The Oil Flow Facility has reached an important milestone, with its 10,000th job now scheduled for completion. The facility, which has been in operation since the early 1990’s, has been at the forefront of many aspects of meter testing, development and research. Over the years, it has grown in sophistication to meet the evolving demands of industry and science.
“Jobs have included commercial calibrations, in-house equipment testing and support for R&D programmes,” says consultant engineer, Brendan Robson. “A typical oil job may comprise several million measurements, but some involve considerably more. This means that the facility has delivered at least 150 billion measurements over the years. The facility is now in operation 24 hrs a day, with apprentices currently being trained to take on the next phase of its operations.”
The Oil Flow Facility is one of NEL’s most established test and research rigs. It was installed in the lab’s James Young Building in 1991. Since its installation, the facility has developed to allow different grades of oil to be used. This required five tanks, each with a capacity of 30,000 litres, to be squeezed into the building. The James Young building also houses NEL’s water and wet gas facilities alongside the original multiphase facilities.
“30 years ago, most flow meters under test were mechanical in design, like turbines or positive displacement meters,” says Brendan, explaining the changing nature of the facility’s work. “Nowadays the ubiquitous Coriolis meter is a common sight in the test lines, but the facility still supports all varieties of meter designs.”
“Digital communications with modern flowmeters now allows a multitude of data types to be collected during a calibration or test,” Brendan continues. “This provides the operator with significantly more information and diagnostics than was the case when the facility was first opened. The amount of stored data now allows sophisticated analysis using data mining and big data algorithms. Such tools allow us to use the Oil Facility for the predictive modelling of meter conditions and many other cutting-edge pieces of research.”
“The original Oil Facility test reports were often written up using typewriters,” Brendan adds. “The facility’s current purpose-built control and data acquisition system now offers real-time remote viewing of live data, including video, which delivers efficiency savings to our clients.”
For more details, contact Brendan Robson.