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Introduction to Protectors

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Protector Functions
• The Protector has five primary functions:

– Couples the torque developed in the motor to the

intake via the protector shaft.

– Prevents entry of well fluid into the motor.

– Provides pressure equalization.

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– Houses the bearing to carry the down thrust

developed by the pump(s).

– Provides a reservoir for the thermal expansion of

the motor’s oil
Protector Types
• Labyrinth - uses the difference in
specific gravity of the well fluid and
the motor oil to keep them apart
even though they are in direct

• Positive Seal – designed to

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physically separate the well fluid

and motor oil
– Elastomer bag
– Metal bellows
Protector Components

Shaft Seal

Bag Chamber
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Thrust Bearing
Labyrinth Type Protectors
• Protector oil specific gravity is .85
• As long as well bore SG is heavier, labyrinth path works
to isolate motor fluid from well bore
• Labyrinth type protectors not recommended to be
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installed in a deviated or cycling well

– Ineffective in well bore deviations > 55 degrees
– Excessive cycling reduces protector ability to isolate fluids

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Once well fluid enters motor it’s

only a matter of time before it burns
Labyrinth Protectors
- Limitations
There will be cases where a labyrinth will simply
not work. In cases where the well fluid is lighter
gravity than the motor oil (i.e. about 0.85), the
motor oil will go to the bottom of the chamber
rather than the top causing the motor fluid to
be displaced by well fluid pretty quickly.
Labyrinth Protectors
- Limitations
Á Labyrinth Protectors also will not work in horizontal or highly
deviated wells. The gravity separation design requires the unit
to be mostly upright. This Protector can operate in some amount
of deviation but the expansion volume is somewhat reduced.
Positive Seal Type Protectors
• Elastomer bag creates a positive barrier to well bore
• Bag expands and contracts to meet motor demand
• Check value opens at 3-5 psi to release pressures inside
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• Elastomer must be selected to match well temperature

and fluid properties
• Works in vertical or deviated wells
• Should never be rerun
Positive Seal Protector
(Labyrinth Series Bag Parallel Bag)

3–5 PSI
How does it work ?

due to Torn or leak
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(Could be seal failure)

Temperature increase
Positive Seal Protectors –
The positive seal Protector offers a great deal of flexibility and is
useful in a wide variety of applications.

One area where care needs to be taken with this type of

Protector is with harsh well chemicals as may be experienced
with a treatment program.

As with any oil field elastomer, care must be taken to ensure

that the rubber will not be damaged by anything it will
encounter in the well.
Protector Elastomer Selection

REDA Elastomer Application Guidelines

Temp. Limit (Deg F)* Nitrile Carboxy-Nitrile HSN Viton Aflas
250 275 300 350 400
Relative Chemical Resistance Properties
Water/Oil 1 1 1 2 1
Hydrogen Sulfide 1 3 1 4 1
Amines 3 3 3 4 1
Polar Chemicals 4 4 1-2 3 3
Carbon Dioxide 2 2 2 4 2

*Temperature Limit above indicates maximum operating temperature for the

specific REDA compound. An elastomeric component will operate at a
temperature higher than the well ambient temperature depending on its
location in the equipment. Contact REDA for specific application assistance.

1 = Excellent long term resistance (very low swell/maintains very high physical properties)
2 = Good long term resistance (moderate swell/maintains high physical properties)
3 = Fair - depends upon exposure time and temperature (good short term resistance)
4 = Poor - no resistance even in short term
Protector Function #2
Another function of the Protector is to absorb the thrust
generated by the pump. It can either be upthrust or downthrust,
depending on the pumping conditions.



Protector Function #2
The thrust bearing works on hydrodynamic lubrication principle.
The runner carrying the thrust forces is riding on a
hydrodynamic oil film created by the relative motion between the
runner and the bearing.
Reaction Force

There are three types of bearing Upthrust

Reda offers.
Standard bearing – Babbitt (lead based)

HL Bronze bearing - (9000 LBS – 540 series, 60 HZ)

HL bearing – Polymer coated tilting pad bearing Downthrust

(12000 LBS – 540 series, 60 HZ)
Protector Function #3
One other function which the Protector carries out is
transmission of the motor torque to the pump since it is
physically located between the two.

