical). Figure 7 shows a typical expansion curve for a 3/8”. These functions often have strict time requirements which now are possible to simulate with high accuracy. This is important for systems in which the pressurisation and bleeding of lines are used as methods of Emergency Shut Down (ESD). such as a Workover and Completion System.iti. a distributed line model is a series of line elements in which each line element calculates www. Distributed line model In simple terms. There are different models depending on whether the umbilical is reeled up topside (Horizontal first.de www. Figure 6.Modelling and simulation of subsea control systems All the pre-made elements in the SimulationX® libraries have extensive online documentation which explains the behaviour of the element in detail. The dimensioning of the umbilical is important to the performance and operation of the whole system. Between each line element. 7500 psi hose. 4 Umbilical All hydraulic communications go through separate hoses or pipes that are bundled together into an umbilical. Figure 7. Figure 5. In addition the elements can be parameterized with variable pressure depending on the water depth. flow to the next linear element and the line’s volumetric coefficient of expansion (Ve). Typical expansion curve for a 3/8”. It is therefore wrong to use linear approaches in models such as constant bulk modulus or volumetric coefficient of expansion. This makes the different elements easy to understand both for new and experienced users. Umbilical elements in SimulationX® Note that both options can be parameterized as either steel tube or flexible hose. and that it includes the delays that are experienced in practice. then horizontal). It is therefore important that the model of the hose is accurate. Figure 5 shows the two different umbilical options. SimulationX® allows us to enter curves describing the volumetric expansion (Ve) across the whole pressure spectrum. Input of the hose Ve www. a method called “distributed line model” is used where the line element internally is split into several separate elements as shown in Figure 6. These hoses have properties that must be taken into consideration in the simulation. time delays in long lines can be calculated with high accuracy. We can see that the curve is not linear. By using this method in the Umbilical element. To calculate accurate time behaviour in the umbilical element. The ability of hoses to accumulate liquid can be a disadvantage in systems that require rapid bleeding of the lines. the pressures are calculated as a function of the flow from the previous linear element. But this property can also be turned into an advantage in systems where large actuators are to be operated. hoses are most common.simulationX. Using hoses with high volumetric expansion can in some cases replace subsea accumulators. 7500 psi hose. depending on the configuration of the system. Different umbilical elements are available in the SimulationX® subsea hydraulic library.
Figure 9. but the majority include an incoming supply line. Simplified schematic diagram of a subsea control module.de www. Subsea Control Module valve element in SimulationX® As previously mentioned. Figure 11. and closing time behavior. At point “C” the valve opens and the differential pressure is equalized resulting in a reduced friction force. Figure 10. These valve elements are built up of different physical sub-elements where each individual element represents a characteristic of the valve behaviour. As previously mentioned.simulationX. the model will be somewhat more complicated on account of the variable friction.com Page 3 of 6 Figure 14. The number of function lines depends on the type of application that is to be operated by the subsea control module. Figure 13 shows the graphical presentation of the Gate Valve element. Figure 9 shows a simplified schematic diagram of a subsea control module.agito. The simplified schematic diagram in Figure 9 shows this type of return system including the return volume compensator. internal restrictions and a detailed description of the valve reset function. and therefore allow return oil to be released into the sea in limited amounts. Including the valve differential pressure across the gates/seat sealing. In Figure 11 shows a subsea control module modelled in SimulationX® with the necessary number of valves.Modelling and simulation of subsea control systems 5 Subsea control module 6 Valve actuator Today’s systems are usually designed with a subsea control module from which the valve is operated. The valve element includes operational parameters as opening. The valve actuator for a subsea gate valve is often a linear actuator. Figure 14 shows a typical opening force curve for a gate valve with differential pressure. In point “I” the valve closes and the friction force is increased when the differential pressure increases.iti. Typical gate valve in closed and open positions. Opening force curve for a Gate Valve www. Figure 13. The SimulationX® subsea hydraulic library contains pre-made elements for both gate valve and ball valve. return line and several function lines that operate various types of actuators. Unactuated Actuated Figure 12.no . This behaviour is important to include in the gate valve element since this influence on the opening/closing time of the valve. it is important to limit the number of elements in a model to the elements that are active in the sequences that we will be simulated. which is two in this example. Subsea Control Module modeled in SimulationX® www. The SimulationX® subsea hydraulic library comes with a pre-made control valve for a subsea control module. with a differential pressure across the gates/seat the friction will be variable. There are many types of subsea control modules. Subsea gate valve element Subsea control systems often use water-based oils.
