This paper describes a computer automation system which can control laboratory displacement experiments from a dedicated computer workstation. The dedicated computer is tied into a distributed network that supports remote access via asynchronous telephone communication. Thus, indirect control of displacement experiments can be extended to other workstations on the network or to a remote computer equipped with a telephone modem.
The automation system uses a computer to schedule and monitor displacement operations. Scheduled operations include data capture, pump control, valve switching, produced fluid sample collection, and analysis of produced gas by gas chromatography. The system provides continuous, real time screen data display and graphics data processing for immediate analysis of experimental results. The system also detects and responds to exceptional run conditions such as pressure set point violations or instrument hardware failures.
The displacement experiments are typically permeability measurements, slim tube measurements, or scaled core floods which may take weeks to complete. The computer automation system makes it possible to run displacement experiments continuously and safely over extended time periods with minimal operator intervention and no loss of data.