Although this may seem a little trivial, in

the selection process we need to be
certain that the Protector shaft is
capable of delivering the full torque
required without exceeding its yield
strength which could result in a
broken shaft.
Modular Protectors – Naming
• Modular protectors are a combination
of several protector types
– “L” type (Labyrinth)
– “B” type (Elastomer Bag)
– “M” type (Metal Bellows)
• Which are combined in …
– “S” (series) – adds redundancy
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– “P” (parallel) – adds capacity

• HL designates “high load” thrust
• Example: LSMPM has a labyrinth
chamber in series with two bellows in
Modular Protectors
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The Modular Protector
The Modular Protectors are available in:
400 Series (4.00 "),
540 Series (5.13 ") and
562 Series (5.62 ").

Both the 540 and 562 series have the same

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top and bottom flange and can either be run

on a 540 or 562 motor without adapters.

The 400 Series is designed to be run on the

456 Series motor without an adapter.

400 540 562

Modular Protector Application - Chamber Configuration
Key: 1 = Excellent 2 = Good 3 = Fair 4 = Poor
BHT < 250 F 2 2 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 2
250 F < BHT < 300 F 3 3 2 4 4 4 4 4 4 3
(A) 2 2 1 3 2 2 2 2 2 2
G < 0.82 4 4 4 3 1 1 1 1 1 1
Intermittent Operation 4 4 2 3 2 2 2 2 2 1
Deviated Well 4 4 4 3 2 2 2 2 2 3
Miscible Well Fluid 4 4 4 3 1 1 1 1 1 3
HP < 50 2 2 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 2
HP < 150 2 2 1 4 1 1 1 1 1 2
HP > 150 2 2 1 4 4 1 4 4 1 3
Aggressive Well 2 2 1 4 1 1 4 4 4 2
Fluids (B)
(A) Applicability improves with correct elastomers for higher temp. service, usually
Aflas for seal elastomers, o-rings, & bags.
(B) Those that deteriorate specific elastomers used.

Assumes use of standard materials for configurations listed. Use normal

guidelines for application of high load bearings and ferritic housings.
REDA Protector Bottomhole Temperature Limits

200 °F 225 °F 250 °F 275 °F 300 °F

400/456 Modular
540/562 Standard
400/456 Modular
540/562 AFLAS
Protector Load Ratings vs. Temperature for REDA 2 Oil
400 Series
Hi Ex Bearing


5,000 Bronze

Load (LBf)

0 50 100 150 200 250 300

Bottom Hole Temp (°F)

60 Hz and Above 50 Hz
Protector Load Ratings vs. Temperature for REDA 2 Oil
540 Series Protector


Hi Ex Bearing

10,000 Bronze

Load (LBf)


0 50 100 150 200 250 300

Bottom Hole Temp (°F)

60 Hz and Above 50 Hz
Protector Load Rating vs. Temperature for
REDA 2 Oil
562 Series Protector

Hi Ex Bearing



Load (LBf)

0 50 100 150 200 250 300

Bottom Hole Temp (°F)

60 Hz and Above 50 Hz
Protector Power Consumption for REDA 2 Oil
Est. Power Consumed at 200 °F BHT

3 562 Series

540 Series
1 400 Series

0 2000 4000 6000 8000 10000 12000 14000
Thrust Load in Pounds
Advanced Protector
Both HT and H2S
configurations are using metal
• Addresses protector performance
bellows to replace the rubber
in severe well conditions and is
available in three different
– High Temp > 350 degF BHT
– High H2S and chemical
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– Abrasive resistant

