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Gas Pipeline Blowdown time

Reference: "Simple Method Predicts Gas Line Blowdown Times", by


M.H. Weiss, K.K. Botros, W.M. Jungowski, Oil & Gas Journal, Dec. 12, 1988

t c= ln

Pi
k
k +1

ln
Pa
k1
2

( )( ) ( )

v=
c=

Z=

k +1

k +1 2( k 1 )
2
c A th C d

( )

Z k RT
MW
1

[ (
1+

Pi5270101 .785 SG
T 3 .825

C f =a1 +a2 log10

)]

[ ( )]

f L
f L
+a3 log 10
D
D

1
1 2
1
+25 . 680
38 . 409
Ar
Ar
Ar

1
1 2
1
a2 =0 . 26994+17 . 304
86 . 415
+144 . 77
Ar
Ar
Ar

( )

a1 =1 . 03195 . 2735

( )
( )

( )

( )

( )
( )

( )
( )

1
1
1
a3 =0. 2417512. 637
+56 .772
88 . 351
Ar
Ar
Ar

1
1 2
1
a 4 =0 . 054856+2 .6258
8 . 9593
+12. 139
Ar
Ar
Ar

( )

A r=

[ ( )]

+a 4 log10

f L
D

( )

( )

Ap
A thCd

Note:
The polynomials for the coefficients (a1, a2, a3, a4) are valid only for 3 < Ar < 30 and should
not be used outside this range.
Pc

k
1.20
1.25
1.30
1.35
1.40
1.45
1.50
1.55
1.60

ts
0.5645
0.5549
0.5457
0.5368
0.5283
0.52
0.512
0.5042
0.4968

0.7371
0.7605
0.7833
0.8058
0.8278
0.8495
0.8707
0.8916
0.9122

t tot =( t c +t s ) V C f

where:
tc =

Dimensionless Sonic blowdown time

Pi =

Initial Pressure of the gas pipeline, kPa (abs)

Pa =

Atmospheric Pressure, kPa (abs)


Ratio of Specific heats (Cp/Cv)

k=
V =

Time constant, seconds


Volume of the pipe being blown down, m3
(Pipe C/S area X Pipe length)
sonic velocity, m/s
compressibility factor
Specific Gravity of Gas (Air =1)
Absolute temperature of the gas in pipeline, K
Universal Gas Constant (8314 J/kmol-K)
Molecular Weight of the Gas
= SG*28.96 (if only specific gravity of gas is known)

V=
c=
Z=
SG =
T=
R=
MW =
Cf =

Blowdown Correction Factor, dimensionless


Darcy friction factor, dimensionless
Length of pipeline, m
Inside Diameter of the Pipeline, m

f=
L=
D=
Ar =

Ratio of Pipe-to-effective-valve-discharge-area, dimensionless

Ap =

C/S area of pipe, m2

Ath =

Blowdown Valve discharge Area, m2


Notes:
1. For full-bore ball valves the "discharge area" will be considered the
same as the blowdown line cross-sectional area
2. For reduced bore ball valves the "discharge area" should be considered
based on the cross-sectional area of one size lower than the blowdown
line size

Cd =

Blowdown Valve discharge coefficient, dimensionless


(Use a value of 0.85 to 1 in absence of manufacturer's data)

Ath*Cd =

Effective valve discharge area, m2

Pc =

Critical Pressure Ratio

Pc=

2
k +1

( )

k
( k 1 )

ts =

Dimensionless subsonic blowdown time

ttot =

total blowdown time, seconds

Darcy Friction Factor (Turbulent Flow)


Pipe ID

mm
26.64 (1" STD)
40.9 (1.5" STD)
52.5 (2" STD)
77.92 (3" STD)
102.26 (4" STD)
154.08 (6" STD)
202.74 (8" STD)
254.46 (10" STD)
304.81 (12" STD)
336.56 (14" STD)
387.36 (16" STD)
438.16 (18" STD)
488.96 (20" STD)
590.56 (24" STD)
742.96 (30" STD)

0.023
0.021
0.019
0.018
0.017
0.015
0.014
0.014
0.013
0.013
0.013
0.012
0.012
0.012
0.011

895.36 (36" STD)

