The real-time measurement of water percentage in flowing fluids through an oil pipeline is not a trivial matter. It is a dynamic challenge. Consider the significant range of environmental and process conditions over which the measurement must be made. From the Arctic to the desert, from the heavy oils in Canada to the light condensate in gas wells, the technology must be up to the challenge. For over 30 years, Phase Dynamics has innovated to produce the technology, create intellectual property, and define the products that set the industry standard.
Measuring water percentage requires a sensor technology that is highly responsive in real-time. Phase Dynamics' patented oscillator load-pull technology responds instantaneously to the dynamic changes the materials flowing through the Analyzer's Measurement Section. A temperature stabilized oscillator is coupled to what is effectively a radio frequency transmission system and a high temperature, high pressure pipeline. The frequency of oscillation is directly loaded by the properties of the material flowing in the pipeline. Operating at frequencies, anywhere from 100MHz to 500MHz, the oscillator's cycle time is measured in microseconds, far faster than the changing material passing through the pipeline. In addition, the sensor is responding to the liquids occupying the entire volume of the Measurement Section.
An intriguing way to view a Phase Dynamics Analyzer is in terms of the measurement sensitivity measured in frequency change per percentage change in water. For example, our Low Range oscillators have a sensitivity around 2,000,000 Hz per 1% change in water. The sensor technology is highly responsive and sensitive to the mission of precision measurement. Unlike capacitance probes it is not affected by the coatings because it is a full bore and length measurement.
Technology does not stop at the product. The factory calibration system is another critical area of innovation. Each Phase Dynamics Analyzer is factory calibrated on in-house developed calibration loops where temperature, pressure, and material properties are tightly controlled and monitored as they flow through the Analyzer. Factory calibration is a complex, time demanding, and expensive step. These steps are taken because it produces the best Analyzer that can be manufactured. Each Analyzer leaving the shipping dock is fully characterized and ready for years of dependable service. For many customers, the service life is measured in decades.