Pressure Sensing Microsystems for Energy Industry Applications
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This research was directed at sensing microsystems for high pressure and high temperature environments (≥20 MPa, ≥100°C) that are encountered in the energy industry in two contexts: laboratory studies of geological samples; and downhole energy exploration and production.
Rock core samples are routinely assessed for the transport of fluids in experiments that can last months. Incorporating distributed pressure sensors along the rock cores without disturbing fluid transport can greatly enhance the quality and impact of the data gathered. This work investigated miniature (<3 mm thickness), passive, wireless pressure sensing nodes. Using inductive capacitive (LC) transducers embedded along seam of the core allowed flow-generated pressure gradients to be measured in this context for the first time, achieving <100 Pa resolution over 2 MPa full-scale range.
Downhole environments are routinely monitored with wireline logging tools. In order to miniaturize wireline tools and facilitate untethered sensing, autonomous microsystems are being developed with temperature, pressure, inertial, and magnetic sensing. This work investigated challenges in hardware/software codesign, power and performance limits, and operating modalities of an environment logging microsystem for high pressure high temperature operation over multiple days. An integration and packaging methodology was investigated to enable buoyant deployment of microsystem in narrow wellbores.
Chair: Professor Yogesh B. Gianchandani, and Dr. Alexander C. Benken