A Simple Model for Predicting Heat Loss and Temperature Profiles in Insulated Pipelines
- Boyun Guo (U. of Louisiana at Lafayette) | Shengkai Duan (Louisiana State U.) | Ali Ghalambor (U. of Louisiana at Lafayette)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Production & Operations
- Publication Date
- February 2006
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 107 - 113
- 2006. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 4.2.5 Offshore Pipelines, 4.8.2 Offshore Projects Planning and Execution, 4.2 Pipelines, Flowlines and Risers, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 5.6.4 Drillstem/Well Testing, 5.5 Reservoir Simulation, 4.3 Flow Assurance, 5.9.2 Geothermal Resources, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating
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Accurate predictions of heat loss and temperature profile in oil- and gas-production pipelines are essential to designing and evaluating pipeline operations. Although some sophisticated computer packages are available for such purposes, their accuracies suffer from numerical treatments and model-building skills of inexperienced users. A simple and accurate analytical heat-transfer model is highly desirable.
This paper presents three analytical heat-transfer solutions for predicting heat loss and temperature profiles in pipelines transporting petroleum fluids. The three solutions consist of one steady-state-flow solution and two transient-flow solutions. The two transient-flow solutions are for startup mode and flow-rate-change mode (shutting down is a special mode in which the flow rate changes to zero). An application example is presented to illustrate how the models can be used in insulation design of an offshore pipeline.
Heat transfer across the insulation of pipelines presents a unique problem affecting flow efficiency. Although sophisticated computer packages are available for predicting fluid temperatures, their accuracies suffer from numerical treatments because long pipe segments have to be used to save computing time. This is especially true for transient-fluid-flow analyses in which a very large number of numerical iterations are performed.
Ramey (1962) was among the first investigators who studied radial heat transfer across a well casing with no insulation. He derived a mathematical heat-transfer model for an outer medium that is infinitely large. Miller (1980) analyzed heat transfer around a geothermal wellbore without insulation. Winterfeld (1989) and Almehaideb and Pedrosa (1989) considered temperature effect on pressure-transient analyses in well testing. Stone et al. (1989) developed a numerical simulator to couple fluid flow and heat flow in a wellbore and reservoir. More advanced studies on the wellbore heat-transfer problem were conducted by Hasan and Kabir (1994, 2002), Hasan, Kabir, and Wang (1997, 1998), and Kabir et al. (1996). Although multilayers of materials have been considered in these studies, the external temperature gradient in the longitudinal direction has not been systematically taken into account. Traditionally, if the outer temperature changes with length, the pipe must be divided into segments, with assumed constant outer temperature in each segment, and numerical algorithms are required for heat-transfer computation. The accuracy of the computation depends on the number of segments used. Fine segments can be employed to ensure accuracy with computing time sacrificed. Therefore, accurate heat-transfer equations of closed form are highly desirable. The objective of this study was to develop analytical solutions to the heat-transfer problems under various operating conditions.
This paper presents three analytical heat-transfer solutions. They are the transient-flow solution for startup mode, steady-state flow solution for normal operation mode, and transient-flow solution for flow-rate-change mode (shutting down is a special mode in which the flow rate changes to zero). An application case is illustrated in which the model-calculated temperature profiles were used for insulation design.
|File Size||293 KB||Number of Pages||7|
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