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June 2014

PRESSURE RELIEF SYSTEMS


Acknowledgment
API STD - RP 520/ 521/ 526/ 537
Various Client/ Project Standards/ Specifications
DEDICATED TO:
Pictures from many sources, suppliers, internet
My friend Winston Yeo, KBR, Singapore/ Chevron, Thailand
Topics

 Introduction
 Relief Devices
 Codes & Standards
 Relieving Scenarios (Demands) & Loads
 Sizing
 Installation
 Isolation
 Design Features
PSV

Introduction PAHH
PIC/PAH

NOP

 Control system maintains stable operation


 Trip / shutdown system provides primary protection,
when control system fails
 Relief system provides secondary protection, when
control and trip systems fail – ultimate protection or
last line of defence PIC

T0 Flare
PAHH
PALL
T0 Compressor
SDV

Well Fluids
Production
SDV
Separator
SDV
SDV
Oil/ Condensate
Produced Water
RV lifting: a serious incident
Code Vs Recommended Practice
 Relief devices – key part of plant Layer of
Protections to protect plant and personnel. Prevent
production loss
 Relief devices are required by national codes and
standards, mandated under law

Community Emergency Response


Emergency, Evacuation
Plant Emergency Response
Containment/ Evacuation Procedure
Mitigation
Mechanical mitigation, Relief System
Operator Action
Prevention
ASME is a Code. Compliance is mandatory.
SIS Trips
Operator Response
API is a recommended practice.
Controls & Monitoring
Controls, Alarms
Operator Supervision API is also getting adopted as a National /
Process International Standard
Where Pressure Relief is not possible
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 Fast chemical reactions:


 Pressure propagation rate is very high and loss of
containment may occurs before RV pops.
 “hot spots,” decompositions & internal detonation/fires
 Relieving rate requires large relief areas
 Plugging, polymerization or deposition that may
partially or completely block RV
 Relieved chemicals may polymerize and plug. PSV useless
 Multi-phase relief: where rate is difficult to predict
 Relief may create additional hazards due to stack
location or very large vent/ flare system
 Use HIPPS
Relief Scenarios Tank drained. Pulled
vacuum
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Air freshener can in a closed


car - Thermal
Column internals - Pyrophoric fire
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Vacuum column fire Semi sub – what was left


RELIEF DEVICES
Relief Devices
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 Relief Valves
 Rupture Disks
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 Rupture Pins
 Buckling Pins
 PVRV
 Blow-off Hatches
 Explosion Doors The link ed image cannot be display ed. The file may hav e been mov ed, renamed, or deleted. Verify that the link points to the correct file and location.

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Relief Devices
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Relief Valves

 Conventional
 Balanced
 Pilot
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Conventional RV

 Most common
 Simple, cheap and reliable
 Backpressure reduces capacity
 Variable back pressure limited
to 10% of set pressure
 Large spring required limits set
pressure of bigger PSV
 Constant or superimposed
backpressure increases set
point on a 1 for 1 basis Why?
Set Press 

100
150# RV Set Press, psig at 100°F
D–P Q R T
0 50
Back Press  285 165 100 65
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Balanced Bellows RV
 Not allowed per ASME section I
 Back pressure max 30% on all except
smaller sizes. Up to 50% with capacity
correction
 Fragile bellows. Mechanical limit imposed
by bellows
 Bellows can plug; movement restricted In
plugging and polymerizing service
 Bellows sealed in hydrate, solid, foaming
and coking services to keep foreign
matter out of bonnet
 Bellows prone to fatigue and pin-hole
leaks. [Leaks take away ability to handle
backpressure; hence bonnet is vented. As
long vent is bigger than “holes” OK.]
 Bonnet vent must be routed to safe
location in toxic service Why? Bellows original purpose was to protect the
spindle & guide from corrosive fluids. Beyond 30%
back pressure, lift and hence capacity affected
Balanced Disk RV This image cannot currently be display ed.

