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Flareandventdisposalsystems
Aflareorventdisposalsystemcollectsanddischargesgasfromatmosphericorpressurizedprocesscomponentstotheatmospheretosafelocationsforfinalreleaseduring
normaloperationsandabnormalconditions(emergencyrelief).Inventsystems,thegasexitingthesystemisdispersedintheatmosphere.Flaresystemsgenerallyhavea
pilotorignitiondevicethatignitesthegasexitingthesystembecausethedischargemaybeeithercontinuousorintermittent.Gasdisposalsystemsfortanksoperatingnear
atmosphericpressureareoftencalledatmosphericventsorflares,andgasdisposalsystemsforpressurevesselsarecalledpressureventsorflares.Aflareorventsystem
fromapressurizedsourcemayincludeacontrolvalve,collectionpiping,flashbackprotection,andagasoutlet.Ascrubbingvesselshouldbeprovidedtoremoveliquid
hydrocarbons.
Contents
1Possiblecomponents(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#Possible_components)
2Hazardassessments(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#Hazard_assessments)
3Knockoutdrums(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#Knockout_drums)
4Flashbackprotection(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#Flashback_protection)
4.1Sealdrums(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#Seal_drums)
4.2Molecularseals(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#Molecular_seals)
4.3Fluidicseals(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#Fluidic_seals)
4.4Flamearrestors(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#Flame_arrestors)
5FlareStacks(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#Flare_Stacks)
5.1Elevatedflarestackdesigns(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#Elevatedflarestack_designs)
5.1.1Selfsupportedstacks(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#Self_supported_stacks)
5.1.2Guywiresupportedstacks(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#Guy_wire_supported_stacks)
5.1.3Derricksupportedstacks(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#Derrick_supported_stacks)
5.2Offshoreflaresupportstructures(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#Offshore_flare_support_structures)
5.2.1Flarebooms(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#Flare_booms)
5.2.2Derricksupportedflares(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#Derrick_supported_flares)
5.2.3Bridgesupportedflares(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#Bridge_supported_flares)
5.2.4Remoteflares(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#Remote_flares)
5.3Flarestackdesigncriteria(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#Flare_stack_design_criteria)
5.3.1Flaretipdiameterandexitgasvelocity(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#Flare_tip_diameter_and_exit_gas_velocity)
5.3.2Pressuredropconsiderations(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#Pressure_drop_considerations)
5.3.3Flarestackheight(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#Flare_stack_height)
5.3.4Gasdispersionlimitations(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#Gas_dispersion_limitations)
5.3.5Flamedistortioncausedbylateralwind(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#Flame_distortion_caused_by_lateral_wind)
5.3.6Radiationconsiderations(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#Radiation_considerations)
5.4Purgegas(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#Purge_gas)
5.5Burnpits(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#Burn_pits)
5.6Ventdesign(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#Vent_design)
5.6.1Radiation(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#Radiation)
5.6.2Velocity(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#Velocity)
5.6.3Dispersion(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#Dispersion)
6Nomenclature(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#Nomenclature)
7References(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#References)
8NoteworthypapersinOnePetro(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#Noteworthy_papers_in_OnePetro)
9Externallinks(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#External_links)
10Seealso(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#See_also)

Possiblecomponents
Aflareorventsystemfromanatmosphericsourcemayinclude:
Pressurevacuumvalve
Collectionpiping
Flashbackprotection
Gasoutlet

Hazardassessments
Theactualconfigurationoftheflareorventsystemdependsonthehazardsassessmentforthespecificinstallation.
RP520,Part1,Sec.8, [1](http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#cite_noter10)andRP521,Secs.4and5, [2](http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#cite_noter21)cover
disposalanddepressuringsystemdesign.RP521,AppendixC,providessamplecalculationsforsizingaflarestack.RP521,AppendixD[2]
(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#cite_noter21)
,shows:
Flarestacksealdrum
Quenchdrum
Typicalflareinstallation.

