Realizing that accurately measuring the level of drilling fluid flow through the mud return line is crucial for drillers monitoring the drilling fluid balance in the wellbore, Cameron has developed a new, state-of-the-art mud flow sensor to increase reliability and provide the accuracy the market needs.
Drawbacks of conventional sensors
While several different types of sensors have historically been used for measuring the flow rate of drilling fluid through the mud return line, they have proven to be problematic for drillers and require frequent maintenance. These include paddle flowmeters featuring a mechanical paddle that rises and falls with the level of drilling fluid in the mud return line, and noncontact radar level sensors that transmit a radar pulse that is reflected off a surface of the drilling fluid flowing in the mud return line to determine the flow rate. Issues with paddle flowmeters are often noted on the paddle arm and bowl. Rocks and cuttings damage the paddle over time, and in the end the bowl disintegrates and ends up in the shakers. As a result, the mud loggers do not have verification on how the paddle is performing since the paddle arm still points in a downwards position and floats with the mud and seawater stream. The main problem associated with no-contact radar level sensors is condensation of mud and seawater.