iti. The graphical presentation makes the models much easier to reuse and share with other engineers. 50 seconds and the minimum pressure differential over the actuator piston is approx. We can easily recognise it from the system diagram in Figure 1. Pressurisation of a line in the umbilical. Figure 17 shows the pressure and position during the operation of a gate valve.de www. are standard elements found in the standard SimulationX® hydraulic library. The umbilical is 600 metres long. The HPU header valve is commanded to open at t=1 second. The remaining elements such as restrictions in connectors. System model Figure 15 shows the complete system model as it appears in SimulationX®. We have chosen to show three such sequences in this article.Modelling and simulation of subsea control systems 7 System model The SimulationX® subsea hydraulic library contains all main elements required for the model. Both options will affect the time it takes to pressurize the umbilical. opened valves might start to close and an unwanted shut-down might be the result. Figure 17. The initial status is that the HPU is ready with full accumulators and the umbilical supply line vented to return. and with the chosen fluid. The umbilical is fully pressurized and at steady state after 5 seconds. The options that we then have are usually to increase the dimensions of the lines in the umbilical or to install a subsea accumulator. the initial pressure will be approx. Pressure response curves when opening a 7” gate valve. This is done by operating a valve and at the same time monitor the pressure variation in the neighbouring gate valve actuator. and the line has an internal diameter of 3/8”. check valves etc. • • • Pressurisation of an umbilical line Operation of a gate valve Emergency Shut Down (ESD) The subsea equipment is at a depth of 500 metres. and to bleed it when shutting down. it is important to check whether the operation affects other valves in the system. internal piping. This can clearly be seen at the start of the blue line in Figure 16.simulationX.com Page 4 of 6 www. Often it is sufficient to demonstrate that the requirements of standards and specifications are met. 7. Operation of a gate valve During the operation of a gate valve. The opening time is approx. After 1 second the HPU valve opens and starts to pressurise the umbilical line. If the pressure variation is too high. The model is set up with two gate valves and we operate one valve whilst the other is set in the open position. 52 bar subsea. Figure 15.1 Results from the system model When the system model has been completed and all elements are parameterized. The valve opening time is set to 0. Transaqua HT has been chosen as the hydraulic fluid. Figure 16.agito.2 seconds. the simulation itself can start. Pressurisation of an umbilical line. It is important to clearly understand what you want to demonstrate through these simulations.no . 62 bar www.
Comment to the results: These results are only to be seen as examples. 123 bar. Pressure response curves and valve position for the gate valve during an ESD. Naturally. Figure 18 shows the pressure and position for the open gate valve. Figure 18. We can see a clear drop in pressure when the neighbouring gate valve is opened. I. Pressure response curves for the subsea control module’s supply and return lines. We must also investigate whether the drop in pressure between the supply line and the return line to the subsea control module is higher than the control valves’ re-set pressure.agito. more liquid would need to be bled off via the umbilical. Figure 21. Figure 20 shows how the pressure in the umbilical is bled off during an ESD. After 1 second the HPU header valve is set vented at surface.Modelling and simulation of subsea control systems when opening and 61 bar when closing. Emergency Shut Down (ESD) All systems of this type are built so they automatically shut down if an accident occurs.simulationX. After 159 seconds the gate valve is in its final position and the remaining pressure in the line falls rapidly to 52 bar. These shut downs should not be dependent on a power supply. Figure 20. Figure 19. The pressure drop across the actuator piston is 71 bar which is above the pressure drop as the valve starts to close (found in Figure 17). www. The blue curve shows the pressure to the subsea control module. Figure 19 shows that the drop in pressure between the two lines is 69 bar which is above the valves’ re-set pressure. Pressure response curves for the open gate valve. Pressure response curves for the supply and return lines in the umbilical during an ESD. Acceptance levels including safety margins are to be decided by the system suppliers and will vary from project to project. which is set to 60 bar in this model.e. At this point the valve actuators start to close and the fluid from the valve actuators' open chamber is bled to the surface via the control module and the umbilical lines.iti. We can see from Figure 21 that the gate valve is completely closed after approx. The normal solution is to design the system in such a way that the gate valves close if the pressure is bled off up at the HPU. the whole shut down sequence would then take longer time. This pressure falls rapidly.no . This shows that our system is appropriately designed for these two valves.de www. The red curve in Figure 20 shows that the supply pressure drops rapidly at the surface. to approx. the valve starts to close at a pressure difference of 61 bar across the piston. If the system had been set up with more valves and subsea accumulators. 159 seconds.com Page 5 of 6 www.
If a company wishes to start using modelling and simulation. or with accumulators with severe gas leakage.no http://subsea. An understanding of the applications is particularly important when interpreting the results of the simulations.agito.no . however. This may involve testing with pressures that are far higher than the system pressure.no http://www. it is important to note that this will not replace part or all of the development process.de www.iti. and the results will form the basis for choosing the components and dimensions to be used.com Phone: Email: Internet: www. Simulation software will also allow you to test the systems in ways that are not practicable in real life. a supplement that will help engineers to design a better product at a lower cost.agito.lien@agito. Various alternative solutions can be tested.Modelling and simulation of subsea control systems 8 Summary By using a simulation tool we can test a system virtually before putting it into production.simulationX.com Page 6 of 6 www.no post@agito. When using a tool with existing libraries and a graphical interface. It is.simulationx. Author: Rune Lien Agito AS Postboks 792 3611 Kongsberg Norway +47 95199038 rune. a good understanding of the system and of the individual components is much more important than detailed mathematical modelling knowledge.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.