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Heat-resistant electronics for oil wells

A research project carried out by SINTEF ICT has demonstrated twelve thousand hours of error-free operation of electronics modules at 250o C, equivalent to about thirty years of operation at 200o C.

The module contains high-temperature integrated circuits, printed resistances and braided connectors. It is filled with nitrogen and hermetically sealed.

The offshore petroleum industry needs sensors and electronics capable of withstanding high temperatures in a oil well for several years. Temperatures in the hottest wells can reach nearly 200 degrees, at pressures of 500 – 1500 bar.

Equipment of this sort is expensive, but is essential for monitoring down-hole conditions and optimising production. If operators can rely on the electronics holding out for the lifetime of the well, measuring equipment can be permanently installed.

SINTEF’s results are extremely encouraging, suggesting as they do that extended operational lifetimes in high-temperature wells are within reach.

Aase Dragland | alfa
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