 Backpressure acting on top and


bottom of disk cancels each other
 Backpressure ha no effect on RV
opening or closing pressure

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Set Press 

100 RV Opening Pressure

RV Reseating Pressure

0 50
Back Press 
Pilot RV
 Process pressure on a differential area piston keeps the seat closed
 Pilot: A small PSV that pops and removes piston top pressure,
allowing the main valve to open
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Pilot
Dome

Dome

Piston

Pilot Tube

Pilot Tube
Note: Piston top area > bottom area. For the same pressure, force on top > force on bottom, keeping the seat closed
More on Pilot RV
 Process pressure on the larger piston (top) area opposes
pressure on the smaller seat, keeping the valve shut
 Higher the process pressure, greater the downward force,
keeping the seat tightly closed. c.f spring loaded RV
 A small auxiliary relief valve (pilot) controls the main RV. It
pops open relieving top pressure, opening main RV
 Larger RVs can have higher set pressures; no longer limited by
spring force. c.f spring loaded RV
 Full lift and capacity achieved near set pressure as there is no
heavy spring load to overcome
 With pop action, full lift at set pressure; with modulating pilot,
full lift at relieving pressure; modulating pilot relieves only
what is required
Pilot is a small RV!
More on Pilot 1. As process pressure reaches set pressure, the
spring is compressed; lower feeding seat closes,
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isolating process gas


2. Upper seat opens, venting gas and pressure in
dome; and opening RV
 Process gas isolated during a relief – no flow pilot
 Flowing pilot, discharges process gas before,
during and after a relief. Not recommended
2
 Flowing design may lead to freezing or
particulates into the pilot
1  Based on one-shot venting or gradual venting
“pop” or “modulating” action
 “Pop” or fast action is for rapid relief of gas.
Recommended. Spring loaded RV
 “Modulating” allows RV opening with a small
pressure rise; fast response. Relieves what is
Spindle travel - decides
reqd. Diaphragm RV
blowdown. 3% blowdown possible
More on Pilot RV

 Most have soft seats; remote sensing capability – pilot


tube intake need not be at RV inlet
 Polymerizing, plugging service, sensing line can plug.
Use non-flow type or filtered sensing line in dirty service
 Backpressure: Set pressure not affected unless pilot is
vented to header
Caution: Higher backpressure can lead to reverse flow
and product contamination, during start-up and
shutdown. Use check valve
 Usual to have no-flow, pop action elastomer seat/ seal
type.
 Less commonly used. May require prior approval
Liquid filled systems: Blowdown may change c.f gas service. Operating time too rapid -
producing water hammer or too slow. Pilot affected by particulate contamination or corrosion
Capacity - Back Pressure Impact

 RV: ‘Nozzle’ or ‘orifice’ -


flow decided by:
Transition Point
 upstream pressure, as long Sonic to Sun-sonic
as it is ‘critical’ or ‘sonic’
 ∆P, Pressure drop (P1-P2), if
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sub-sonic
 Back-pressure adds to
spring force, reduces lift
and flow (‘capacity’ of RV)
Back Pressure - Conventional RV
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 Backpressure affects lift;


impacts capacity severely
At 15% valve fully closed
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Back Pressure - Balanced Bellows

 Bellows nullify backpressure effect to an extent


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At 30% capacity reduced


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Difficult to have small bellows. Size D & E, may be a ‘modified’ F !!


Bellows fixed at at upper end. High back pressure lengthens
the bellows at the lower end, restricting seat lift
Back Pressure - Balanced Disk RV

 Disk nullify backpressure effect to an extent

At 30% capacity reduced At 20% capacity reduced


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Balanced Spindle type can withstand


higher backpressure; Sizes to 2J3 only
Back Pressure - Pilot RV

Flow

 Flow follows closely nozzle flow


 For k = 1.3 & BP = 70%. Flow:
Nozzle = 92% Pilot = 78%

 Back flow Preventer:


Backpressure may open the
main valve when process
pressure is low as at start-up.
May contaminate products. C3
Refrigeration
Back Pressure Impact - Comparison
Set Pressure Vs Lift
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Conventional

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Pilot
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Backpressure Impact - Tests


 University of Milan Test on 5 Balanced RV, 2 J 3
 Supposed to be good to 50% BP viz k = 1
 Capacity Lost, % at BP, % Remarks This image cannot currently be display ed.

A 10 50
B 30 50
C 40 30
D 20 30 0% at 32%
E 60 18 bellow ruptured
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Terminology - Refresher

 Relief Valve: Valve opens in proportion to


overpressure. Liquid (incompressible fluids)
service
 Safety Valve: Valve opens rapidly with pop action.
Vapour (compressible fluids) service
 Safety Relief Valve: Either a safety or relief valve
 Pressure Relief Valve: Generic term for all of
above
Terminology - Refresher
 MAWP: Max Allowable Working Pressure on top of vessel
based on wall thickness provided at coincident
temperature. ≈> Design Pressure
 Design Pressure: Equipment/ system design pressure at
design temperature
 Set Pressure: Pressure at which RV is set to open. May be
same or less than Design Pressure
 Overpressure: Pressure increase over set pressure
 Relieving Pressure: Set pressure + Overpressure
 Accumulation: Pressure increase over MAWP
 Back pressure: Pressure at the outlet flange/ pressure in
discharge system
Where RV is set below MAWP, overpressure can
be higher to match MAWP + Accumulation
Terminology - Refresher
V-002

 Superimposed back pressure - Affects set pressure.


