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United States Patent Application 20180274345
Kind Code A1
Haapanen; Brian September 27, 2018

ESP SYSTEM SURFACE CONTROLS ENCLOSURE

Abstract

The present invention pertains to an electric submersible pump (ESP) system. The system usually has one or more downhole devices comprising one or more pumps and one or more motors for operating the one or more pumps and surface equipment. The surface equipment includes a controls enclosure configured to operate the ESP system and a power cable configured to provide communication from the controls enclosure to one or more of the downhole devices. The controls enclosure is configured as an enclosure on the surface comprising at least two compartments separated based on exposure to voltage potential.


Inventors: Haapanen; Brian; (Broken Arrow, OK)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

Haapanen; Brian

Broken Arrow

OK

US
Family ID: 1000002751297
Appl. No.: 15/470503
Filed: March 27, 2017


Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: E21B 43/128 20130101; F04D 29/106 20130101; F04D 25/0686 20130101
International Class: E21B 43/12 20060101 E21B043/12; F04D 25/06 20060101 F04D025/06; F04D 29/10 20060101 F04D029/10

Claims



1. An electric submersible pump (ESP) system comprising: one or more downhole devices comprising one or more pumps and one or more motors for operating the one or more pumps; and surface equipment comprising a controls enclosure configured to operate the ESP system, and a power cable configured to provide communication from the controls enclosure to one or more of the downhole devices, wherein the controls enclosure is located on the surface and comprises at least two compartments separated based on exposure to voltage potential, said enclosure comprising: a first compartment comprising components with voltage potential up to 480 Volts, and a second compartment comprising components with voltage potential less than or equal to 120 Volts.

2. The system of claim 1, wherein the first compartment and the second compartment are physically separated from each other.

3. The system of claim 1, wherein the first compartment and the second compartment are electrically insulated from each other.

4. The system of claim 1, wherein the first compartment, the second compartment, or both are hermetically sealed.

5. The system of claim 1, wherein the second compartment comprises a variable speed drive contained therein.

6. The system of claim 1, wherein the first compartment is an enclosure that meets NEMA 4 standards.

7. The system of claim 1, wherein the second compartment is an enclosure that meets NEMA 3R/IP54 standards.

8. A controls enclosure for controlling an electric submersible pump (ESP) system, the controls enclosure comprising: a first compartment containing exposure to voltage potential up to 480 Volts; and a second compartment containing exposure to voltage potential up to 120 Volts, wherein the first compartment and the second compartment are physically, electrically, and hermetically insulated and separated from each other.

9. The controls enclosure of claim 8, wherein the first component is an enclosure that meets NEMA 4 standards.

10. The controls enclosure of claim 8, wherein the second compartment is an enclosure that meets NEMA 3R/IP54 standards.

11. The controls enclosure of claim 8, wherein the second compartment further contains a variable speed drive.

12. The controls enclosure of claim 8, wherein the first compartment contains open or exposed high-voltage potential terminals.
Description



FIELD

[0001] Embodiments disclosed herein relate to electrical submersible pump systems, and more specifically, a surface controls enclosure for electric submersible pump systems.

BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY

[0002] Submersible pumps are used in oil production to provide a relatively efficient form of "artificial lift"--thereby producing more oil from the well compared to natural production. Such submersible pumps are sometimes able to operate across a broad range of flow rates and depths. The pumps are typically electrically powered and referred to as electrical submersible pumps, or "ESP". ESP systems may consist of surface components and sub-surface components. Surface components are often housed in weatherproofed enclosures, or in production facilities, for example, an oil platform while sub-surface components may be found in, for example, the well hole. Surface components typically include such items as a motor controller (often a variable speed controller), surface cables, transformers, and the like. Sub-surface components typically include a pump, motor, seal and cables, a gas separator, and the like.

[0003] In one embodiment the invention pertains to an electric submersible pump (ESP) system. The system comprises one or more downhole devices comprising one or more pumps and one or more motors for operating the one or more pumps. The system also usually includes surface equipment comprising a controls enclosure configured to operate the ESP system and a power cable configured to provide power and communication from the controls enclosure to one or more of the downhole devices. The controls enclosure is located on the surface and comprises at least two compartments separated based on exposure to voltage potential. The enclosure comprises a first compartment comprising components with voltage potential up to 480 Volts and a second compartment comprising components with voltage potential less than or equal to 120 Volts.