Knockoutdrums
RP521,paragraph5.4.2,providesdetailedguidanceforthedesignofknockoutdrums(alsocalledreliefdrumsorflareorventscrubbers). [2]
(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#cite_noter21)Allflare,vent,andreliefsystemsmustincludealiquidknockoutdrum.Theknockoutdrumremovesanyliquiddroplets
thatcarryoverwiththegasreliefsenttotheflare.Mostflaresrequirethattheparticlesizebereducedtoaminimumoflessthan300m.RP14Jsuggestssizingforliquid
dropletsbetween400and500m. [3](http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#cite_noter32)Mostknockoutdrumsarehorizontalwithaslendernessratio(lengthtodiameter
ratio)between2and4.Ahorizontalknockoutdrummusthaveadiameterlargeenoughtokeepthevaporvelocitylowenoughtoallowentrainedliquidstosettleordropout.
Knockoutdrumsoperatedatatmosphericpressureshouldbesizedtohandlethegreatestliquidvolumeexpectedatthemaximumratesofliquidbuildupandpumpout.RP
521suggests20to30minutesofliquidholdup. [2](http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#cite_noter21)Thisisnotpracticalinupstreamoperations.Inonshoreoperations,itis
recommendedtotake20%ofthemaximumpotentialliquidstreamandprovidea10minuteliquidholdup.Foroffshoreoperations,itisrecommendedtoprovidenormal
separationretentiontimes(1to3minutesonthebasisofAPIgravity)andanemergencydumpdesigntohandlethemaximumliquidflowwithnovalves.Anemergency
sump(disposal)pileisrecommendedtodisposeoftheliquid,andasealinthepileisrecommendedtocontainthebackpressureinthedrum.
Knockoutdrumsnormallyareoperatedatatmosphericpressure.Tomaintainanexplosion,theMAWPoftheknockoutdrumusuallyissetat50psig.Stoichiometric
hydrocarbon/airexplosionsproducepeakpressuresseventoeighttimesthenormalpressure.

Flashbackprotection
Flashbackprotection(thepossibilitythattheflamewilltravelupstreamintothesystem)shouldbeconsideredforalldisposalsystemsbecauseflashbackcanresultin
pressurebuildupinupstreampipingandvessels.FlashbackismorecriticalwheretherearetanksorpressurevesselswithaMAWPlessthan125psigandinflaresystems.
RP520discussesflashbackprotectionforpressureventsandflares, [1](http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#cite_noter10)andSTD2000discussesatmosphericventsand
flares. [4](http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#cite_noter43)RP14Crecommendsthatventsfromatmosphericvesselscontainaflamearrestor. [5]
(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#cite_noter54)
Becausetheflamearrestorcanplug,asecondarypressure/vacuumvalvewithoutaflamearrestorshouldbeconsidered
forredundancy.Thesecondarysystemshouldbesetatapressurehighenoughandvacuumlowenoughsothatitwillnotoperateunlesstheflamearrestorontheprimary
systemisplugged.

Pressureventswithvesselsrated125psigandabovenormallydonotneedflashbackprotection.Innaturalgasstreams,thepossibilityofventignitionfollowedbyflash
backpressuresabove125psigisminimal.Whenlowpressurevesselsareconnectedtopressurevents,molecularorfluidicsealsandpurgegasoftenareusedtoprevent
flashback.Ifreliefvalvesaretiedintothevent,thesurgeofflowwhenareliefvalveopenscoulddestroyaflamearrestorandleadtoahazardouscondition.Also,thereisa
potentialforflamearresterstobecomeplugged.Ameansofflamesnuffingshouldbeconsideredforventsystems.
Flareshavetheaddedconsiderationofaflamealwaysbeingpresent,evenwhenthereisaverylowflowrate.Theyaretypicallyequippedwithmolecularorfluidicsealsand
asmallamountofpurgegastoprotectagainstflashback.

