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STANDARD CALCULATION
SPREADSHEET
Relief Valve Sizing

Document Number: GEN-EPA-G10-00001-001

ECCN : EAR 99 Deminimus


SYSTEM : N/A
AREA : N/A
TAG : N/A
EQUIPMENT : N/A

Updates from 2008 DEP and API


A04 26/1/10 W. Prince J. A. Wilson J. A. Wilson
included, Corrections &
A03 6/8/08 Corrected header text on gas A.C. Sluijterman I.M. Brown A.C. Sluijterman
metric and gas imperial sheets
A02 18/7/06 Expanded number of methods A.C. Sluijterman V. Pradhan A.C. Sluijterman
and units
A01 7/2/06 Approved for use by EP Projects A.C. Sluijterman E.M. Miller A.C. Sluijterman
Non Deep Water
Rev. Date Description Originator Checker Approver
CONTENTS

1.0 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY............................................................3


2.0 OWNERSHIP..............................................................................3
3.0 SCOPE........................................................................................3
4.0 JUSTIFICATION.........................................................................3
5.0 SECURITY..................................................................................3
6.0 USE OF SPREADSHEET............................................................4
7.0 STRUCTURE AND QUALITY CONTROL....................................4
8.0 MAIN VARIABLES......................................................................5
9.0 THEORY AND METHODOLOGY................................................5
10.0 REFERENCES............................................................................6
APPENDIX A – STANDARD CALCULATION SPREADSHEET.............7
Appendix B – how to use Unisim to generate input............................8

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1.0 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This standard spreadsheet calculates the size of a relief valve. The


spreadsheet covers single- and multi-phase relief. It is based on the
relevant Design Engineering Practices (DEPs) and underlying
international standards.

2.0 OWNERSHIP

This tool is owned by the Process Engineering Discipline Lead in


Upstream Major Projects Design, Aberdeen (EPT-PES).

3.0 SCOPE

The scope of this standard spreadsheet includes the relief valve


sizing for hydrocarbon liquids, gas and water. It excludes steam
relief valve sizing. It calculates the orifice area for a given relief
flowrate, but it does not calculate the flowrate resulting from
individual relief cases (fire, burst tube, etc).

4.0 JUSTIFICATION

The standard spreadsheet approach is justified by the reduced


calculation time and improving the quality of the calculations. The
current practice is to select the most appropriate spreadsheet from a
range of available spreadsheet. These spreadsheets, including the
calculations routines, have to be checked and approved, each time
they are used. The standard spreadsheet has already been checked
and approved. Each project application only needs to check and
approve the input data.

The suite of Design Engineering Practices (DEP) includes two safety


relief valve sizing calculation sheets (Ref. 4, 5). These sheets are
available from the Shell DEP Web site, under the heading:
requisitions – mechanical equipment. These spreadsheets are
intended as data requisition sheets and only do a few intermediate
calculations. They do not calculate the orifice area.

5.0 SECURITY

The spreadsheet is password protected. The list of Process


Engineering spreadsheets and their passwords are captured in the
Process Engineering Forum site, accessible to the EP Projects
Process Engineers, with TA-1. They are authorised to release the

GEN-EPA-G10-00001-001- Rev A04 Page


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password for modifications, if required. To access this forum click
here.

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6.0 USE OF SPREADSHEET

The spreadsheet contains 12 worksheets:


1. Front page
2. Liquid Metric
3. Gas Metric
4. Multi HEM Enthalpy Metric
5. Multi HEM Pressure Metric
6. Liquid Imperial
7. Gas Imperial
8. Multi HEM Enthalpy Imperial
9. Multi HEM Pressure Metric
10. Multi API D2.1
11. Multi API D2.2
12. Multi API D2.3

The front page defines the spreadsheet approval and revision level.