Pressure at outlet flange before RV opens E-001
 Constant superimposed BP: Always the same pressure. When RV
discharges to a closed system. Can be high ~ 50% of set pressure.
 Variable superimposed BP: Varies based on flow from other
sources. When multiple sources discharge to a common header

 Built-up back pressure - Does not affect set pressure but


affects capacity
Pressure that develops in the discharge header as a result of
flow thru RV

 Total back-pressure = Superimposed + Built-up BP


 Spring differential: Difference between set pressure and Why?
superimposed constant BP. It is not wise to give a
superimposed constant BP in a data sheet unless one exists.
Back Pressure - Example
Flare Stack

Normal Operating Press = 0.3 U Flare Header

∆P = 10 U due to flow from this +


other PSVs

SP = 100 Units ∆P = 5 U
Relief valve Flare Knockout Drum
Care needed while
specifying constant BP

 Superimposed Constant Back Press = 0.3 U


 Built-up Back Pressure = 15 U
 Total Back Pressure = 15.3 U
 Spring Differential (Set Pressure – Constant BP)
 Spring set at: = 99.7 U
Back Pressure - More Info
Outlet: PSV Area Ratio
Area, in2
 Backpressure adds to spring load, prevents full Size (Ao/A)
lift 1½ D 2 0.110 (31)
 Flow and backpressure reduced; Valve opens again
1½ E 2 0.196 (17)
 Close  Open. Rapid cycling or chattering
1½ F 2 0.307 (11)
 P1, backpressure at valve outlet flange is
known and NOT PB inside the valve at nozzle 2G3 0.503 (15)
outlet 2H3 0.785 (9)
 Bigger the RV, smaller is Outlet: PSV area 3J4 1.287 (10)
(Ao/A) ratio; Higher is PB 3K4 1.838 (7)
 PB, controls flow in sub-sonic cases 3L4 2.853 (5)
 Vendors have come up with a correction factor 4M6 3.600 (8)
to Nozzle Coefft, to account for this – based on
valve body / nozzle geometry 4N6 4.340 (7)
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4P6 6.380 (5)

Design Tip: Backpressure mechanical limit on RV is 6Q8 11.050 (5)


decided by bellows. Bigger the RV lower is PB
P2
6R8 16.000 (3)
allowable backpressure. Affects non-flowing RVs
8 T 10 26.000 (3)
too; forgotten by Process Engineers. See RP 526
Terminology - Refresher
 Blowdown: Difference between set pressure and reseating
pressure, % of set pressure. Usually 3%
 Cold differential test pressure: Set pressure with correction for
backpressure and/or temperature service condition
 Simmer: Audible or visual release of fluid across the RV just prior
to opening at set pressure. Excessive simmering is detrimental
to valve seating surfaces
 Chattering: Rapid opening and closing of RV in quick succession.
Wear and tear on seating surfaces leading to leak in normal
operation. Caused by:
 Oversized RV
 Inlet loss > 3%
 Excessive back-pressure
 Broken or leaking balanced bellows
 Lift: Rise of the disc to open the RV
RV Operation - Refresher Boiler Board
Formula with Lift

 As the seat lifts,


flow is thru (i) nozzle at full lift or (ii)
curtain for partial lift
 Nozzle Area = πD²/4 S
Curtain Area = πDL; L = D/4
Usual lift is about 35 to 40% Seat Disk

