The Need for Quintuplex Frac Pumps in Oil and Gas Exploration
Hydraulic fracking or hydrofracking is a commonly used process in the oil and gas industry. It is a commercial method where a wellbore is drilled down into the surface to create a shaft. A high-pressure water mixture is then directed in the fracture to stimulate the oil or gas at the depths to fracture through the rock and burst out. This fracking fluid mixture usually contains water, sand, and chemicals that push out the liquid or gas while leaving their chemical composition unaltered.
The fracking process is carried out both horizontally and vertically. Initially, the bore is drilled down vertically up to the required depth and then drilling process is carried out horizontally. Choosing the right pumping equipment is a key to the success of the entire process. Reciprocation plunger pumps have been used for decades and they generate an immense pressure of 15,000psi and a flow rate of 1000 barrels per minute. However, frac pumps have also evolved over time–their size, flow rate, pressure generating capacity, and horsepower have gone up considerably. Industrial demand has also increased and the pumps are required to drill in more complex geological formations for uninterrupted supply. To meet the demands in modern industrial conditions, businesses only trust high-capacity triplex and quintuplex pumps.
Quintuplex pumps are high-performance pumps that are able to generate up to 2700bhp. These are positive displacement pumps that have a superior valve design and are suitable for high rod load and ‘sand out’ situations. The major components of a quintuplex pump are the fluid end, power end, and multiple valves. The fluid end initiates the pumping process through valves, pistons, and liners. All of these components suffer from high wear which is why modern pumps are designed for easy replacement of such parts.
These pumps are able to significantly reduce fluid end erosion consequently increasing the life of the fluid end. Accurately designed suction valve retainer reduces the fatigue life of the liquid and therefore lower operating costs. Such pumps provide increased fluid capacity at slower speeds that in return extends the life of all the major components.
The power end is another important component of the pump that converts the rotation of the drive shaft to the reciprocating motion of the pistons. In most of the quintuplex pumps, a crosshead crank gear is used. Quintuplex pumps are also equipped with discharge pulsation dampers for reducing the severe vibration generated in the process.
Superior performance and dependability of such pumps are the most important reasons for their high industrial demand. These frac pumps are able to generate pressures of up to 2700bhp and in some cases even more than that. The approximate flow rate usually remains around 51.3bpm that is quite high and the generated pressure is approximately 20,000psi.