0.011

Example Calculation:
Estimate the total blowdown time for a 25 km, 36" STD pipeline which contains natural

gas at 6000 kPa(abs) and 10C. The gas has a specific gravity of 0.6.
The blowdown valve is a 8" full bore valve on a 8" blowdown line
The atmospheric pressure is 100 kPa(abs).
Inputs
Pi =
Pa =
k=
Cd =
D=
T=
SG =
f=
BDV size =
L=
ts =
Calculations
Z=
MW =
V=
c=
Ath =
Ap =

6000 kPa(abs)
100 kPa(abs)
1.3
0.85
0.895
10
0.6
0.011
8
25000

m
C

inch
m

0.7833

0.629 m2
3.49

V =

2578.0 seconds

a1 =

0.8514

a2 =

0.3229

a3 =

-0.1991

a4 =

0.04138464

Cf =

1.06

Email:

Refer table

0.031 m2
23.6

Prepared by:

specific gravity of gas (Air =1)


manual input based on table for Darcy friction factor
(if RB use one size lower than BD line size and if FB use line size)

15728.1 m3
390.4 m/s

tc =

Losses
ttot =

Input based on NPS & Pipe Schedule

0.87
17.4

Ar =

ttot =

input from external source

11669.7 seconds
1.05
12253.2 seconds
204.2 minutes

(Time delay is based on losses in vent line and entrance)


(including losses)

Ankur Srivastava
Chemical Engineer
ankur_2061@hotmail.com

Mass Flow Rate for Gas Pipeline Blowdown through Hole or Orifice
Notes:
1. The depressuring or blowdown is assumed to be adiabatic and the heat
exchange with the environment is neglected.
Sonic or Choked Release Rate (ms), kg/s
If the pressure ratio (Pa/Pi) is less then or equal to the critical pressure ratio (Pc) then the
flow is sonic or choked and the mass flow rate through the hole or orifice can be calculated
from:

2
m s =C d A th iPi k
k +1

( )

k +1
k1

where:
Pa =

Atmospheric Pressure, Pa (abs)

Pi =

Initial Pressure of the gas pipeline, Pa (abs)

ms =

Sonic Release Rate, kg/s

Cd =

Hole or Orifice discharge coefficient, dimensionless


(Use a value of 0.62 for sharp-edged orifices)
(Use a value of 0.95-0.99 for rounded orifices)

Ath =

Hole or Orifice C/S Area, m2


density of the gas in pipeline@Pi,T

i =
T=
MW =

Absolute temperature of the gas in pipeline, K


Molecular Weight of the Gas
= SG*28.96 (if only specific gravity of gas is known)
Compressibility Factor
Specific Gravity of Gas (Air =1)
Ratio of Specific heats (Cp/Cv)

Z=
SG =
k=

i=

Pi MW
8314T Z

Inputs
Pi =
k=
Cd =

6.00E+06 Pa (abs)
1.3

T=
SG =
Hole/ Orifice Size =
Z=

0.62
10
0.6
2 inch
0.87

Calculations
MW =

17.4

i =
Ath =
ms =

50.9 kg/m3
0.00203 m2
14.65 kg/s

Sub-Sonic Release Rate (mss), kg/s


If the pressure ratio (Pa/Pi) is greater then the critical pressure ratio (Pc), (Psc), then the flow
is sub-sonic and the mass flow rate through the hole or orifice can be calculated from:

2
m ss =C d A th i Pik
k +1
where:
mss =

Sub-sonic Release Rate, kg/s

P
= a
Pi

( )

1
k

P
1 a
Pi

Inputs
Pa =
k=
Cd =
T=
SG =
Hole/ Orifice Size =
Z=
Psc =
Calculations
MW =
Pi =
=
i =
Ath =
mss =

( )

k +1
k 1

( )

k 1
k

2
k+1

k1
2

)( )

k +1
k 1

1.00E+05 Pa (abs)
1.3
0.62
10 C
0.6
2 inch
1
0.5555

17.4
1.80E+05 Pa (abs)
0.99978
1.3 kg/m3
0.00203 m2
0.41 kg/s

(Pc = 0.5457 for k =1.3)

gh Hole or Orifice

ratio (Pc) then the

ce can be calculated

), (Psc), then the flow

calculated from: