Behavior of Electric Submersible Pumps (ESP) handling two-phase flow is a subject of primary concern, especially in the petroleum industry, where significant amounts of free gas may be found in oil wells production. Several attempts have been made in order to predict the performance of such kind of pumps, nevertheless, limited success has been achieved due to the complexity of the flow dynamics inside the impeller. Geometry, gas void fraction (GVF) and suction pressure seem to be the main parameters affecting ESP performance. Furthermore, the higher the GVF of the mixture is, the higher the degradation of head that it is experimented by the pump. This complex phenomena is not well understood so far. In this work, a two fluid model is used in 3D CFD simulations carried out in order to obtain the pressure, liquid velocity and gas velocity fields as well as the GVF distribution in an ESP impeller of known geometry; using flow rates, bubble diameter and GVF at the suction as independent variables and an incompressible fluid hypothesis. The gas pocket in the impeller blade reported from other researchers is obtained and comparison with experimental results has shown good agreement. The obtained variables from the simulations are the cornerstone that allows the prediction of the performance curve of the pump for different GVF and in this way, estimate the head degradation of the pump.

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