Exploration & Production
CEM is working to advance the state of the art in oil exploration and production by developing and leveraging electro-mechanical technologies that improve life-cycle costs, availability, and controllability for oil drilling and conveying components and systems.
Exploration - Seismic excitation:
Exploration - Drilling Systems:
Production – Product delivery:
Exploration - Seismic excitation:
Underground formations are studied by sending vibration through the earth and recording their reflections from the interface of various layers.
In seismic surveys, a shock wave is currently created by:
Compressed-air gun - shoots pulses of air into the water (for exploration over water); creates an uncontrolled excitation spectrum.
Thumper truck - slams heavy plates into the ground (for exploration over land); has a very limited spectrum signature.
Explosives - drilled into the ground (for exploration over land) or thrown overboard (for exploration over water), and detonated; has the disadvantage of hazardous materials and an uncontrolled broad spectrum excitation.
(Photo credit: Baker Hughes, Inc.)
CEM has investigated the use of an electromagnetic pulsed transducer to produce a tunable source wave for both undersea mapping and land-based seismic survey. This system avoids the undesirable necessity of handling explosives in the cases where they have been used as a source. The main advantage, however, is the capability to excite formations with selected frequencies using an electromagnetic pulse transducer instead of broad spectrum alternatives.
Off-road heavy equipment moving..
CEM has developed active suspension systems that greatly enhance the load bearing capabilities and the ground reaction forces involved in transporting large or heavy equipment in off-road location. This is important to the oil & gas industry as they must frequently relocate drilling equipment. The “tread lightly” effect of the active suspension technology can contribute to attempt to minimize the impact of equipment movement on sensitive environmental conditions.
Direct-drive, high-speed motors and generators…
The generator in development for the Advanced Locomotive Propulsion System (ALPS) is designed to produce 2.5-MW electrical power from a turbine shaft speed of 12,000 to 15,000 RPM. It employs a brushless exciter and high-strength rotor materials and mechanical design. The output power for its application is rectified and inverter distributed in the Locomotive vehicle. The induction motor in development for the ALPS project is designed to deliver 2-MW continuous with a base speed of 12,000 RPM (15,000 RPM, maximum). It utilizes new joining techniques for rotor bar and end plate connections, and sophisticated bearing designs for vertical operation orientation.
Oil and Gas Program
Homopolar welding is a process by which a high current DC generator passes current through two conducting shapes to produce a fusion weld in time intervals from 0.1 to 0.5 seconds. Several research programs have been conducted to optimize system parameters such as peak current, system energy and pulse shape to join high carbon steels, stainless steels and exotic metals. The process demonstrates diversity beyond welding in that it can be used to sinter powder materials, spot weld large areas, efficiently heat billets for forging processes and weld odd shapes such as railroad rails. The weld process is fast allowing alloys to retain their properties in heat affected zones.