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Proceedings Paper

Novel optical fiber design for hydrogen-rich harsh environments
Author(s): Imtiaz Majid; Kanxian Wei; Gary Drenzek; Chih-Hao Wang; Abdel Soufiane
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Paper Abstract

We report on a new class of novel optical fiber structures, designed for use in harsh environments typical of Oil and Gas Applications. Specifically, we focus on fiber designs that alleviate the effects of hydrogen ingression and its associated darkening of optical fibers in harsh environments. We demonstrate theoretically, how a carbon coated optical fiber structure consisting of an array of randomly or systematically placed voids running along the length of the fiber, can lead to significantly reduced hydrogen ingression effects. The array of voids can be of arbitrarily varying shapes and sizes, along the length of the fiber. We derive an equation describing the increase in the fiber lifetime as a function of the average cross-sectional fraction of voids in the fiber. Fiber darkening effects are predicted to decrease by factors of as much as x10, for moderately low fraction of voids in the fiber cross-section. Theoretical predictions are confirmed experimentally by performing ingression tests in a hydrogen test chamber with on-line monitoring capability, simulating down-hole temperatures and pressures. Additional geometric factors, such as fiber diameter, that may also be optimized to further improve the hydrogen ingression resistance of fibers are discussed; in this vein a new larger form-factor fiber, different from the standard 125um fiber is proposed. Finally, the lifetime predictions greater than 5-10 years obtained for such void-filled optical fibers in typical down-hole conditions make them extremely attractive candidates for use in Oil and Gas applications such as well monitoring and logging.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 November 2005
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6004, Fiber Optic Sensor Technology and Applications IV, 60040H (10 November 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.630558
Show Author Affiliations
Imtiaz Majid, Verrillon Inc. (United States)
Kanxian Wei, Verrillon Inc. (United States)
Gary Drenzek, Verrillon Inc. (United States)
Chih-Hao Wang, Verrillon Inc. (United States)
Abdel Soufiane, Verrillon Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6004:
Fiber Optic Sensor Technology and Applications IV
Michael A. Marcus; Brian Culshaw; John P. Dakin, Editor(s)

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