Sealdrums
KnockoutdrumsaresizedwiththegascapacityequationsreferredtointhedesignoftwoandthreephaseseparatorsinOilandgasseparators
(http://petrowiki.org/Oil_and_gas_separators).Liquidsealdrumsarevesselsthatareusedtoseparatethereliefgasesandtheflare/headerstackbyalayerofliquid.Water
(orwater/glycolmixture)isnormallythesealingfluid.Theflaregas(orpurgegas)isforcedtobubblethroughalayerofwaterbeforeitreachestheflarestack.Thisprevents
airorgasfromflowingbackwardbeyondthewaterseal.Sealdrumsserveasafinalknockoutdrumtoseparateliquidfromthereliefgases.
Inadeepsealdrum,thedepthofthesealingfluidisdesignedtobeequaltothestagingpressureofthestagedflaresystem.Thesealingfluiddepthinmoststagingseal
drumsistypicallyintherangeof2to5psig,whichisequivalentto5to12.5ftofwatercolumn.Inashallowsealdrum(conventionalflashbackprevention),thewaterseals
haveonlya6to10in.watercolumndepth.Itisimportanttodesignthedeepsealdrumwithapropergasvelocityatthestagingpointtoensurethatallthesealingfluidis
displacedquicklyatthestagingpressure(aneffectsimilartoafastactingvalveactuator).Itisalsocommontodesignthedeepsealdrumwithaconcentricoverflow
chambertocollectthedisplacedsealingfluid.Theoverflowchambercanbedesignedtoflowbackautomaticallyintothesealingchamberoncethegasvelocitydecreases
belowtheraterequiredforclosingoffthesecondstage.
Thedepthoftheliquidsealdrummustbeconsideredincalculatingthereliefheaderbackpressure.Thisdepthissetbytheflaresupplier,butitusuallycanbealtered
somewhat,withthesuppliersconcurrence,tosuitplantconditions.Typicalsealdepthsare2ftforelevatedflaresand6in.forgroundflares.Theheightoftheliquidseal
canbedeterminedby
(http://petrowiki.org/File%3AVol3_page_426_eq_001.PNG)(Eq.1)
whereh=heightofliquidseal,p=maximumallowableheaderbackpressure,and=sealingliquiddensity.
Thevesselfreeareaforgasflowabovetheliquidlevelshouldbeaminimumof3ftorthreetimestheinletpipecrosssectionalareatopreventsurgesofgasflowtothe
flareandtoprovidespacefordisengagement.
RP521statesthatsurginginsealdrumscanbeminimizedwiththeuseofVnotchesontheendofthedipleg.6Ifthewatersloshesinthesealdrum,itwillcause
pulsationsinthegasflowtotheflare,resultinginnoiseandlightdisturbances.Thus,mostfacilitiesprefereitheradisplacementsealoraperforatedantisloshbaffle.Fig.1
showssealdrumconfigurations.

(http://petrowiki.org/File%3AVol3_Page_426_Image_0001.png)
Fig.1Sealdrumconfigurationwith(a)displacement
sealand(b)perforatedantisloshbaffle.

Molecularseals
Molecularsealscauseflowreversal.Theynormallyarelocatedbelowtheflaretipandservetopreventairentryintothestack.Molecularsealsdependonthedensity
differencebetweenairandhydrocarbongas.LightgasistrappedatthetopoftheUtube.Acontinuousstreamofpurgegasisrequiredforproperfunctioningofthegas
seal,buttheamountofpurgegasismuchlessthanwouldberequiredwithouttheseal.Themainadvantagesoverliquidsealsarethattheydonotsloshandtheyproduce
muchlessoilywater.Gassealmustbedrained,andthedrainloopmustbesealed.Becauseagassealwithanelevatedflareisrequiredtokeepairoutoftheflarestack,
theliquidsealusuallyisomittedfromanelevatedonlyflaresystem.Ifavaporrecoverycompressorisused,aliquidsealisusedtoprovideaminimumheaderbackpressure.

Fluidicseals
Fluidicsealsareanalternativetogasseals.Fluidicsealsuseanopenwalllessventuri,whichpermitsflowoutoftheflareinonedirectionwithverylittleresistancebut
stronglyresistscounterflowofairbackintothestack.Theventuriisaseriesofbaffles,likeopenendedconesinappearance,mountedwiththeflaretip.Themain
advantagesoffluidicsealsarethattheyaresmaller,lessexpensive,andweighless,andthushavelessstructuralloadontheflarestack,thanmolecularseals.However,
fluidicsealsrequiremorepurgegasthanmolecularseals.

