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High GVF (with Steam) Pump Testing

C-FER designed and built a multiphase flow loop capable of testing artificial lift systems under high-GVF conditions.

This flow loop is unique in its ability to handle tests with water, air, and live steam (or combinations thereof) at high temperatures and pressures. It also allows for temperature and pressure monitoring via specialized high-resolution instrumentation at each pump stage.

Previous experimental work at C-FER illustrated some fundamental differences in pump behavior when different gas phases (steam vs. air vs. steam + air) are present at the pump intake.

This work also showed that not only the stage design but also the number of stages can greatly influence the ability of a pump to handle high GVF, revealing the importance of properly staging a pump for a given application.


System Variables Operational Specifications
Minimum Maximum
Pump Intake Pressure (PIP) 0 kPag
(0 psig)
1,034 kPag
(150 psig)
Pump Discharge Pressure (Pd) - 9,653 kPag
(1,400 psig)
Pump Intake Temperature (Tin) 15°C (59°F)
Total Volumetric Flow Rate (Qtot) 25 m³/d
(157 bbl/d)
1,200 m³/d
(7,548 bbl/d)
Gas Volume Fraction (GVF) 0% 50%
AL System Length - ~ 10 m
(33 ft)
AL System Motor Power - 119 kW
(160 hp)


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