[0004] In another embodiment the invention pertains to a controls enclosure for controlling an electric submersible pump (ESP) system. The controls enclosure comprises a first compartment containing exposure to voltage potential up to 480 Volts and a second compartment containing exposure to voltage potential up to 120 Volts. The first compartment and the second compartment are physically, electrically, and hermetically insulated and separated from each other.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0005] The invention is illustrated in the accompanying drawings wherein,

[0006] FIG. 1 illustrates an electrical submersible pump (ESP) system.

[0007] FIG. 2A illustrates a front view of a two-compartment controls enclosure for an ESP drive system in accordance with one embodiment;

[0008] FIG. 2B illustrates a right side view of the two-compartment controls enclosure of FIG. 2A;

[0009] FIG. 3A illustrates a front view of a power components enclosure in accordance with one embodiment;

[0010] FIG. 3B illustrates a left side view of FIG. 3A;

[0011] FIG. 3C illustrates a right side view of FIG. 3A;

[0012] FIG. 3D illustrates an inside view (covered removed) of FIG. 3A;

[0013] FIG. 4A illustrates a front view of a controls enclosure in accordance with one embodiment;

[0014] FIG. 4B illustrates a left side view of FIG. 4A;

[0015] FIG. 4C illustrates a right side view FIG. 4A;

[0016] FIG. 4D illustrates an inside view (covered removed) of FIG. 4A; and

[0017] FIG. 5 illustrates a schematic diagram of the controls enclosure in accordance with one embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0018] The present invention generally pertains to an electric submersible pump (ESP) system. The specific configuration of the system will vary depending upon the application, equipment available, the environment in which it is employed, and the results desired. Typically, the system comprises one or more downhole devices. Each downhole device usually comprises at least one pump and at least one motor for operating the pump. Of course, multiple motors and pumps may be employed in each device and connected in any convenient configuration, e.g., in parallel, in series, or even a combination thereof. And multiple downhole devices may be employed in any given ESP system as well.

[0019] The ESP system will usually include surface equipment. Such surface equipment varies but usually includes at least one controls enclosure that is configured to operate the ESP system.

[0020] Often a power cable is configured to provide any desired communication, electrical and otherwise, from the controls enclosure to the one or more of the downhole devices. In this manner on may control any motor and pump that is desired to be controlled.

[0021] The controls enclosure is usually configured as an enclosure on the surface. Advantageously, the enclosure comprises at least two compartments that are separated based on exposure to voltage potential. That is, one compartment may comprise high voltage components while the other compartments are devoid of high voltage components which have exposed voltages. In other words, this compartment is "touch safe." This is advantageous in that if the components of the lower voltage compartment are in need of repair or replacement, then one need not be exposed to the higher voltage equipment. Similarly, sensitive electronics, e.g., variable speed drives and the like, that can be potentially damaged by exposure to high voltage and/or heat generated may be separated from the higher voltage components.

[0022] In one embodiment the enclosure comprises a first compartment comprising components with exposed voltage potential up to 480 Volts, and a second compartment comprising components with exposed voltage potential less than or equal to 120 Volts. In some embodiments any first compartment may be physically separated from any second compartment. In some embodiments, any first compartment may be electrically insulated from any second compartment. In some embodiments, the first compartment, the second compartment, or both are hermetically sealed. In yet other embodiments, the first compartment, the second compartment, or both are sufficiently air tight to keep airborne contaminants out of the compartments.

[0023] FIG. 1 illustrates an ESP system. The ESP system includes a number of downhole equipment, including pumps 10 designed for well applications. The pumps 10 may incorporate a series of radial or mixed flow impellers and diffusers to meet production needs from as few as 150 barrels per day (BPD) to as much as 10,000 BPD and range in size from about 4.5 inches to about 7 inches in diameter. The pumps 10 are usually configured to withstand abrasive solids in a production stream to extend downhole uptime and lower intervention costs. Each pump 10 may be configured with hardened down-thrust and shaft radial bearings that provide radial shaft and/or axial support. The thrust is often distributed evenly throughout each stage, and the bearings may help to minimize the potential for system failure, thus extending pump run life.

[0024] The ESP system may include gas handling devices 15 to prevent gas interference problems such as gas locking with the addition of custom gas separation and gas avoidance technology. The gas handling devices 15 are configured as advanced rotary and vortex gas separators that drive pump efficiency by preventing free gas from entering the pump in the first place. By effectively isolating and expelling free gas to the annular, the gas handling devices preserve pump performance and decrease equipment wear for increased well uptime.