Flamearrestors
Flamearrestorsareusedprimarilyonatmosphericventsandarenotrecommendedonpressurizedsystems.Becauseoftheaccelerationoftheflame,theflamearrestor
mustbeinstalledapproximately10pipediametersfromtheexit,whichpreventstheflamefromblowingthroughthearrestor.Thelengthofthetubeandsurfacearea
providedkeepthemetalcool.Themajordrawbacksofflamearrestorsarethattheyareeasilyplugged,canbecomecoatedwithliquid,andmaynotbestrongenoughfor
pressurereliefsystems.

FlareStacks
RP521,Sec.5.4.3,coversthedesignofelevatedflares. [2](http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#cite_noter21)RP521,AppendixC,providesexamplesoffulldesignofa
flarestack. [2](http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#cite_noter21)Mostflaresaredesignedtooperateonanelevatedflarestackoronangledboomsonoffshoreplatforms.

Elevatedflarestackdesigns
Fig.2showsanexampleofanelevatedflarestackdesign.

(http://petrowiki.org/File%3AVol3_Page_428_Image_0001.png)
Fig.2Elevatedflarestackconfigurations:(a)self
supported,(b)guyedsupported,and(c)derrick
supported.

Selfsupportedstacks
Thisisthesimplestandmosteconomicaldesignforapplicationsrequiringshortstackheights(upto100ftoverallheight)however,astheflareheightand/orwindloading
increases,thediameterandwallthicknessrequiredbecomeverylargeandexpensive.
Guywiresupportedstacks
Thisisthemosteconomicaldesigninthe100to350ftheightrange.Thedesigncanbeasinglediameterriseroracantilevereddesign.Normally,setsof3wiresare
anchored120degreesapartatvariouselevations(1to6).
Derricksupportedstacks
Thisisthemostfeasibledesignforstackheightsabove350ft.Theyuseasinglediameterrisersupportedbyaboltedframeworkofsupports.Derricksupportscanbe
fabricatedfrompipe(mostcommon),angleiron,solidrods,oracombinationofthesematerials.Theysometimesarechosenoverguywiresupportedstackswhenalimited
footprintisdesired.

Offshoreflaresupportstructures
Becauseoffshoreproductionplatformsprocessverylargequantitiesofhighpressuregas,thereliefsystemsand,therefore,theflaresystems,mustbedesignedtohandle
extremelylargequantitiesofgasquickly.Bynature,flaresnormallyhavetobelocatedveryclosetoproductionequipmentandplatformpersonnelorlocatedonremote
platforms.Maximumemergencyflaredesignisbasedonemergencyshutinoftheproductionmanifoldandquickdepressurizationofthesystem.Maximumcontinuousflare
designisbasedonlossofproducedgastransport,singlecompressionshutdown,gasturbineshutdown,etc.Typicalflaremountingsonanoffshoreplatformareangled
boommounting(mostcommon),verticaltowers,orremoteflareplatforms.Fig.3showstypicaloffshoreflaresupportstructures.

(http://petrowiki.org/File%3AVol3_Page_429_Image_0001.png)
Fig.3Typicaloffshoreflaresupportstructures:(a)
angleflareboomand(b)verticaltower.

Selectionoftheflarestructuredependsonsuchfactorsas:
Waterdepth
Thedistancebetweentheflareandtheproductionplatform
Reliefgasquantity
Toxicity
Allowableloadingontheflarestructure
Locationofpersonnel
Locationofdrillingderrick
Locationsofadjacentplatforms
Whethertheflaringisintermittentorcontinuous
Flarebooms
Flareboomsextendfromtheedgeoftheplatformatanangleof15to45andareusually100to200ftlong.Sometimestwoboomsoriented180fromeachotherareused
totakeadvantageofprevailingwinds.Fig.4showsadiagramofanoffshoreflareboom.

(http://petrowiki.org/File%3AVol3_Page_430_Image_0001.png)
Fig.4Offshoreflareboom.

Derricksupportedflares
Derricksupportedflares(seeFig.5)arethemostcommonflaretowersusedoffshore.Theyprovidetheminimumfootprint(fourleggeddesign)anddeadload,whichare
criticaldesignparametersforoffshoreflaresandnormallyareusedwhenspaceislimitedandreliefquantitiesmoderate.Disadvantagesofderricksupportedflaresinclude
possiblecrudeoilspillontotheplatform,interferencewithhelicopterlanding,andhigherradiationintensities.

