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Title:
ULTRASONIC DEVICE FOR THE PREVENTION OF BIOFILM, SEDIMENTATION AND CORROSION IN BOREHOLE TUBES AND METHOD THEREOF
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/159021
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Device for the prevention of biofilm and sediment. (4) in borehole tubes (1) or distribution tubes for water, characterised in that ultrasonic waves are generated in the fluid (10) that flows through the borehole tube (1) or distribution tube by means of at least one ultrasonic transducer (9), whereby the one or more transducers each have a power of 6 to 100 Watt, and each have a frequency of 20 kHZ to 120 kHz,

Inventors:
HARTEEL, Gustaaf (Beeldstraat 79, 9100 Sint-Niklaas, 9100, BE)
Application Number:
IB2019/050393
Publication Date:
August 22, 2019
Filing Date:
January 17, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
HARTEEL, BESLOTEN VENNOOTSCHAP MET BEPERKTE AANSPRAKELIJKHEID (Beeldstraat 79, 9100 Sint-Niklaas, 9100, BE)
International Classes:
E21B37/00; B08B3/12
Domestic Patent References:
WO2001031328A12001-05-03
Foreign References:
US20160076340A12016-03-17
US4691724A1987-09-08
US5727628A1998-03-17
US5595243A1997-01-21
US6418960B12002-07-16
US20050269097A12005-12-08
US20130186188A12013-07-25
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
VAN VARENBERG, Patrick et al. (Arenbergstraat 13, 2000 Antwerpen, 2000, BE)
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Claims:
Claims

1.- Device for the prevention of sediment (4) in borehole tubes (1) or distribution tubes, characterised in that ultrasonic waves are generated in the water (10) that flows through the borehole tube (1) or distribution tube by means of at least one ultrasonic transducer (9), whereby the one or more transducers each have a power of 6 to 100 Watt, and each have a frequency of 20 kHZ to 120 kHz.

2. - Device according to claim 1, characterised in that the transducer (9) dissipates continuous ultrasonic waves or dissipates pulsed ultrasonic waves.

3. - Device according to claim 1, characterised in that the transducer (9) is connected to a control box (11) . 4.- Device according to claim 1, characterised in that the transducer (9) is in contact with the water (10) in which ultrasonic waves are generated.

5. - Device according to claim 3, characterised in that the frequency of the one or more transducers (9) is varied continuously or in phases by a control of the control box (11) .

6. - Device according to claim 4, characterised in that the ultrasonic waves can be sent in a borehole tube (1) up to a depth of 10 metres from a transducer (9) at the surface.

7. - Device according to claim 4, characterised in that the ultrasonic waves can be sent in a borehole tube (1) up to a distance of 10 metres, from a transducer (9) on an immersion pump located at a depth of 0 to several hundred meters .

8. Method for the application of a device (8) according to the invention described in claim 1, characterised in that it consists of the following steps:

- mounting an ultrasonic sound source in the form of one or more transducers (9) on a borehole tube (1), distribution tube or immersion pump such that the transducer (9) makes contact with the water flowing through (10);

- connecting the one or more transducers (9) to a control box (11) to switch the transducer (9) on and off and to control the power and the frequency of the one or more transducers (9);

- sending ultrasonic waves by means of the one or more transducers (9) through the water (10) that flows or is pumped through the borehole tube (1) or distribution tube; - if applicable, starting the bore pump which pumps the water (10) through the borehole tube (1);

- stopping the bore pump after pumping up a desired quantity of water; - stopping the sending of ultrasonic waves by means of the one or more transducers (9) by means of the control box (11) .

Description:
ULTRASONIC DEVICE FORTHE PREVENTION OF BIOFIL , SEDIMENTATION AND CORROSION IN BOREHOLE TUBESAND METHOD THEREOF

The present Invention relates to a device for the prevention of sedimentation and corrosion in borehole tubes and a method whereby such a device is applied. In particular, the invention is intended for the prevention of biofilm, sedimentation and corrosion on the inner wall of borehole tubes but also, for example, on the inner wall of distribution tubes of pumped up water. The invention is also applicable in geothermal pump installations.

