Drilling equipment tests during field operations are always affected by uncertainties and variations regarding the local conditions in the borehole. In order to provide a more controlled testing environment for research, a hardware simulator was established at the Drilling Simulator Celle, Clausthal University of Technology. The simulator replicates the last 25 meters of a horizontal borehole and permits the drilling of a five-meter long rock sample. The setup includes a flow loop with two pumps for borehole cleaning and cuttings transport during the drilling process. During operation, temperature of the fluid increases due to pressure losses in the loop.
This paper introduces a basic model to determine the maximum allowable continuous operation time of the hardware setup. Further improvements can be achieved by doing sensitivity analyses of the parameters affecting the system behavior, e.g. ambient temperatures or mass flow rate. Measurements from the hardware setup are used for validation of the model and show consistent results.