(http://petrowiki.org/File%3AVol3_Page_431_Image_0001.png)
Fig.5Derricksupportedflare.

Bridgesupportedflares
Inthebridgesupportedflare(seeFig.6),theproductionplatformisconnectedtoaseparateplatformthatisdevotedtotheflarestructure.Bridgescanbeasmuchas600ft
long,andbridgesupportsusuallyarespacedapproximatelyevery350ft.

(http://petrowiki.org/File%3AVol3_Page_432_Image_0001.png)
Fig.6Bridgesupportedflare.

Remoteflares
Remoteflares(seeFig.7)arelocatedonaseparateplatformconnectedtothemainplatformbyasubseareliefline.Themaindisadvantageofremoteflaresisthatany
liquidcarryoverorsubseacondensationwillbetrappedinpocketsintheconnectingline.

(http://petrowiki.org/File%3AVol3_Page_433_Image_0001.png)
Fig.7Remoteflarewithsubseareliefline.

Flarestackdesigncriteria
Importantdesigncriteriathatdeterminethesizeandcostofflarestacksincludeflaretipdiameterandexitgasvelocity,pressuredropconsiderations,flarestackheight,gas
dispersionlimitations,flamedistortioncausedbylateralwind,andradiationconsiderations.

Flaretipdiameterandexitgasvelocity
Theflaretipdiametershouldprovidealargeenoughexitvelocitysothattheflameliftsofftheflaretipbutnotsolargeastoblowouttheflare.Theflarediameterandgas
velocitynormallyaredeterminedbytheflaresupplier.Theyaresizedonthebasisofgasvelocity,althoughpressuredropshouldbechecked.
FlareTipDiameter.Lowpressureflaretipsaresizedfor0.5Machforapeak,shortterm,infrequentflow(emergencyrelease)and0.2Machfornormalconditions,where
Machequalstheratioofvaporvelocitytosonicvelocityinthatvaporatthesametemperatureandpressureandisdimensionless.TheseAPI521recommendationsare
conservative. [2](http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#cite_noter21)Somesuppliersaredesigning"utilitytype"tipsforratesupto0.8Machforemergencyreleases.Forhigh
pressureflaretips,mostmanufacturersoffer"sonic"flaresthatareverystableandcleanburninghowever,theydointroduceahigherbackpressureintotheflaresystem.
Smokelessflaresshouldbesizedfortheconditionsunderwhichtheyaretooperatesmokelessly.
VelocityDetermination.Thesonicvelocityofagascanbecalculatedwith
(http://petrowiki.org/File%3AVol3_page_429_eq_001.PNG)(Eq.2)
Gasvelocitycanbedeterminedfrom

(http://petrowiki.org/File%3AVol3_page_430_eq_001.PNG)(Eq.3)

andthecriticalflowpressureattheendofthereliefsystemcanbecalculatedwith
(http://petrowiki.org/File%3AVol3_page_430_eq_002.PNG)(Eq.4)

where

di

pipeinsidediameter,in.

ratioofspecificheats,CP/CV

PCL

criticalpressureatflaretip,always14.7,psia

Qg

gasflowrate,MMscf/D

specificgravity,ratio

temperature,R

gasvelocity,ft/s

VS

sonicvelocity,ft/s

gascompressibilityatstandardconditions,whereair=1,psi1.

and
Z

Pressuredropconsiderations
Pressuredropsaslargeas2psihavebeenusedsatisfactorily.Ifthetipvelocityistoosmall,itcancauseheatandcorrosiondamage.Furthermore,theburningofthegases
becomesquiteslowandtheflameisinfluencedgreatlybythewind.Thelowpressureareaonthedownwindsideofthestackmaycausetheburninggasestobedrawn
downalongthestackfor10ftormore.Undertheseconditions,corrosivematerialsinthestackgasesmayattackthestackmetalatanacceleratedrate,eventhoughthetop
8to10ftoftheflareisusuallymadeofcorrosionresistantmaterial.
Forconventional(openpipe)flares,anestimateofthetotalflarepressuredropis1.5velocityheads,whichisbasedonnominalflaretipdiameter.Thepressuredropis
determinedby
(http://petrowiki.org/File%3AVol3_page_431_eq_001.PNG)(Eq.5)
whereg=accelerationduetogravity,32.3ft/s2V=gasvelocity,ft/sP W=pressuredropatthetip,inchesofwaterandg=densityofgas,lbm/ft 3.Fig.8showsa
"quicklook"nomographtodeterminetheflaretipdiameter.

