Integrated Sensor Instrument for Measuring Subsurface Strain (2016-004)

Market Overview:

This integrated strain sensor instrument measures multiple components of strain and deformation to provide accurate estimates of changes in subsurface materials. The energy and environment markets, specifically the recovery and storage of energy resources like oil, gas, and CO2, can be made more efficient by advancing the ability to characterize permeability and distribution of pressure, temperature, or strain. Currently available instruments, such as extensometers and tiltmeters, are used to measure horizontal and vertical changes respectively. However, they are limited in providing only one measurement of strain. Clemson University researchers have developed an integrated sensor instrument that is equipped with horizontal and vertical strain sensors, a tiltmeter, and an advanced software algorithm, allowing the instrument to measure multiple components of strain and deformation. Due to the placement of the sensors and integrated software, the instrument can provide accurate estimates of material properties and changes of pressure, temperature, and strain in the subsurface.

 

Application                                                                   Stage of Development

Recovery and storage of energy resources                     Prototype and some in-field testing completed

 

Advantages

• Uses multiple components to measure strain, reducing uncertainty in the interpretation

• Allows data to be obtained from shallow boreholes, requiring less drilling and reducing costs

• Allows more data to be obtained from each borehole, improving efficiency of data collection

 

Technical Summary

This strain sensor instrument consists of a device that is lowered into a borehole and anchored to the walls of the hole. The instrument is easily removable through the use of a registration system to securely lock the device in place before anchoring the retractable anchors. Included in the instrument are three sets of sensors for measuring: strain along the axis of the borehole, strain normal to the axis of the borehole, and vertical deformation gradient. The advanced software algorithm uses hardware that measures multiple components of strain and deformation instead and then provides accurate estimates of material properties and changes of pressure, temperature, and strain in the subsurface. This design is distinguished by its positioning of the sensors to maximize measurement accuracy and the software used to analyze the measurement data. Additional field testing of the prototype is scheduled over the next year.

 

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Inventors:                          Larry Murdoch, Stephen Moysey, Scott DeWolf

 

Patent Type:                      Provisional

 

Serial Number:                 62/376,476

 

CURF Ref:                        2016-004

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Andy Bluvas
Technology Commercialization Officer
Clemson University Research Foundation
bluvasa@clemson.edu
Inventors:
Lawrence Murdoch
Leonid Germanovich
Stephen Moysey
Scott DeWolf
Alex Hanna
Keywords:
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