The formation of sedimentation and corrosion can be described in three phases. In a first phase, planktonic or free-floating bacteria develop because they use dissolved salts and minerals in the pumped up water as substrate and convert it to sediment that is deposited on the inner wall of the borehole tube or distribution tube.

In a second phase, planktonic bacteria are released from the sediment, which are transported with the flow of the water to another place in the borehole tube or the network of distribution tubes, where the cycle repeats itself resulting in the formation of even more sediment.

An unwanted effect of the operation of aerobic sulphate- reducing bacteria is that they produce sulphuric acid and affect metal pipes, tanks and reservoirs, resulting in corrosion.

In a third phase the reaction products of the bacteria such as sulphuric acid cause corrosion at the interface between sedimentation and the inner wall of the tube.

Dissolved metal salts of iron, manganese, calcium and other minerals can be oxidised or reduced by the bacteria, causing sediments to deposit on the inner wall of the borehole tubes and distribution tubes.

A first disadvantage of such sediment on the inner surface of the tube is that the formed sediments hinder the flow of the liquid that flows through it and limit the flow rate of the borehole tube in question.

Another disadvantage of the formed sediments is that they start corrosion processes on the contact area between the sediments and the metal borehole tube, which damage and weaken the borehole tube itself. The corrosion processes continue as long as new food sources are supplied in the pumped up fluid in the form of dissolved salts and minerals that act as substrate for the bacteria that live from them.

Different methods are used to treat pipes affected by sedimentation such as mechanical or chemical cleaning products . Ultrasonic waves are also used to remove sediment. However, high intensity ultrasonic waves are used which have the disadvantage that they cause collapses and blockages in sources and pipes.

The purpose of the present invention is to provide a solution to the aforementioned and other disadvantages, by providing a device which allows the formation of biofilm to be prevented which could result in sediment formation and corrosion in a borehole tube or distribution tube. To this end, the invention relates to a device for the prevention of sedimentation and corrosion in borehole tubes or distribution tubes, whereby limited intensity ultrasonic waves are generated in the water which flows through the borehole tube or distribution tube by means of at least one ultrasonic transducer.

The one or more transducers can dissipate continuous ultrasonic waves or dissipate pulsed ultrasonic waves. To this end the transducer is connected to a control box with a control which allows the frequency of the one or more transducers to be varied continuously or in phases.

An advantage connected to these ultrasonic waves is that they are able to prevent the formation of biofilm, because they prevent the build-up of biofilm and of sediment by bacteria on the inner wall of the tubes.

The at least one transducer which is in contact with the water in which ultrasonic waves are generated, each have a power of 6 to 100 Watt and a frequency of 20 kHz to 120 kHz, such that the generated ultrasonic vibrations in the water can prevent the formation of biofiliti and sediment on the inner wall of the tubes. The ultrasonic waves can be sent to great depths of several hundred meters in a borehole tube from a transducer at the surface or from a transducer on an immersion pump located at the bottom of the borehole.

An advantage of attaching an ultrasonic transducer to an immersion pump, is that the transducer is able to keep the immediate vicinity around the immersion pump free from biofilm and sediment, and as such ensures a higher flow rate of the pumped up fluid.

The invention also relates to a method for applying a device described in claim 1, characterised in that it consists of the following steps:

- mounting an ultrasonic sound source in the form of one or more transducers on a borehole tube, distribution tube or immersion pump such that the transducer makes contact with the water flowing through;

- connecting the one or more transducers to a control box to switch the transducer on and off and to control the power and the frequency of the one or more transducers;

- sending ultrasonic waves by means of the one or more transducers through the water that flows or is pumped through the borehole tube or distribution tube; - if applicable starting the bore pump which pumps the water through the borehole tube;

- stopping the bore pump after pumping up a desired quantity of water;

