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Rajesh A
Assistant Engineer
EmpCode: 104321
Tata Consulting Engineers Ltd.
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OUTLINE
Introduction
Typesof Depressuring
WhentouseDepressuring
DesignConsiderations
CalculationMethods
References
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Introduction
Protectivearrangement of valvesandpipingintended
to provide for rapid reduction of pressure in
equipment byreleasingvapours.
Actuationof thesystemcanbeautomaticor manual.
API 521states:
Provide depressurizing on all equipment that
process light hydrocarbons and set the
depressuredratetoachieve100psig(690kPag)
or 50%of the vessel design pressure, which
ever islower in15minutes.
In connection with fire protection, particularly in
higher-pressureservices, thedesigner shouldconsider
vapour depressuringfacilities.
Vapour Depressuring
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Controlled depressuring of the vessel reduces internal pressure and
stressinthevessel walls.
Depressuring systems are used to reduce the failure potential for
scenariosinvolvingoverheating(e.g. fire).
Continued
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Non-controlled Type Depressuring
ControlledTypeDepressuring
ControlledTypeDepressuring
Non-controlledTypeDepressuring
Depressurization types
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When to use Depressurization
Vessel requiringdepressurizationcapability
Avessel operatedabove690kPa(100psi)
Containsvolatileliquidswithvapour pr. aboveatmospheric
Fire condition may occur that weakens a vessel to belowsafe
strength levels, with in several hours, which may cause
significant exposureloses.
Vessel whichmaynotrequiredepressurizationcapability
Avessel operatedat or lessthan690kPa
Avessel containinglessthan907Kgs(2000lb) of vapours
A vessel whose time to rupture froma fire exposure is more
thanseveral hours.
Detailed Flow Chart
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Examples
The ASMEpressure vessel rupture stress formula is applied to calculate a
vessel stressis:
S=P(R+0.6t)/Et
Where:
S=RuptureStress
P=OperatingPressureinPsig
R=Shell InsideRadius, Inch
t =Shell Wall Thickness, Inch
E=WeldJoint Efficiency(generallyassume100%)
Example1
Example2
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Design Considerations
The following should be considered when designing/specifying the
depressurizationsystem:
Rupturetime
Rupturepressureof pipes&vessels
Total releaseof flammables
Instantaneousreleaserate
Lossof production, reputationandrebuildcost
Damagetointernalsof equipments
Manual controlsnear thevessel maybeinaccessibleduringafire.
Failureposition
Metallurgyof thevessel
Safedisposal of ventedstreams.
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GroteEquation
API RP521Method
SoftwarePackages
HYSYS
BLOWDOWN/BLOWFIRE
LNGDYN
PROII
Depressurization Calculation Methods
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Assumptions :
Critical flow throughout entire depressuring process
Constant mass flow throughout entire depressuring process
System being depressuredis maintained as gaseous throughout entire depressuring
process
Constant temperature, molecular weight and compressibility
Methodology
Following is the derivation of the manual equation.
Vapour flow passing an orifice at critical flow condition
where,
W =Mass flow (kg/h)
C
D
=Discharge Coeff.
A
o
=Orifice area (mm
2
)
P =Upstream pressure (KPaabs)
MW =Molecular weight
T =Upstream temperature (K)
Z =Upstream fluid compressibility
M
0
=Initial mass
TZ
MW
P A C W
O D
= (a)
Grote Equation
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A vessel with fixed volume (Vo) depressure fromP
0
to P
1
, take time t, assuming
flowrateisconstant (W
0
=W
1
=W
2
=),depressuremass,
Assuming Temperature, Molecular weight and compressibility maintain constant
through-out thedepressuringprocess,
IntegrateaboveequationwithconditionP
0
@ t
0
andP@t.
W
d V
dt
dt W dM

0
=
=
(b)
dP
P TZ
MW
R A C
V
dt
dP
ZRT
MW
W
V
dt
D
|
.
|

\
|
|
|
.
|

\
|
=
|
.
|

\
|
=
1
0
0
0
(c)
|
|
.
|

\
|
=
|
|
.
|

\
|
|
|
.
|

\
|
=
0
0
0 0
0
ln
ln
P
P
t
M
W
P
P
TZ
MW
R A C
V
t
D
(d)
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API 521 Method
* To reduce theinternal pressure in equipment involved in afire, vapour
should be removed at a rate that compensates for the following
occurrences:
* Vapour generatedfromliquidbyheat input fromthefire;
* Vapour expansionduringpressurereduction;
* Liquidflashdueto pressurereduction. (This factor applies only whenasystem
containsliquidat or near itssaturationtemperature).
* The total vapour load =sum of the individual occurrences for all
equipment involved.
q
m
- vapour massflowrate, kg/h(lb/h)
m- massflowrateper unit time
t - depressuringtimeinterval, hr

