WIGAN, UK – atg UV Technology and Raisepower have conducted trials on the use of UV light as a disinfection technique to treat hydraulic fluids used for subsea BOP operation.
UV light is a chemical-free, physical disinfection technique used offshore for potable water disinfection, RO membrane protection, and to reduce quantities of sulfate reducing bacteria from well injection fluids and produced water.
Typically, BOPs are controlled and operated by hydraulic fluids comprised of potable grade fresh water, glycol-based antifreeze and soluble lubricants with corrosion inhibitors.
If untreated, levels of bacteria in the BOP controls fluid can quickly surge, accelerated by sugars present in the glycol mixture.
Even small amounts of biological activity can lead to microbial corrosion on the fluid lines, corrosion of the BOP and control unit components and seals, and control system blockages caused by the formation of particles and solids in the fluid. This can result in BOP failure and unrepairable damage.
BOP fluid typically has a very low UV Transmittance (UVT) of nearly 0%, and standard UV systems are said to be ineffective below 30% UVT. In addition, the design of the UV solution needs to avoid caramelizing and burning of sugars present in the glycol-based additives.
atg UV Technology/Raisepower’s treatment solution combines UV treatment and filtration. One of the main goals of the design was to establish the optimum treatment rate needed to overcome the disinfection barriers associated with BOP fluid.
The duo conducted laboratory and pilot trials at atg UV Technology’s facility in Wigan, northwest England, to prove the effectiveness of UV light as a sterilization technique for the mixed hydraulic operation fluid.