15 April 2016 Gauging the feasibility of a downhole energy harvesting system through a proof-of-concept study
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Abstract
Hydrocarbon well operators deploy downhole reservoir monitoring equipment in order to optimize the rate at which hydrocarbons are extracted. Alternative power sources are sought that could be deployed in these harsh environments to replace or supplement standard power sources currently in use. To this end, a three phase proof-of-concept study was performed to gauge the feasibility of such a device. In the first phase a parametric study was performed to understand how high uncertainty variables affect the natural frequency of a producing hydrocarbon well. In a follow up study, the relationship between boundary conditions and system damping was investigated. In the second phase a structural housing was designed to satisfy American Petroleum Institute load cases. Using finite element models and standard tube/casing geometries, design pressures were iterated until a permissible housing design was achieved. This preliminary design provided estimates of the radial width and volume in which energy harvesting and storage elements may be situated. In the last phase a software program was developed to estimate the energy that might be harvested from user specified harvester configurations. The program is dependent on user input production tube accelerations; this permits well operators to use well-specific vibrational data as inputs to generate well-specific energy output estimates. Results indicate that a downhole energy harvesting tool is structurally feasible under reasonable operating conditions but no conclusions can be made as to the sufficiency of generated power as no in-situ acceleration time histories are available. Future work is discussed. Approved for publication, LA-UR-16-21193.
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Eric Kjolsing, Eric Kjolsing, Michael Todd, Michael Todd, "Gauging the feasibility of a downhole energy harvesting system through a proof-of-concept study", Proc. SPIE 9799, Active and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems 2016, 97992K (15 April 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2219313; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2219313
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