= = =
-
+ + =
x
i
i v m
x
i
i d m
x
i
i f m
t q t q t q
1
,
1
,
1
,
) . ( ) . ( ) . ( .t m
(1)
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Vapour from fire-heat input
Assumption: the vapour generation is a function only of the heat absorbed
fromthefireandthelatent heat of theliquid.
The mass, m
f
, of vapour generated by the fire during the depressuring
interval inavessel, i, of thesystemcanbedeterminedbyEquation(2):
( m
f
t )
I
=t (Q / L)
i
(2)
Q=total heat absorption, W(Btu/h)
L=latent heat of liquid, KJ/Kg(Btu/lb)
Thiscalculationshouldberepeatedfor all vesselsinthesystem.
CFA Q
0.82
ws
=
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Vapour from density change and liquid flash
It is necessary to know the liquid inventory and vapour volume of the
system.
Followingequation is used for calculatingthe vapour load due to density
change
where
V- volumeavailablefor thevapour, m3(ft3);
p- absolutepressure, expressedinkPa(psi);
M- relativemolecular massof thevapour;
Z- compressibilityfactor, dimensionless;
T- absolutetemperatureof theliquidor vapour, K(R);
thesubscript arepresentsthehigher-pressureconditionand
brepresentsthelower-pressurecondition.
i relatestoanindividual vessel of thesystem
i
i i d m,
.
p.M
.
p.M
0.1205V .t) (q
(

|
.
|

\
|

|
.
|

\
|
=
b a
T Z T Z
(3)
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Amount of liquidflashed isgivenbyequation(4)
where
qm- vapour massflowrate, expressedinkg/h(lb/h);
t - depressuringtimeinterval, expressedinhours(usuallyassumedtobe0,25h);
Q - total heat absorption(input) tothewettedsurface, expressedinkJ/h(Btu/h);
L - averagelatent heat of theliquid, expressedinkJ/kg(Btu/lb);
Cp - averagespecificheat of theliquid, expressedinkJ/kgK(Btu/lbR);
T - absolutetemperatureof theliquidor vapour, expressedinK(R);
subscripts:
a- original conditionat thestart of thedepressuringtimeinterval,
b- depressurizedconditionat theendof thedepressuringtimeinterval;
i - relatestoanindividual vessel of thesystemif morethanonevessel isinvolved
v- relatestoliquidflashor vapour generatedfrompressurereduction;
(

