by Liam Cooley, Manufacturing at Drillware
Under typical conditions in the field, it can take up to 577 600 L of water to complete the average 1000-meter N-size hole. In remote or sensitive areas, the costs associated with delivering this water are substantial, the logistics are challenging, and the process is unnecessarily wasteful. With this in mind, Drillware recently launched the Environ SRS Centrifuge – a compact, high-performance centrifuge capable of drilling 1000 m N-size with just 2400 L of water.
With no water discharge, the SRS Centrifuge is a closed-loop system that separates liquids from solids down to the smallest micron level. By returning pure, clean water to the drill string when it’s needed and continuously purifying the water when it’s not, the SRS Centrifuge helps to maximize the life of downhole tools while maintaining an optimal penetration rate. Solids are easily stored and transported, and hundreds of thousands of liters of water are spared.
Built from simple, serviceable components, the entire system is reliable, easy to set up, and requires no additional technician to operate. Clean water is sent down the drill string, while dirty water returns from the hole and is fed through a prefilter to remove any burlap and splinters. The water is then collected in the dirty mud tank, where solids are kept in suspension to maintain an even consistency. From there, it is sent to the centrifuge.
Applying centrifugal forces around 1700 times the force of gravity, an internal auger separates the smallest of solids from the water. Solids exit the system with the consistency of drywall compound and can be easily bagged, stored or transported off-site, eliminating the need for a permitted sump. With solids removed, the centrifuge returns clean water to the active mud tank, where it is made ready to be sent back down the hole. When clean water is not needed at the drill, the system recirculates the water through the dirty mud tank and centrifuge, continuously purifying it.
By defaulting to continuous recirculation, the SRS Centrifuge can run without supervision and without worrying about overflows. Powered by a simple control unit that doesn’t require active management, the system is easy to implement, train on and operate – requiring only minimal interaction from the driller or driller’s helper, so they can remain focused on the drilling at hand.
Unlike other systems, the Environ SRS Centrifuge was designed for maximum versatility, with configurations for fly, skid, and underground drilling all possible. Its small footprint makes it one of the most versatile closed-loop solids removal systems in the world – increasing tool life and reducing water consumption by up to 90 %, all from a portable package that can be deployed virtually anywhere. Simply put, there’s no better solution to eliminate permitted sumps, trucking water to the site, or discharged drill fluids today.
Drillware is planning to make the Environ SRS Centrifuge available on a rental basis in the coming months. Please visit the website at drillwaretools.com for updates on availability.