The second worksheet should be used for single-phase hydrocarbon


liquids and water. The third worksheet should be used for single-
phase gas relief valves. The fourth worksheet should be used for
supercritical or multi-phase flow relief cases and is based on
enthalpy calculations. The fifth worksheet can be used to check the
multi-phase flow relief case calculations using pressure integration
calculations.

Worksheets 2-5 are based on metric units. The equivalent methods in


imperial units are contained in worksheets 6-9.

Worksheets 10-12 provide the opportunity to size two-phase relief


valves based on Appendix D of the API–RP-520:2004 (the ‘Single
Point Omega’ method). They do not incorporate the changes
resulting from the 2008 update of API-520 (‘Two Point Omega’).
These worksheets should only be used, if required by certifying
authorities.

The input and output parameters are self explanatory and all
available on a single worksheet. All input data is highlighted in red
font. All calculation cells are password protected.

7.0 STRUCTURE AND QUALITY CONTROL

The spreadsheet has been developed in accordance with the


standard spreadsheet quality control procedure (Ref. 1).

The spreadsheets only use straight through calculations. There are


no iteration loops, no macros, nor any visual basic routines. The
calculations follow a simple top to bottom structure. The only

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exceptions are worksheets 10 and 12, which use a Newton Raphson
solution method.

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8.0 MAIN VARIABLES

The main variables are relief pressure, relief flow, fluid properties
and orifice size. The discharge, backpressure and viscosity factors
should be based on references 2 and 3. The factors have to be
confirmed by the relief valve vendor.

9.0 THEORY AND METHODOLOGY

The relief valve sizing theory is documented in the “Relief Valves –


Selection, Sizing and Specification” Design Engineering Practice
(Ref. 2) and the underlying API -520 Standard (Ref. 3).

The single phase relief worksheets (2, 3, 6, 7) implement the


following API formulae:
 Gas relief (critical flow): formula 2/5 on page 54
 Liquid relief (non flashing): formula 28/29 on page 71

The following correction factors should be manually entered:


 Discharge Coefficient, Kd – use manufacturer’s value (typical
values in section 3.1 of the DEP)
 Back Pressure factor, Kw – use manufacturer’s value (typical
values in section 3.1 of the DEP)
 Rupture Disk combination factor, Kc – use 0.9 if a rupture disk
is installed in combination with a relief valve, otherwise 1.0
 Viscosity Factor, Kv – refer to Figure 37 of API-520

The Gas worksheet is applicable to critical (choked) flow through


Relief Valves. Refer to API-520 for sub-critical flow or for Bursting
Disks. It is applicable only where there is no condensation during A4
isentropic expansion. It is applicable only to semi-ideal gases with
Compressibility (Z-factor) between 0.8 and 1.1. For all other cases
including supercritical fluids, use the HEM sheets.

The Gas worksheet requires the Ratio of Specific Heats for an Ideal
gas. This Ideal value is reported in UNISIM, labelled as Cp/(Cp-R).
Unisim also reports the ratio for a Real gas and labels it Cp/Cv, but
this Real gas value should not be used (Ref. API-520 p63).

The Liquid worksheet is applicable to non-flashing liquids. For


flashing liquids use the HEM sheets. It is applicable only to valves
that are certified for liquid service (E.G. it is not applicable to valves
for which the determining case is gas, but which also have a
secondary liquid case). For non-Liquid-certified valves refer to API-
520 section 5.9, as a different equation and Kd factor are required.

The multi-phase flow worksheets (4, 5, 8, 9) implement the


Homogeneous Equilibrium Model (HEM) formula on page 14,

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section 3.1 of the DEP. Both the enthalpy formula has been
implemented (worksheets 4, 8) and the integration of specific
volume over pressure (worksheets 5, 9). The enthalpy formula
eliminates any integration uncertainty and is therefore preferred. It
also allows the user to focus on the pressure range where the
maximum flux occurs. UNISIM should be used to calculate the fluid
mass density and enthalpy. The isentropic flash can be achieved with
an expander with adiabatic efficiency of 100%. For further guidance
consult Appendix B.