+

(

~
i b a i i
i b a i
i
i
T T Cp L
T T Cp
L
t Q
) ( 2
) ( 2
.
2
.
.t) (q .t) (q
i a m, i v m,
(4)
Continued
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Depressuringusing HYSYS
Open anewcaseinHYSYS
Addtherequiredcomponentsandselect Fluidpackage
Addastreamwiththefollowingpropertiesandmolar flows:
Stream Name Feed
Temperature 108 C (226.4 F)
Pressure 1000 kPa (145.04 psia)
Component Molar Flow
Methane 30.0 kmol/h (66.138 lbmol/h)
Ethane 30.0 kmol/h (66.138 lbmol/h)
Propane 30.0 kmol/h (66.138 lbmol/h)
i-Butane 30.0 kmol/h (66.138 lbmol/h)
n-Butane 30.0 kmol/h (66.138 lbmol/h)
i-Pentane 30.0 kmol/h (66.138 lbmol/h)
n-Pentane 325.0 kmol/h (716.495 lbmol/h)
n-Hexane 30.0 kmol/h (66.138 lbmol/h)
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1) Go to "Attachments" "Utilities"
Continued
To attach the Dynamic Depressuringutility to the stream,
>open the stream property view,
>go to "Attachments"
"Utilities" and press "Create
>Select "Dynamic Depressuring
>Press the "Add Utility" button
2) Press "Create"
3) Select "Dynamic Depressuring"
4) Press "Add Utility"
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Continued
Enter the following vessel information on the "Design" ->"Connections"
pageof newwindowopened.
Height 4.50m
Diameter 1.25m
Initial Liquid Volume 1.45m
3
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Continued
HeatFluxParameters
API
Equation
Q =total absorption to wetted
surface (BTU/h)
(field units) F =environmental factor
A =total wetted surface (ft
2
)
API
Equation
Q =total absorption to wetted
surface (kJ /s
(metric
units)
F =environmental factor
A =total wetted surface (m
2
)
82 . 0
A F 21000 Q =
82 . 0
A F 116 . 43 Q =
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Continued
ValveParameters
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Continued
Onthe"Options" page, enter aPVWorkTermof 90%.
Onthe"OperatingConditions" page, select "CalculateCv" andenter afinal
pressureof 500kPa(50%of operatingpressure).
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Continued
Once you have submitted the required information, press the "Run" button
toexecutethecalculations.
Gotothe"Performance" "Summary" pagetoviewtheresults.
Press the "Run" button
to start the calculations.
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Continued
PerformanceSummary
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Yes
System & scenario
information
Estimate size of
orifice
Calculate P(t) for the
process segment and
T(t) for the steel
Increase orifice
size
Is Flare Capacity
utilized?
Will equipment/
pipe rupture?
Are the
consequence of the
rupture acceptable?
Improve design/
apply PFP
Ok
Failure criteria
Yes
No
No
No
Yes
Design of Depressurization
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References
API RP 521 Guide for pressure-relieving and depressuring
systems, American PetroleumInstitute, Fifth Edition, May
2008.
Depressurisation: A Practical Guide, Aspentech Technical
Support KnowledgeBaseArticle, rev2004-1.1Feb2006
Perry, R. H. Chemical engineering handbook, McGraw Hill,
5thedition, 1973.
Gayton, P.W. and Murphy, S.N. Depressurisation Systems
Design. IChemEWorkshopTheSafeDisposal of Unwanted
Hydrocarbons, Aberdeen1995.
Reviewof theResponseof PressurisedProcess Vessels and
Equipment to Fire Attack, Offshore Technology Rreport -
OTO2000051, June2000
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If vapour depressuringisrequiredfor bothfireandprocessreasons, the
larger requirement shouldgovernthesizeof thedepressuringfacilities.
Avapour-depressuringsystemshouldhaveadequatecapacityto permit
reductionof thevessel stresstoalevel at whichstressruptureisnot of
immediateconcern.
Therequireddepressuringratedependsonthemetallurgyof thevessel,
the thickness and initial temperature of the vessel wall and the rate of
heat input.
Vesselswiththinner wallsgenerallyrequiresfaster depressuringrate.
Depressuringisassumedtocontinuefor thedurationof theemergency.
Thevalvesshouldremainoperablefor thedurationof theemergencyor
shouldfail inafull-openposition.
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Example 1
SEPARATOR(Honzontal)
ASSUMPTIONS:
Shell InsideRadius : 60" -0"
Shell Wall Thickness : 1/2"
LiquidSp. Gr. : 1.0
Material of Construction : A515Gr. 70
OperatingPressure : 50Psig
DesignPressure : 90Psig
Normal LiquidLevel : 5'-0" frombottom
S=P(R+0.6t)/Et ref.: ASME. DIV. Vlll for circumferential stress)
S=50(60+0.6x0.5)/1.0x0.5
S=6,030psi
FromFigure2(API 5207
th
edition),Timebeforeruptureat 6,030psi and1,300
0
Fis
approximately5Hrs.
CONCLUSION: Depressurizationsystemisnotrequired.
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Example 2
CRUDESTABILIZER
ASSUMPTIONS:
Shell InsideRadius : 30" -0"
Shell Wall Thickness : 7/16"
LiquidSp. Gr. : 0.85
Material of Construction : A515Gr. 70
OperatingPressure : 150Psig
DesignPressure : 175Psig
Normal LiquidLevel : 5'-0" frombottom
Vessel isinsulatedbut nocredit givenfor insulation
S=P(R+0.6t)/Et ref.: ASME. DIV. Vlll for circumferential stress)
S=150(30+0.6x0.4375)/1.0x0.4375
S=10,374psi
FromFigure2(API 5207
th
edition),Timebeforeruptureat 10,374psi and1,300
0
F
isapproximately0.3Hrs.
CONCLUSION: Depressurizationsystemisrequired.
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