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Down-hole Power Generator (DHPG)

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000085273D
Publication Date: 2005-Mar-02
Document File: 5 page(s) / 26K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

The management of oil/gas reservoirs is continuously evolving from the classical intervention and remedial type operation, to an active, integrated approach based on real time optimization of reservoir production. The reservoir is now visualized as a network of distributed active devices that monitor and control the production of each individual zone for optimal performance. For such a network to be deployed, the access to a long lasting source of electrical power down-hole has to be assured. The objective of this report is to propose one design for a down-hole power generator.

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Down-hole Power Generator (DHPG)

1 Introduction

The management of oil/gas reservoirs is continuously evolving
from the classical intervention and remedial type operation, to
an active, integrated approach based on real time optimization of
reservoir production. The reservoir is now visualized as a
network of distributed active devices that monitor and control
the production of each individual zone for optimal performance.
For such a network to be deployed, the access to a long lasting
source of electrical power down-hole has to be assured. The
objective of this report is to propose one design for a down-hole
power generator.

2 Remote Power Source Technology

Power for remote surface installations can be obtained from
various sources, solar energy being one of the most economical
sources. Solar energy combined with power storage and management,
can provide an almost unlimited amount of power to remote
installations. Solar energy though, can not be used in the down-
hole environment, in which the supplying of electrical power for
very long period of time remains an unchallenged obstacle.

Lithium is the dominant element for the making of high
temperature (up to 180 C) down-hole power sources. However,
lithium battery technology can only provide power to down-hole
electromechanical systems, for approximately 2 months. Power
management for the down-hole electronic circuitry can extend this
time limit to approximately 3 months.

Batteries or power sources based on the conversion of the
radiation heat from radioactive isotopes into electricity (RTG),
are a common source of long life-time power sources. NASA has
been using this type of power generation to provide the power
needed for its ultra long duration projects (Voyager, Ulysses,
Galileo). Power sources based on the RTG principle offer high
power output at high power density levels. However, RTG
generators pose a high environmental hazard due to the
penetrating nature of the isotope radiation which greatly limits
their use.

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3. Radioactive Decay

The radiation from the decay of radioisotopes can be classified
as penetrating or non-penetrating. Unstable nuclei release their
excess energy to their surrounding media in the form of Alpha,
Beta, Gamma and Neutron decay. Gamma rays and neutrons are
categorized as penetrating radiation. They are a dangerous type
of radiation with potential lethal effects. Normally, the Gamma
rays and neutrons must be contained in special vessels with heavy
shielding to protect people for getting exposed to the radiation.
Alpha and Beta radioactive decay is non-penetrating type of
radiation. The Alpha and Beta particles can be stopped by a sheet
of paper or plastic, making them of potentially lesser
environmental impact.

3.1.Beta Decay

When releasing its excess energy, an unstable nucleon can decay
into a stable state by emitting a highly energetic electron. This
process is called Beta decay. Beta decay is the only radioactive
process involving the changing of one elementary particle into
a...