West Virginia Patent of the Month – January 2022

Optical analyzers are used in a wide range of applications from nuclear and chemical processing to the oil and gas industries. These devices are great for substance analysis in harsh environments. Optical-based fluid analyzers can detect and measure liquids and gasses. However, many of these devices experience limitations with the required accuracy when comparing similar fluids from different locations. For instance, when performing wireline formation testing, pressure measurements are taken from a borehole. If samples are taken from two different reservoirs, it is expected that each fluid will have different spectra, but the analyzer may not be able to accurately characterize this difference and may limit the measurement’s usefulness.

Pietro Fiorentini, Inc. has designed an improved optical fluid analyzer. Their system uses a drum spectrometer to achieve fluorescence, absorption, and reflectance detection. During analysis, an electromagnetic source generates an optical signal across the usual spectrum of wavelengths. Their tool then uses a source splitter which splits this optical signal in two – a reference and measurement channel. The measurement channel has a test cell which contains the fluid sample. A series of filters can be applied and changed throughout analysis.

A traditional downhole spectrometer comprises up to 20 channels and a single discrete filter to detect fluid presence. Pietro Fiorentini’s design uses 6 discrete filters positioned throughout their channels. Each filter has different wavelengths allowing for analysis at a greater range.

The parallel reference signal is novel to this design. This channel completely bypasses the testing cell of the analyzer. The output of the measurement channel can be normalized using this reference channel to filter out noise and potential interferences. 

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