The HEM model applies to relief streams that are at equilibrium.


Refer to Ref. 6 for special cases where thermal equilibrium between
phases is not reached upstream of the relief valve (includes some
burst-tube cases, etc.), or where the inlet flow regime is not
homogeneous (there is slip between phases).

The API Gas and Liquid methods were originally developed for use
without access to a process simulator and so include various
limitations and simplifications. The HEM model requires a simulator,
but is generally applicable in all cases (including pure Gas or Liquid
cases). Nowadays, the user will be typically be using UNISIM for all
cases to generate the input data, so users are encouraged to use the
HEM worksheets for all cases including pure liquid or gas, to avoid
the limitations of the Gas or Liquid methods (Ref. 6).

10.0 REFERENCES

1. Standard Calculation Spreadsheet Quality Control Procedure


GEN-EPA-E14-00013-A01, November 2005
2. Relief Valves – Selection, Sizing and Specification
DEP 80.36.00.30-Gen, December 2008
3. Sizing, selection and installation of pressure-relieving devices
in refineries A4
Part I – Sizing and Selection
API Standard 520, 8th Edition, December 2008
4. Safety Relief Valve Calculation Sheet (to API 520-Part 1:2000)
DEP 31.36.90.94-Gen, January 2001
5. Safety Relief Valve Calculation Sheet for Two-Phase Flow
DEP 31.36.90.95-Gen, October 2000
6. Guidance Note for Relief Device Calculations
GS.09.52840, September 2009

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APPENDIX A – STANDARD CALCULATION
SPREADSHEET

The spreadsheet can be accessed by clicking on the embedded


object below:

"GEN-EPA-G10-0000
1-001-A04-Standard_Calculation_Spreadsheet_Relief_Valve_Sizing password.doc.xls"

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APPENDIX B – HOW TO USE UNISIM TO GENERATE
INPUT

APPENDIX B - HOW TO USE UNISIM TO GENERATE DATA FOR HEM METHOD (1)

Set up a stream for the relief fluid.


It must be at relieving conditions (RV set pressure + accumulation).
Flash the stream through an expander with 100% adiabatic efficiency.

Vary downstream pressure.

Ignore any ‘liquid in inlet’ errors

APPENDIX B - HOW TO USE UNISIM TO GENERATE DATA FOR HEM METHOD (2)

Now set up a case study.

Choose Tools>Databook>Variables then Insert, then select


the following variables for the expander outlet stream and
click Add:

Pressure (bara or psia)


Mass Density (kg/m3 or lb/ft3) (for overall stream)
Mass Enthalpy (kJ/kg or Btu/lb) (for overall stream)

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APPENDIX B - HOW TO USE UNISIM TO GENERATE DATA FOR HEM METHOD (3)

Choose case studies, then Add. Set up pressure as the


independent variable and all others as dependent variables.

APPENDIX B - HOW TO USE UNISIM TO GENERATE DATA FOR HEM METHOD (4)

You need to click


on “Step Downward”.

Now click on view. Choose a high pressure equal to the


relieving pressure. Choose low pressure equal to RV
backpressure (if known) otherwise atmospheric. Choose a
step size that will give you required stages for the study.
Step size should be approx 1 bar or 1-4% of set pressure.
Choose ‘Step Downward’. Press Start then Results...

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APPENDIX B - HOW TO USE UNISIM TO GENERATE DATA FOR HEM METHOD (5)

Check the units!

You can copy/ paste the data into Excel, where you may
need to sort it to suit the HEM sheet (highest
pressure MUST be top of the list in the HEM sheet!).

You need to click


on “Transpose Table”.

APPENDIX B - HOW TO USE UNISIM TO GENERATE DATA FOR HEM METHOD (6)

Check the data is arranged in columns.

Use Data>Sort to rearrange in


descending order of pressure if
necessary.
Copy required values to HEM sheet.

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