(http://petrowiki.org/File%3AVol3_Page_434_Image_0001.png)
Fig.8Nomographtodetermineflaretipdiameter.

Flarestackheight
Theheightisgenerallybasedontheradiantheatintensitygeneratedbytheflame.Thestackshouldbelocatedsothatradiationreleasesfrombothemergencyandlong
termreleasesareacceptableandsothathydrocarbonandH2Sdispersionisadequateiftheflameisextinguished.Thestackalsoshouldbestructurallysoundandwithstand
wind,earthquake,andothermiscellaneousloadings.RP521,AppendixC,providesguidanceonsizingaflarestack. [2](http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#cite_noter21)
TheHajekandLudwigequation(seeRP521)maybeusedtodeterminetheminimumdistancefromaflaretoanobjectwhoseexposuretothermalradiationmustbe
limited.
(http://petrowiki.org/File%3AVol3_page_432_eq_001.PNG)(Eq.6)
where

minimumdistancefromthemidpointoftheflametotheobjectbeingconsidered,ft

fractionofheatradiated

allowableradiationlevel,BTU/hrft2

heatrelease(lowerheatingvalue),BTU/hrand

fractionofheatintensitytransmitted,definedbyEq.7.

Table1showscomponentemissivity,andTable2showsallowableradiationlevels.HumidityreducestheemissivityvaluesinTable1byafactorof,whichisdefinedby
(http://petrowiki.org/File%3AVol3_page_432_eq_002.PNG)(Eq.7)
where

relativehumidity,fraction

distancefromflarecenter,ft

fractionofheattransmitted,inrangeof0.7to0.9.

and

(http://petrowiki.org/File%3AVol3_Page_435_Image_0001.png)
(http://petrowiki.org/File%3AVol3_Page_435_Image_0002.png)

Table1

Table2

Gasdispersionlimitations
Insomecases,itmaybedesirabletocheckthestackheightonthebasisofatmosphericdispersionofpollutants.Wherethisisrequired,theauthoritieswithjurisdiction
normallywillhaveapreferredcalculationmethod.
Flamedistortioncausedbylateralwind
Anotherfactortobeconsideredistheeffectofwindtiltingtheflame,whichvariesthedistancefromthecenteroftheflame.Thecenteroftheflameisconsideredtobethe
originofthetotalradiantheatreleasewithrespecttotheplantlocationunderconsideration.APIRP521[2](http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#cite_noter21)givesa
generalizedcurveforapproximatingtheeffectofwind.
Radiationconsiderations
Therearemanyparametersthataffecttheamountofradiationgivenoffbyaflareincludingthetypeofflaretip,whethersonicorsubsonic(HPorLP)orassistedor
nonassistedemissivityofflameproducedorflamelengthproducedamountofgasflowheatingvalueofgasexitvelocityofflaregasorientationofflaretipwindvelocity
andhumiditylevelinair.
Severaldesignmethodsareusedforradiationcalculations.ThemostcommonmethodsaretheAPIsimplemethodandtheBruztowskiandSommersmethod.Both
methodsarelistedinRP521,AppendixC. [2](http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#cite_noter21)Thesemethodsarereasonablyaccurateforsimplelowpressurepipeflares
(utilityflare)butdonotaccuratelymodelhighefficiencysonicflaretips,whichproduceshort,stiffflames.ThefourtheditionofRP521suggeststhatmanufacturers
proprietarycalculationsshouldbeusedforhighefficiencysonicflaretips. [2](http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#cite_noter21)

Purgegas
Purgegasisinjectedintothereliefheaderattheupstreamendandatthemajorbranchestomaintainahydrocarbonrichatmosphereineachbranch,intotheoffplotrelief
system,andintotheflarestack.Thegasvolumetypicallyisenoughtomaintainthefollowingvelocities:ft/sfordensityseals,0.4ft/sforfluidicseals,and0.4to3ft/sfor
openendedflares.RP521statesthattheoxygenconcentrationmustnotbegreaterthan6%at25ftinsidethetip. [2](http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#cite_noter21)
WhenthereisenoughPSVleakageorprocessventingtomaintainthedesiredbackpressure,nopurgegasisinjected.

