Coupling of CFD and semiempirical methods for designing three-phase condensate separator: case study and experimental validation
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This study presents an approach to determine the dimensions of three-phase separators. First, we designed different vessel configurations based on the fluid properties of an Iranian gas condensate field. We then used a comprehensive computational fluid dynamic (CFD) method for analyzing the three-phase separation phenomena. For simulation purposes, the combined volume of fluid–discrete particle method (DPM) approach was used. The discrete random walk (DRW) model was used to include the effect of arbitrary particle movement due to variations caused by turbulence. In addition, the comparison of experimental and simulated results was generated using different turbulence models, i.e., standard k–ε, standard k–ω, and Reynolds stress model. The results of numerical calculations in terms of fluid profiles, separation performance and DPM particle behavior were used to choose the optimum vessel configuration. No difference between the dimensions of the optimum vessel and the existing separator was found. Also, simulation data were compared with experimental data pertaining to a similar existing separator. A reasonable agreement between the results of numerical calculation and experimental data was observed. These results showed that the used CFD model is well capable of investigating the performance of a three-phase separator.
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