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Sensors 2016, 16(9), 1520; doi:10.3390/s16091520

Research on the Conductivity-Based Detection Principles of Bubbles in Two-Phase Flows and the Design of a Bubble Sensor for CBM Wells

1
Faculty of Engineering, China University of Geosciences (Wuhan), Wuhan 430074, China
2
Faculty of Mechanical and Electronic Information, China University of Geosciences (Wuhan), Wuhan 430074, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 July 2016 / Accepted: 14 September 2016 / Published: 17 September 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Abstract

The parameters of gas-liquid two-phase flow bubbles in field coalbed methane (CBM) wells are of great significance for analyzing coalbed methane output, judging faults in CBM wells, and developing gas drainage and extraction processes, which stimulates an urgent need for detecting bubble parameters for CBM wells in the field. However, existing bubble detectors cannot meet the requirements of the working environments of CBM wells. Therefore, this paper reports findings on the principles of measuring the flow pattern, velocity, and volume of two-phase flow bubbles based on conductivity, from which a new bubble sensor was designed. The structural parameters and other parameters of the sensor were then computed, the “water film phenomenon” produced by the sensor was analyzed, and the appropriate materials for making the sensor were tested and selected. After the sensor was successfully devised, laboratory tests and field tests were performed, and the test results indicated that the sensor was highly reliable and could detect the flow patterns of two-phase flows, as well as the quantities, velocities, and volumes of bubbles. With a velocity measurement error of ±5% and a volume measurement error of ±7%, the sensor can meet the requirements of field use. Finally, the characteristics and deficiencies of the bubble sensor are summarized based on an analysis of the measurement errors and a comparison of existing bubble-measuring devices and the designed sensor. View Full-Text
Keywords: bubble sensor; gas-liquid two-phase flow; two-phase flow bubble; conductivity; coalbed methane (CBM) bubble sensor; gas-liquid two-phase flow; two-phase flow bubble; conductivity; coalbed methane (CBM)
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Wu, C.; Wen, G.; Han, L.; Wu, X. Research on the Conductivity-Based Detection Principles of Bubbles in Two-Phase Flows and the Design of a Bubble Sensor for CBM Wells. Sensors 2016, 16, 1520.

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