Detection of gas-solid two-phase flow based on CFD and capacitance method
Multiphase flow in annular channels is complex, particularly in the region where the flow direction abruptly changes between the inner pipe and the outer pipe, as the cases in horizontal drilling and pneumatic convey. Simplified models and experience are still the main sources of information. First, to understand the process more deeply, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) package Fluent is used to simulate the gas-solid flow in the horizontal and the inclined sections of an annular pipe. Discrete Phase Model is adopted to calculate the trajectories of solid particles of different sizes at different air velocities. Also, the Two-Fluid model is used to simulate the sand flow in the inclined section for the case of air flow stoppage, for which an experiment is also conducted to verify the CFD simulation. Simulation results reveal the behaviour of the solid particles showing the dispersed spatial distribution of small particles near the entrance. On the other hand, larger particles manifest a distinct sedimented flow pattern along the bottom of the pipe. The density distribution of the particles over a pipe cross section is demonstrated at a variety of air velocities. The results also show that the large airspeed tends to generate swirls near the outlet of the inner pipe. In addition, Electrical Capacitance Tomography (ECT) technology is used to reconstruct the spatial distribution of particles, and the cross-correlation algorithm to detect velocity. Both the distribution and the velocity measurement by electric sensors agree reasonably well with the CFD predictions. The details revealed by CFD simulation and the mutual-verification between CFD simulation and the ECT method of this study could be valuable for the industry in drilling process control and equipment development.