[0025] The ESP system includes one or more motors 25 configured to drive the ESP system at, for example, variable speeds and often in high temperature applications. Specifically, the one or more motors 25 may be configured as electric submersible motors for variable-speed pumping in deep, high-temperature wells. The one or more motors 25 may be 3-phase, 2-pole induction motors that are customizable for various production applications. If desired, the one or more motors 25 may be configured having extension voltage and horsepower ranges, for example, within 375, 456, 540, and 562 motor frames, and temperatures ratings up to 180 degrees C. (356 degrees F.). The one or more motors 25 may be configured as desired and thus may be in stainless steel or with handed coatings for corrosion protection.

[0026] The ESP system includes one or more protector devices 20 configured to maintain the electrical and mechanical integrity of the one or more motors acting as an oil reservoir providing expansion capacity for the motor. The one or more protector devices 20 often are designed to provide a secure seal that assists in keeping the ESP motors running smoothly. Each protector device 20 may contain customized chambers that prevent wellbore fluid contamination into the motors. It does so by creating a low-pressure boundary between the well fluid and the much cleaner motor oil. The smooth expansion and contraction of oil in the chambers keeps pressure relatively equal across the boundary, which reduces wellbore fluid ingress into the motor and thereby may increase system uptime. The one or more protector devices 20 may further provide one or more of the following operational advantages: they transfer the torque from the motor shaft to the gas separator and/or pump intake shaft; they maintain the electrical and mechanical integrity of the motors by providing reinforcement via down-thrust support for the pump shaft; their modular construction allows for redundant protectors to be installed in series, thus providing a protector solution for any application-specific need.

[0027] The ESP system may include one or more downhole automation devices 30 which can be configured as multi-tier monitoring support and well management services utilizing downhole temperature and/or pressure sensor readings.

[0028] The ESP system includes a number of surface equipment, including a controls enclosure 50 configured to start, adjust, and stop the ESP system. The controls enclosure 50 may contain variable speed drives (VSDs) that are often continuously adjustable, mechanical speed-changing devices used to fine-tune the ESP motor's operating speed. VSDs may be configured to include event tracking history and/or logging. This may be useful if desired to precisely track motor activity and/or control, for example, down to the second. Downloadable datasets may be wirelessly transmitted wirelessly or otherwise to office-based or field operations personnel for review. The controls enclosure 50 often includes switchboards that offer basic surface control designed with 60-Hertz or other frequency and ranging from 480 to 5,000 Volts as desired. The switchboard's customizable motor controller interface may also include digital readouts, icons for sensor readings, an amp chart and/or motor saver options (520 or 777). Data can be downloadable on, for example, a USB drive or other memory device. Optionally, the controller may be installed with a backspin probe.

[0029] The controls enclosure 50 is typically connected upstream to a transformer 55, and downstream to at least, for example, a step-up transformer 45 and junction box 40. The ESP system also usually includes at least one power cable 35 configured to provide electrical reliability and longevity. Depending upon the desired results and the rest of the system, such power cable(s) may be employed in multiple configurations and sizing, and capable of handling low or high power loads for the ESP system. The power cables may be configured with solid copper conductors, which provide less loss and more strength than stranded wire. Each conductor may be wrapped in, for example, polypropylene, lead, EDPM, and/or nitrile insulation materials to mitigate gas ingress. Depending upon the specific application and system the power cables may be configured having flat or round configurations, available in multiple gauges, additional insulation for high gas environments and/or available in galvanized steel, stainless steel, and Monel armor, a lead barrier to prevent gas permeation, particularly in high H.sub.2S environments, ratings ranging from 2 kV to 5 kV for handling low to high power loads, and available in #6 to I/O gauges for proper sizing.

[0030] Embodiments disclosed herein relate to one or more enclosures for a controls enclosure 50 for an ESP system. The enclosure is configured in any shape or size, and having any shape or size footprint which may vary depending upon the system. The enclosure is usually further configured to having multiple compartments including, for example, at least two separate compartments that are typically separated based on exposure to voltage potential. The separate compartments may be configured in any shape or size, the same shape and size or different shape and size, as dictated by various design considerations and the rest of the system. For example, the separate compartments may be separate enclosures that are coupled, e.g., bolted, back-to-back, side by side, top to bottom or any other convenient configuration. Alternatively, the separate compartments may be configured integrally in one larger unit. The first and second compartments may be configured back-to-back. Or the first compartment may be disposed within the second compartment. The first compartment is usually physically, electrically, and/or hermetically insulated and separated from the second compartment and perhaps even from additional compartments. The first and second compartments may be configured as enclosures which are constructed according to different standards as provided by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association ("NEMA") and the International (or Ingress) Protection ("IP") rating system. For example, the enclosures may be constructed according to NEMA 3R, or NEMA 4, or IP 54 or IP 56, or other applicable standards.