- stopping the sending of ultrasonic waves by means of the one or more transducers by means of its control box. With the intention of better showing the characteristics of the invention, a preferred embodiment of a device for the prevention of biofilm, sedimentation and corrosion according to the invention is described hereinafter, by way of an example without any limiting nature, with reference to the accompanying drawings wherein: figure 1 shows the formation of sediment in a tube; figure 2 shows a lateral view of a device for the prevention of sediment according to the invention;

figure 3 shows a cross-section through a tube according to the line F3-F3 shown in figure 2;

figure 4 shows a lateral view of a coupling piece with transducer mounted on a distribution tube. Figure 1 schematically shows the formation of sediment in a borehole tube or distribution tube 1 through which water flows. The formation goes through two phases, whereby in a first phase (Ά) planktonic bacteria 2, which are free floating in the water, develop because they use dissolved salts and minerals 3 in the pumped up water as substrate and convert it to sediment 4 that is deposited on the inner wall 5 of the borehole tube or distribution tube resulting In the formation of a blofllm on the Inner wall.

In a second phase (B) planktonic bacteria 2 are released from the blofllm and the sediment 4, which are transported elsewhere 5' In the borehole tube or the network of distribution tubes 6 by the flow of the water, resulting In the formation of a new blofllm and even more sediment 4. In a third phase (C) , corrosion 7 develops on the Interface between sedimentation and the Inner wall of the tube, due to the reaction products of the bacteria such as sulphuric acid, among others. Figure 2 shows a device 8 for the prevention of blofllm and sediment 4 according to the Invention, consisting of at least one ultrasonic transducer 9 which generates ultrasonic waves In the fluid 10 that flows through the borehole tube or distribution tube 1. In this case the ultrasonic transducer 9 Is mounted at a slanted angle a relative to the longitudinal direction 10 of the borehole tube. In a direction opposite to the flow direction of the fluid 10, In this case water, but this can also be at a straight angle, as long as the transducer 9 makes contact with the water 10 flowing past In the borehole tube 1. The ultrasonic transducer 9 Is connected to a control box 11 to control the characteristics of the generated ultrasonic waves Figure 3 shows a cross-section 12 of the borehole tube 1 In figure 2, perpendicular to the longitudinal direction 10 of the borehole tube 1. The cross-section 12 shows a deposit of biofilm 13 and sediment on the inner wall 7 of the borehole tube 1, caused by bacteria 2 which convert dissolved salts and minerals.

Figure 4 shows a cross-section 14 of a distribution tube 15 of water 10 flowing by, on which an ultrasonic transducer 9 has been mounted in a supply tube 16 at an angle perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the distribution tube 15, whereby the supply tube 16 is sealable by a valve 17 which in opened condition enables contact between the fluid 10 and the ultrasonic transducer 9. The ultrasonic waves spread in both directions upstream and downstream in the distribution tube 15.

The operation of the device 8 is very simple and as follows .

After drilling a water source for example, a borehole tube 1 is put in the borehole to pump up water after which the water can be led further via distribution tubes to a collection point or a reservoir.

A device 8 according to the invention is mounted on the borehole tube 1, consisting of one or more ultrasonic transducers 9 which make contact with the water flowing through and which are located on a borehole tube, and/or on a distribution tube and/or on an immersion pump. The one or more transducers 9 are connected to a control box 11 to switch the one or more transducers 9 on and off and to control the power and the frequency of the one or more transducers 9.

The control box 11 has software with which the frequency of the one or more transducers 9 is varied continuously or in phases by the control box 11.

The power of the one or more transducers 9 is also controlled depending on the dimensions and the diameter of the borehole tube or distribution tube 1 on which the transducer 9 is mounted. The power of the one or more transducers is set between 6 and 100 Watt and their frequency between 20 kHz and 120 kHz. A transducer 9 at the surface is able to send its ultrasonic waves up to a depth of 10 metres in a borehole tube 1.

A transducer mounted on an immersion pump can be lowered into the borehole along with the immersion pump to a depth of several hundred metres and send locally active ultrasonic waves through the pumped up water.

The ultrasonic waves prevent the formation of biofilm and sediment 4 on the inner wall 5 of the borehole tube 1 or distribution tubes, by preventing the deposit of floating bacteria in biofilm and consequently preventing the formation of sediment 4 by conversion of dissolved salts and minerals. The present invention is by no means limited to the embodiment described as an example and shown in the figures, but a device for the prevention of sediment according to the invention can be realised in all kinds of forms and dimensions without departing from the scope of the invention, as defined in the following claims.