Burnpits
Burnpitscanhandlevolatileliquids.Theymustbelargeenoughtocontainthemaximumemergencyflamelengthandmusthaveadrainvalveandpump(ifrequired)to
disposeoftrappedwater.Theflareshouldbepointeddown,andthepilotshouldbereliable.Becauseoftheuncertaintyregardingtheeffectsofwindonthecenterofthe
flame,itisrecommendedthatthegreaterofeither50ftor25%beaddedtothecalculatedrequireddistancebehindthetip.Burnpitsshouldbeatleast200ftfromproperty
lines.Afenceorsomeotherpositivemeansforkeepinganimalsandpersonnelawayfromapotentialradiationof1,200BTU/hrft 2shouldbeinstalled.

Ventdesign
Thesizeofaventstackmustconsiderradiation,velocity,anddispersion.
Radiation
Theventshouldbelocatedsothatradiationlevelsfromignitionareacceptable.
Velocity
Theventmusthavesufficientvelocitytomixairwithgastomaintainthemixedconcentrationbelowtheflammablelimitwithinthejetdominatedportionoftherelease.The
ventshouldbesizedforanexitvelocityofatleast500ft/s(100ft/sminimum).Studiesindicatethatgaseswithvelocitiesof500ft/sormorehavesufficientenergyinthejet
tocauseturbulentmixingwithairandwilldisbursegasinaccordancewiththefollowingequation.
(http://petrowiki.org/File%3AVol3_page_435_eq_001.PNG)(Eq.8)

where

weightflowrateofthevapor/airmixtureatdistanceYfromtheendofthetailpipe

Wo

weightflowrateofthereliefdevicedischarge,inthesameunitsasW

distancealongthetailpipeaxisatwhichWiscalculated

tailpipediameter,inthesameunitsasY.

and
Dt

Eq.8indicatesthatthedistanceYfromtheexitpointatwhichtypicalhydrocarbonreliefstreamsaredilutedtotheirlowerflammablelimitoccursapproximately120
diametersfromtheendofthedischargepipe.Aslongasajetisformed,thereisnofearoflargecloudsofflammablegasesexistingbelowthelevelofthestack.The
distancetotheleanflammabilityconcentrationlimitscanbedeterminedfromAPIRP521[2](http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#cite_noter21)andAPIRP14C. [5]
(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#cite_noter54)
Thehorizontallimitisapproximately30timesthetailpipediameter.
Industrypracticeistolocateventstacks50fthorizontallyfromanystructurerunningtoahigherelevationthanthedischargepoint.Thestacksmustventatleast10ftabove
anyequipmentorstructurewithin25to50ftaboveapotentialignitionsource.Becausetheflamecanbeignited,theheightofthestackmustbedesignedorthepitlocated
sothattheradiationlevelsdonotviolateemergencyconditions.
Dispersion
Theventmustbelocatedsothatdispersionisadequatetoavoidpotentialignitionsources.Thedispersioncalculationoflowvelocityventsismuchmoredifficultandshould
bemodeledbyexpertsfamiliarwiththelatestcomputerprograms.LocationoftheseventsisverycriticalifthegascontainsH2Sbecauseevenlowconcentrationsatlevels
accessiblebypersonnelcouldbehazardous.Thelocationoflowvelocityventsshouldbecheckedforradiationintheeventofaccidentalignition.