• Protects protector head (shaft seals

and bearings) against abrasion and
• Improves protector shaft stability
even in benign environments
Advanced Protector Features
• Use of ceramic bearing to reduce vibration.
• Use dual bearing in protector head for
better radial stability
• New abrasive resistant head design
• Sand shroud to protect mechanical seal.
• Dual ceramic bearing
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• Elevated mechanical shaft seal

• Drain holes to prevent sand / solids from
accumulating in the protector head
• High pressure check valve.
Sand Shroud in Protector
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Vulcan System Features
• Offered only as a complete system
• Rated to 425 degF Bottom hole
temperature and 475 degF internal
oil temperature
• System tested up to 500 DegF BHT
under full motor loading
• Using metal bellows for motor oil
• Using metal bellows shaft seals
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• Using Khemraz HighTemp. O-rings

• Motor and protector using special oil
having high viscosity at high
• Protector components (shaft,
housing, thrust bearing, ….)
materials selected to minimize
stresses caused by different thermal
expansion coefficients
Metal Bellows
• Replace HSN/AFLAS bags with Inconel 625
LCF bellows
– to provide positive barrier to H2S and
– to provide better performance in high
• Welded Inconel bellows rated to 100,000 full
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• Bellow capacity = .5 Gallons

Current Design New Design
• Special spread sheet developed for bellow
• Can be reused during protector repair
Metal Bellows Shaft Seals
• Replace HSN/AFLAS bellows
with Inconel 625 bellows to
provide positive barrier to H2S.
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Sour and Chemical Resistant
• Rated to 30 % (Maximum) H2S
• Reduce dependence on elastomers
by using metal bellows for motor oil
compensation. The metal bellow is
an effective H2S barrier
• Using metal bellows shaft seals
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• Protector components (shaft,

housing, thrust bearing, ….)
materials selected to minimize
chemical attack
Technical Feature Summary
Feature High Temp Chemical Abrasion
Replacement of elastomer bag with metal bellows X X

Use of metal bellows shaft seal X X

Use of high load thrust bearings with no copper parts X X

Dual head bearings for shaft seal support X X X

Ceramic journal bearing for abrasion resistance X X X

Solid shield over head bearings for abrasion X X X

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Use of high pressure relief valve to ensure valve X X X
Factory shimmed shaft to eliminate field shimming X X X

Use special High Temperature Oil X

Use of Chemraz O-rings X

Key Technical Issues
Current Protectors Advanced Protector
High Temp High temperature is causing Metal bellow is not affected by
elastomer material to become temperature.

H2S Rubber bag is not an effective H2S Metal bellow is an effective H2S and
or gas barrier gas barrier

Chemical Elastomer bag will be affected by Inconel metal bellow will handle
some chemical attacks most chemicals
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Vibration Shaft seals will leak if shaft is not Dual bearing ceramic support for the
properly supported shaft reduces vibration

Solids solids accumulation in protector New head design prevents solid

head will damage shaft seal accumulation and protects seals

Abrasion Shaft bushing subject to wear Ceramic shaft bearing reduce

abrasive wear
H2S Content 0 - 30 %

Operating Temperature 130°F to 475°F with up to 0% H2S

130°F to 300°F with up to 5% H2S
100°F to 250°F with up to 30% H2S

Well bore Temperature 50°F to 425°F with up to 0% H2S

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50°F to 250°F with up to 5% H2S

50°F to 200°F with up to 30% H2S

Surface Temperature -40 to 120 °F

Construction Compatible with current product line

Advanced Protector Applications
• High Temperature Applications (up to 425 Deg F BHT) Part of the Vulcan
– Steam injection (Steam Assisted Gravity Drain SAGD)
– Geothermal applications
• H2S wells and wells where protector is exposed to aggressive
– High H2S wells
– Wells requiring some special types of chemical treatments
– Wells having protector failures due to gas presence
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• Abrasive Applications
– Sand and solid production
– Well where run life will be improved by better stabilizing the protector shaft
• Benign Conditions
– Extend run life by reducing vibration and better protecting motor against well fluid