Performance Report: Tests Validate Pint-Sized CD-250 Centrifuge as High-Performance, Low-Cost Solution for HDD Applications

Challenge: Small process applications, such as HDD, require solids control units that can deliver high separation efficiencies, but within the tight economic and logistical constraints that boring and similar operations require. No solids control technologies existed that could deliver high performance at low operating costs, but at a fraction of the space required of conventional and higher-cost units. In response to the industry need, M-I SWACO re-engineered its CD-250 decanting centrifuge to provide high separation efficiency for operations where low costs and minimal footprint are mandatory. Based on a long-established design, the modified CD-250 centrifuge was configured into the most compact package in the industry, but engineered with the performance efficiency equal to or approaching that of a unit twice its size. In addition, the compact CD-250 was overdesigned to facilitate simplicity, low maintenance and the lowest operational costs in the industry. The compressed centrifuge was designed for a maximum operating speed of 4500 rpm, creating 2773 g @4500 rpm in separation force, enabling it to process 9 lb/gal (1.078 s.g.) drilling fluid at 93 gpm. The versatile unit is designed as a standard fixed drive, but with the option of electric inverter as well as hydraulic variable speed.

Before introducing the CD-250 to the field, M-I SWACO needed definitive data to validate the reliability and performance of the new design, as well as its limitations.

Solution: To prove the viability of the CD-250 as designed, M-I SWACO arranged for a two-pronged test at its Walraven/Vicentini testing facility in Berra, Italy. The reliability and functionality tests would prove Reliability and functionality tests, to prove both the design and limitations of the unit in simulated field conditions using active drilling fluid. The performance tests would be carried out on 9.0 lb/gal aqueous-based mud comprising water, bentonite, caustic soda and silica flowers to replicate drill solids. The performance tests was designed to evaluate the solids removal efficiency, the D50 cut point and the maximum flow rate.

Result: At the completion of the reliability and performance tests, the CD-250 largely exceeded all design parameters, delivering a maximum handling capacity of 93 gpm on the 9 lb/gal test mud; solids removal efficiency of 25%; an industry comparable density cut, all the while attaining a separation potential of 9 micron D50 cut point. Furthermore, the unit passed the reliability test up to a maximum 4000 rpm operating speed. Post-test inspection of critical components showed only minor wear.

The results of the reliability and performance tests validated the re-designed CD-250 decanting centrifuge as the industry’s only solids control unit capable of delivering the high-performance requirements of HDD and similar small process applications and within the tight costs and space constraints those operations require.

  • Small and highly efficient: The footprint of the CD-250 is the smallest of any unit with a similar design volume, but delivers performance equal to a conventional unit
  • Cost efficient: The unit is comparatively much less expensive to operate relative to its performance with a simple design for lower maintenance costs
  • Reliable and dependable: The CD-250 is designed to further maintain cost control
  • High performance in a small package: 93 gpm with 9 lb/gal mud; 4000 rpm (2191 g) operating speed; 9 micron D50 separation potential based on 9 lb/gal fluid with < 2 s.g. solids; D50 Cut Point: 9 μm at 15 gpm

Download: Italy: Tests validate pint-sized CD-250 centrifuge as high-performance, low-cost solution for HDD applications (0.23 MB PDF)

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