Electrical Resistance Tomography Sensor for Highly Conductive Oil-Water Two-Phase Flow Measurement

Jiabin Jia, Huarui Wang, David Millington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Oil-water two-phase flows are encountered in various process industries, such as petroleum and chemical. The measurement of oil volume fraction and its distribution is of particular importance for managing oil production and water disposal and/or water reinjection. The water phase in these environments always has high electrical conductivity, which incurs significant difficulties for oil volume fraction measurement using Electrical Resistance Tomography (ERT). In this paper, a method of solving this problem is introduced. A pilot plant scale flow loop at TUV NEL Ltd was used to measure oil distribution and oil volume fraction in the range of 0-0.4. The total volumetric flow rate of oil and water was 30, 60 and 90 m3/hr. High electrical conductivity of water in 27.6 mS/cm was applied as continuous phase. The measurement results from ERT were validated by the readings of NEL’s references and flow patterns were compared with visual observation, which demonstrated that ERT was able to visualize the oil phase distribution and monitor the local and overall oil volume fraction up to 0.4.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8224 - 8233
JournalIEEE Sensors Journal
Issue number24
Early online date17 May 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 May 2017


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