Fluid Dynamics in Sucker Rod Pumps
Fluid Dynamics in Sucker Rod Pumps Sucker rod pumps are installed in approximately 90% of all oil wells in the U.S. Although they have been widely used for decades, there are many issues regarding the fluid dynamics of the pump that have not been fully investigated. A project was conducted at Sandia National Laboratories to develop unimproved understanding of the fluid dynamics inside a sucker rod pump. A mathematical flow model was developed to predict pressures in any pump component or an entire pump under single-phase fluid and pumping conditions. Laboratory flow tests were conducted on instrumented individual pump components and on a complete pump to verify and refine the model. The mathematical model was then converted to a Visual Basic program to allow easy input of fluid, geometry and pump parameters and to generate output plots. Examples of issues affecting pump performance investigated with the model include the effects of viscosity, surface roughness, valve design details, plunger and valve pressure differentials, and pumping rate.
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