Accumulator Capacity – Usable Volume per Bottle Calculation for Subsea BOP

For subsea applications, hydrostatic pressure exerted by the hydraulic fluid must be accounted for calculation.

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In this case, we assume water depth at 1500 ft, therefore hydrostatic pressure exerted by hydraulic fluid (hydraulic fluid pressure gradient = 0.445 psi/ft) = 0.445×1500 = 668 psi. Besides of that, the concept for calculation is as same as surface accumulator. So please take a look about how to calculate usable volume per bottle as following steps.

Step 1 Adjust all pressures for the hydrostatic pressure of the hydraulic fluid:

Pre-charge pressure = 1000 psi + 668 psi = 1668 psi

Minimum system pressure = 1200 psi + 668 psi = 1868 psi

Operating pressure = 3000 psi + 668 psi = 3668 psi

Step 2 Determine hydraulic fluid required to increase pressure from pre-charge pressure to minimum system pressure:

Boyle’s Law for ideal gase: P1 V1 = P2 V2

1668 psi x 10 = 1868 x V2

16,680 ÷1,868 = V2

V2 = 8.93 gal

It means that N2 will be compressed from 10 gal to 8.93 gal in order to reach minimum operating pressure. Therefore, 1.07 gal (10.0 – 8.93 = 1.07 gal) of hydraulic fluid is used for compressing to minimum system pressure.

Step 3 Determine hydraulic required increasing pressure from pre-charge to operating pressure:

P1 V1 = P2 V2

1668 psi x 10 gal = 3668 psi x V2

16,680 ÷ 3668 = V2

V2 = 4.55 gal

It means that N2 will be compressed from 10 gal to 4.55 gal in order to reach operating pressure. Therefore, 5.45 gal (10.0 – 4.55 = 5.45 gal) of hydraulic fluid is used for compressing to operating pressure.

Step 4 Determine usable fluid volume per bottle:

Usable volume per bottle = Total hydraulic fluid/bottle – Dead hydraulic fluid/bottle

Usable volume per bottle = 5.45 – 1.07

Usable volume per bottle = 4.38 gallons

Reference book: Well Control Books

Drilling Formula Book Formulas and Calculations for Drilling, Production and Workover, Second Edition

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