A 5,460-square-foot facility for developing and evaluating turbomachinery exposed to multiphase flow conditions is now available at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI). The Multiphase Machinery Test Facility can accommodate large-scale turbomachinery and testing with a variety of fluids.
“This facility greatly expands our capabilities for evaluating machinery under a range of conditions,” said David Ransom, manager of the Propulsion and Energy Machinery Section in SwRI’s Mechanical Engineering Division. “We now can evaluate much larger equipment and perform tests with hydrocarbons in addition to inert fluids.”
The facility will support oil and gas industry programs primarily, although SwRI researchers also will seek opportunities in the propulsion industry and other energy sectors.
“The bulk of the work initially will be prototype testing of natural gas foam for hydraulic fracturing research as well as compressor performance testing in wet gas conditions,” said Ransom, adding that “wet gas compression system research is a growing area for the oil and gas industry.”
The Multiphase Machinery Test Facility includes a 3,000-square-foot high bay with a 10-ton bridge crane, as well as a climate-controlled work space. There is an outside concrete pad for fluid tanks and space for future concrete pads. A separate building houses a control room, conference room, customer office space, and other amenities.