Brushless DC motors for down hole and directional drilling.

Directional Drilling

Directional Drilling

The recovery of petroleum and natural gas requires constant innovation and improvement of technology. This technology used for deep drilling processes are exposed to extreme environmental conditions. Temperatures of 200+°C, high pressure and extreme shock and vibration. Brushless DC motor technology from maxon motor is utilized in various drilling applications, hydraulic valve control, communication mechanisms and measuring instrumentation.

Today over 85 percent of the world’s energy use is based on fossil fuel sources such as coal, oil and gas. However, reaching these resources requires the need to drill deeper than ever before which is not a simple exercise. Down hole deep drilling equipment opens the possibility of recovering resources from depths greater than 2.5km. Recent developments allowing down hole drilling equipment to be directionally controlled has given access to formerly inaccessible oil reserves. Now drilling to 5km down and 11km across is even possible.

Extremely tough environmental conditions are commonplace globally for drilling equipment, the demands on the drill head in particular are at their highest. Brushed and brushless DC motors need to withstand the intense vibration, pressure and heat. The heavy duty brushless DC motor range produced by maxon motor are not only designed for but are rated and tested to meet these conditions. Combined with new electronics technology they allow for improved control and monitoring of drilling procedures.

Mud flow power and more.

Using magnetic couplings a back driven motor becomes a generator. Using the mud flow for the drill turbine the brushless DC motor power is then harnessed for localized electronics in the drill head avoiding the need for batteries. The drill head position can also be detected and adjusted on the fly. This process is called Measurement While Drilling (MWD). This technology converts sensor data into pulses that are transmitted to the drilling platform. maxon heavy duty motors can actuate the mechanism, forming the communication pulses. maxon heavy duty DC motors also actuate hydraulic valves within the drill head.

Heavy Duty Brushless DC Motor. © 2012 maxon motor

Heavy Duty Brushless DC Motor. © 2012 maxon motor

maxon heavy duty motors are also available with corresponding gearboxes. The gearboxes are manufactured with the same extreme operating environments in mind. The applications typically require elevated torque for very low duty cycles. For example: Generating the mud pulses and actuating the hydraulic valves. A unique feature of the heavy duty gearbox is the through holes in the gear housing. These are ports that allow the gearhead to be submerged in oil and they facilitate the possibility for oil to circulate through the gearbox and provide elevated heat-sinking. The heavy duty DC motor also contains the oil ports and may also be used submerged in oil or in free air. The gearmotors are manufactured entirely without structural adhesives giving it the capability of withstanding extreme temperatures. This is also of particular importance when using the motor in vacuum conditions avoiding the contamination of the vacuum via outgassing. The heavy duty motor range is designed to withstand temperatures over 240°C at pressures up to 1,733 atmospheres. They can withstand vibrations to 25 Grms, impacts to 100 G.

High efficiency DC motors at great depths
The maxon heavy duty motor range features efficiencies of up to 88% in air and over 70% submerged in oil. This makes it an ideal solution for any extreme environment such as aerospace and heavy industry. They have zero cogging making them easy to control and suitable for precise positioning.

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Oil & Gas Technology

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maxon’s EC-4pole 32 HD with planetary gearhead

This 480 W motor can withstand 200 °C, 1000 G, -5000 m and 1700 bar.

maxon's EC-4pole 32 HD

maxon’s EC-4pole 32 HD

The Heavy Duty Motor EC 22 HD, innovation of the year in 2010, has now been joined by a larger and more powerful version. The new, electronically commutated EC-4pole 32 HD motor has all the features of the award-winning 22 mm motor. It is designed for extremely rough operating conditions, particularly applications in deep drilling.

Deep drilling technology (called “downhole drilling” in the field of oil and gas exploration) makes it possible to recover oil and gas from depths of more than 2500 m. By combining deep drilling with directional drilling (dynamic position alignment of a bore in the earth), previously unreachable oil reserves are being opened up, with drilling depths of approx. 5000 m and drill lengths of up to 11000 m. The development of specialized electronics and drives has made it possible to better monitor and control many functions across the entire drilling process. For instance, it is now possible to dynamically measure and adjust the position of the drill head during the drilling process. Diverse deep drilling tools also use hydraulic valves or flaps that are operated by electromechanical drives. The temperatures and pressures at these depths, combined with the strong vibrations that occur during the drilling work, present unique challenges for the use of electronic drives.

The different versions of the EC-4pole 32 HD are designed for operation in air or in oil (flooded in hydraulic oil). The power rating depends on the surrounding medium and amounts to 220 W in air and, due to the much higher heat flow, 480 W in oil. They are designed for ambient temperatures of more than 200 °C and atmospheric pressures of up to 1700 bar. The Ø 32 mm motors must also be able to withstand vibrations of up to 25 grms as well as impacts of up to 1000 G (1000 times the acceleration due to gravity at the earth’s surface). As an example, a Formula 1 vehicle is exposed to approximately 2 G and fighter jets are exposed to approxi-mately 13 G. The motors feature high efficiency (up to 89% in air, more than 80% in oil), making them ideal for use in battery-operated applications. With their detent-free running properties, they have excellent control characteristics and are suitable for high-precision positioning tasks in outer space, even at low speeds.

The EC-4pole 32 HD is ideal for use in environments with extreme temperatures, subject to high vibration, or under ultra-high vacuum. This means the motors can also be used in aerospace applications, e.g. for gas turbine starters, for the generators of jet engines, for regulating combustion engines, or for exploration robots. For the use of the motor in conjunction with a gearhead, maxon offers the GP 32 HD, a powerful and robust planetary gearhead.

Extreme Environment Operation of DC Servo Motors

Extreme_Environment_Jan21_2014_300Join us for a Live Webinar presented on January 21, 2014

Space is limited. Reserve your Webinar seat now.

This webinar will include a general discussion on DC Servo (brush and brushless) Motor Technology and the benefits of using EC HD (electronically commutated heavy duty) motors in extreme environment applications, including a brief introduction to maxon’s EC HD motor & gearbox family. A technical discussion will follow on the operation, construction and modification of EC HD motors and gearboxes for extreme environments such as: vacuum, downhole, high temperature, submersible, space rated, high shock/vibration, low temperature, etc.), including the following discussion topics:

  • EC HD operation in air vs. in oil
  • How extreme temperature operation affects motor performance
  • Why the maxon winding is critical in battery powered applications and how this benefits MWD (Measurement While Drilling) tool service life
  • Consideration of IR losses (IR drop) when running EC HD motor cables up to 5000 meters
  • Suitability of the EC HD motor for backdriveability
  • Using the EC HD motor as a generator in downhole applications
  • Spindle applications using the EC HD motor platform
  • EC HD operation in ultra-high vacuum: Outgassing, Heating and Performance Derating considerations?

maxon precision motors_EC 22 HD motor and gear comboTitle: Extreme Environment Operation of DC Servo Motors
Date: Tuesday, January 21
, 2014
Time: 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM EST
Presenters: Dr. Urs Kafader & Dr. Robin Phillips, maxon motor AG

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

 

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