Nomenclature
Cp/CV

specificheatsatconstantpressureandtemperature,dimensionless

nominaltipdiameter,L,in.

di

pipeinsidediameter,L,in.

minimumdistancefromthemidpointoftheflametotheobjectbeingconsidered,L,ft

Dt

tailpipediameter,L,inthesameunitsasY

fractionofheatradiated

accelerationduetogravity,32.3ft/sec2

heightofliquidseal,L,ft

ratioofspecificheats,CP/CV

allowableradiationlevel,BTU/hrft2

flamelength,L,ft

maximumallowableheaderbackpressure,m/Lt2,psi

PCL

criticalpressureatflaretip,m/Lt2,psia

heatrelease(lowerheatingvalue),BTU/hr

Qg

gasflowrate,MMscf/D

relativehumidity,fraction

distancefromflarecenter

specificgravity,fraction

temperature,T,F

temperature,T,R

Ux

lateralwindvelocity,L

Uj

exitgasvelocityfromstack,L

gasvelocity,L/t,ft/sec

VS

sonicvelocity,L/t,ft/sec

weightflowrateofthevapor/airmixtureatdistanceYfromtheendofthetailpipe,mL/t

Wf

gasflowrate,lbm/hr

Wo

weightflowrateofthereliefdevicedischargeinthesameunitsasW,mL/t

xc

horizontaldistancefromflaretiptoflamecenter,L

yc

verticaldistancefromflaretiptoflamecenter,L

distancealongthetailpipeaxisatwhichWiscalculated,L

gascompressibilityatstandardconditions,Lt2/m,psi1

PW

pressuredropatthetipininchesofwater

horizontalflamedistortioncausedbylateralwind,L,ft

verticalflamedistortioncausedbylateralwind,L,ft

sealingliquiddensity,lbm/ft3

densityofgas,lbm/ft3

fractionofheatintensitytransmitted

References
1.0(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#cite_refr1_00) 1.1(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#cite_refr1_01)

1. 1.0(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#cite_refr1_00) 1.1(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#cite_refr1_01)APIRP520,DesignandInstallationofPressure
RelievingSystemsinRefineries,PartI,seventhedition.2000.Washington,DC:API.
2. 2.00(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#cite_refr2_10) 2.01(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#cite_refr2_11) 2.02(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#cite_ref
r2_12) 2.03(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#cite_refr2_13) 2.04(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#cite_refr2_14) 2.05

(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#cite_refr2_15) 2.06(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#cite_refr2_16) 2.07(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#cite_refr2_17)

2.08(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#cite_refr2_18) 2.09(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#cite_refr2_19) 2.10(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#cite_ref

r2_110) 2.11(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#cite_refr2_111) 2.12(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#cite_refr2_112)

APIRP521,GuideforPressureRelieving
andDepressuringSystems,fourthedition.1999.Washington,DC:API.
3. (http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#cite_refr3_20)APIRP14J,DesignandHazardsAnalysisforOffshoreProductionFacilities.1993.
Washington,DC:API.
4. (http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#cite_refr4_30)APISTD2000,VentingAtmosphereandLowPressureStorageTanksNonrefrigeratedand
Refrigerated,fifthedition.1999.Washington,DC:API.
5. 5.0(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#cite_refr5_40) 5.1(http://petrowiki.org/Flare_and_vent_disposal_systems#cite_refr5_41)APIRP14C,AnalysisDesign,Installationand
TestingofBasicSurfaceSafetySystemsforOffshoreProductionPlatforms.1998.Washington,DC:API.

NoteworthypapersinOnePetro
UsethissectiontolistpapersinOnePetrothatareaderwhowantstolearnmoreshoulddefinitelyread

Externallinks
APIStandards(http://www.api.org/standards/)

Seealso
Safetysystems(http://petrowiki.org/Safety_systems)
Recommendedmethodsforsafetyanalysis(http://petrowiki.org/Recommended_methods_for_safety_analysis)
Reliefvalvesandreliefsystems(http://petrowiki.org/Relief_valves_and_relief_systems)
PEH:Safety_Systems(http://petrowiki.org/PEH%3ASafety_Systems)
Category(http://petrowiki.org/Special%3ACategories):
4.5Offshorefacilitiesandsubseasystems(http://petrowiki.org/Category%3A4.5_Offshore_facilities_and_subsea_systems)

(https://www.onepetro.org/search?q=Flareandventdisposalsystems)

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