444189 Effective Design of the Inlet Flow Distributer That Significantly Improved the Dehydration Efficiency of a Horizontal Heater Treater Vessel

Wednesday, April 13, 2016: 11:15 AM
338 (Hilton Americas - Houston)
Rafiqul Khan, Process Systems, Cameron Corporation, Houston, TX, Gary W. Sams, Process Systems, Cameron Technology Center, Houston, TX and Jaime Castro, Engineering, Cameron Corporation, Houston, TX

The heater treater vessels are used to efficiently dehydrate the crude oil emulsions. These vessels are divided into a heating section and a separation section. The heating section heats the emulsion fluid effectively using the U-tube design of the firetube. Effective contact between the firetube and the crude oil ensures efficient and even heating of the crude. As a result the associated gas and free water are effectively released from the emulsion prior to entering the separation section. The study presented here was conducted to improve the contact between the firetubes and the crude oil for effective heating.  ANSYS FLUENT Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software was used to understand the flow and temperature distribution of the crude oil entering into the vessel through an inlet device.  As a result of this study a new inlet distributer was designed and evaluated using the CFD technique. CFD results showed significantly improved heat transfer between the crude oil and firetubes when compared to the original design.  The improved design was implemented and tested in an actual heater treater vessel and the results showed significant improvements in performance.

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