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Tech Talk

High Temp/Downhole Applications Require Specialized Components


I had no idea how harsh and hot the environment is as an oil drill is trying to penetrate the seabed hundreds of feet below the surface. Temperatures can soar above 200°C! Add in extreme vibration and you have a pretty nasty situation where any electronic components are used.

Watch an animated typical Down-Hole drilling operation.

Drilling platforms demand drill heads with more specialized, ruggedized electronic components. As wells drill deeper and deeper into the seabed the environment gets more extreme.To meet these extremes designers must pack more and more sophisticated electronics into the drill head.

To meet these challenges, desgners keep the following in mind:

  • Packaging must stand up to punishing conditions – Extreme high temperatures
  • The Electronic components must be proven – Parts need to be tested at high temperatures
  • Space is at a premium – In a narrow drill pipe you can’t waste an inch of space

Here at ES Components along with our supplier Vishay Foil Resistors, we have been able to provide our down-hole customers with electronic components that work in these extreme high temperature environments. Thin film resistors are oxidized into oblivion by these temperatures and wirewound devices see major value shifts. Even Vishay Foil resistors cannot be exposed indefinitely to these temperatures, but the encapsulation of the Vishay Foil element stands up to these environmental stresses long enough to enable down-hole measurements through dozens of deep travel cycles. The 100 times thicker resistive layer helps establish the Vishay Foil resistor as the preferred resistor for seismic oil exploration as well as for down hole applications. View Vishay Foil Resistor product guide here.

As we drill miles and miles further under the earth’s surface, we are challenged to balance power, size, and space requirements of these complex systems. In the future, conditions on these oil rigs will only get harsher.The electronic components will have to perform in even more ruggedand extreme environments. ES Components and Vishay Foil Resistors are ready to help designers face these extremes.