[0031] One compartment, e.g., the first compartment, often comprises at least one or more components of high voltage equipment than the other compartments. As one example, the first compartment may include high-voltage equipment, e.g., at least 120 Volts up to 480 Volts or more. Such equipment is often heat generating and may also comprise open and/or exposed terminals. Such high-voltage terminals may be contained in or provided with, for example, a finger safe, IP20 `type` protection. In addition, a fan or other cooling mechanism may optionally be provided in this compartment. This may be particularly useful if the temperature in the first compartment is greater than 1, or 2, or 3, or 4, or 5, 7 or even 10 degrees Celsius higher than the temperature exterior to the compartment and/or in relation to the second compartment that preferably does not comprise high-voltage equipment. In some embodiments the heat generated in the first compartment is at least about 3%, or at least about 5%, or at least about 7%, or at least about 9%, or at least about 11% higher or more than heat, if any, generated in the second or other compartments that do not have high-voltage equipment.

[0032] The second compartment typically comprises at least one or more components of low-voltage, e.g., 120 Volts and below, for example, "finger-safe" equipment. Such equipment does not generate readily measurable heat, i.e., measurable by, for example, a conventional mercury thermometer. That is, the temperature in the second compartment is substantially similar, e.g., within 1 to 2 to 3 degrees Celsius compared to the temperature outside the compartment.

[0033] FIG. 2A illustrates a front view of a controls enclosure 50 two-compartment enclosure for an ESP drive system, and FIG. 2B illustrates a right side view of the two-compartment enclosure of FIG. 2A in accordance with one embodiment. The two-compartment enclosure is configured to include back-to-back separate compartments: a power component enclosure 110, and a controls component enclosure 120. The power component compartment 110 is physically separated from the controls component compartment 120. The power component compartment 110 and the controls component compartment may also be sufficiently air tight to keep out airborne contaminants.

[0034] FIG. 3A illustrates a front view, FIG. 3B illustrates a left side view, FIG. 3C illustrates a right side view, and FIG. 3D illustrates an inside view (cover removed) of the power component compartment 110 in accordance with one embodiment. The power component compartment 110 includes an exhaust hood 112 and an air inlet 114. Exposed high-voltage terminals, inlet 116 and outlet 118, are installed inside the power component compartment 110.

[0035] FIG. 4A illustrates a front view, FIG. 4B illustrates a left side view, FIG. 4C illustrates a right side view, and FIG. 4D illustrates an inside view (cover removed) of the controls component compartment 120 in accordance with one embodiment. The controls component compartment 120 includes an exhaust hood 122, an air inlet 124, and a control panel interface 126. The control panel interface 126 is configured as a user interface, e.g., a multi-media interface ("MMI"), running software to control the variable-speed drive ("VSD") 128 installed within the controls component enclosure 120. The variable speed drive 128 may be configured to be a continuously adjustable, mechanical speed-changing device used to fine-tune the ESP downhole motor's operating speed. VSDs are configured to include event tracking history and logging, which track motor activity and control often down to the second. Downloadable datasets may be wirelessly transmitted to office-based operations personnel for review. The controls component includes switchboards that offer basic surface control designed with 60-Hertz frequency ranging from 480 to 5,000 Volts. The switchboard's customizable motor controller interface includes digital readouts, icons for sensor readings, an amp chart and motor saver options (520 or 777). All data may be downloadable on a USB drive. Optionally, the controller may be installed with a backspin probe. Terminal blocks 130 for input signals and output signals are likewise installed within the controls component enclosure 120.

[0036] FIG. 5 illustrates a schematic diagram of the controls enclosure in accordance with one embodiment.

[0037] The claimed subject matter is not to be limited in scope by the specific embodiments described herein. Indeed, various modifications of the invention in addition to those described herein will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the foregoing description. Such modifications are intended to fall within the scope of the appended claims.

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