Curtain
 At PSV opening point,

Lift, L
press * area = spring load P
Increases
 To reach full lift, additional Decrease
Skirt Blowdown
overpressure required, say 10% to Nozzle Diameter, D
compress the spring. Not enough.
 Solution? Add a skirt to seat, to add Blowdown
‘area’ and redirect flow to add to lift Ring
 Blowdown Ring, controls blowdown
Top: Short Simmer; long
blowdown
RV Operation - Refresher
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Rupture Disks
Non-reclosing: Unlike a PSV that closes once the pressure <
set pressure, RDs remain open and discharge the contents. It
has to be replaced after an event
 Non-reclosing
 Good for large relief; instantaneous and unrestricted relief
 For valuable/ toxic fluids (no leak) and viscous, high melting
point fluids
 For corrosive and slurry (no exposed seat/ spring)
 Used upstream and downstream of RV in corrosive services
 Upstream of RV
 Protects RV internals from corrosion – save $$ using standard
MOC; Prevents leakage thru RV; Prevents plugging and gumming
of RV; Allows in-situ calibration testing of RV
 Downstream of RV Note: Max distance between RD and PSV = 5D
 Protects RV internals from corrosion – save $$ using standard
MOC; Check leakage thru RV; Prevents fouling and gumming of
RV; Cushions impact of variable backpressure
 In parallel to or in series with RV
Design Tip: RD + RV requires Combined Capacity Factor ≈ 0.9 factor on RV area; combined inlet ∆P <3%. RD burst
pressure ≈ 90-100% RV set pressure (ASMEVIII Div 1 UG-127 foot note 52 + UG132 (a)(4)(a))
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Rupture Disks
 Conventional tension loaded type
 Op pressure <70% of burst pressure
 Fragments and not used under RV This image cannot currently be display ed.

 Reverse buckling disk


 Op pressure <90% of burst pressure
 Can withstand pressures in excess of
burst pressure on the outlet.
 Non-fragmenting. Can be used under
RV
 PAH set at >10% set point required
between RD & RV.
 Liquid service disk
Reverse: Snap back action reqd to move
 Disk full open without the stored the disc thru knife blade. May not be
compressed energy of vapour reliable in liquid service. Scored design
instead of knife-cut!
Rupture Disks
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Why?

2 RDs in series may be required, if


variable backpressure is significant.
What is the gauge pressure?.

What it tells you?

Leakage thru RD can increase the


pressure in the cavity between RD
and RV, reduce dP across RD and
hinder RD opening. Provide a
PG/PAH/vent line d/s of RD Burst pressure dependency on design Vs
Operating temperature
Rupture Disk Vs Relief Valve
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‘Combining RDs with RVs’, Roger


Bours, Chemical Engg, June 2014
Rupture Pins

 As a replacement for relief valves. Non reclosing type.


 Good for large loads
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 Usually in alternative paths to staged flares


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Buckling Pins
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 As a replacement for relief valves. Non reclosing type.


 Instead of relieving, isolates the high pressure source;
eliminates flaring
 Clapper, disk, piston or plunger valve held in place by a pin
 When the pin buckles, the valve is instantly closed.
 Not Approved by ASME. OK for Pipelines under Dept of
Transportation Code
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Closed

Pin
Pressure Vacuum Relief
PVRV/Blow-off Hatches/ Explosion Doors
 PVRV
 Low set pressure - from few mm of H2O to 1 bar( 15 psig)
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 Generally for Storage Tank protection


 Blow-off Hatches/ Explosion Doors
 For infrequent large releases
 Used generally for Storage Tank protection
 In furnace fire boxes (“Explosion Doors”)
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RELIEF DEVICES SELECTION
Relief Devices - Selection

 Type of relief valve


 Based on backpressure and service
 Steam service: direct spring loaded “pop action” type.
 As back pressure on the valve rises
 from conventional to balanced bellows to pilot
 Rupture disks: Rapid rise in pressure, corrosive
services or for very large relieving areas
 E.g. Heat Exchanger Tube Rupture, Reactor
 RD + RV to avoid emissions or in corrosive service
 RD + RV: Non fragmenting RD and consider combination
capacity reduction factor
Relief Devices - Comparison
Weighted Pallet Balanced Bellows – Metal Seat
 Set Press constant with back press
 Low Cost
 Good Chemical & Temp compatibility
 Very Low Set Pressure
 Seat Leakage
 Set Press, not adjustable  Long simmer or blowdown
 High over pressure 100%++  Limited bellows life
 Affected by inlet press loss
 Seat can be frozen
 Affected by higher back pressure
 Difficult to check Set Press in-place
Conventional PSV – Metal Seat
 Lowest Cost
 Good Chemical & Temp compatibility

 Seat Leakage = Product Loss


 Long simmer or blowdown
 Affected by inlet press loss Soft Seat: Good tightness; but elastomer will
 Affected by back pressure limit chemical & temp capability
 Difficult to check Set Press in-place
Relief Devices - Comparison
Pilot - Soft Seat - Piston Type Pilot - Soft Seat - Diaphragm or Bellows
 Smaller & Lighter  Good for Low Press operation 3” WC
 Excellent Seat Tightness  Excellent Seat Tightness
 Pop or Modulating Action  Pop or Modulating Action
 In-line maintenance of main valve  In-line maintenance of main valve
 Set Pressure can be tested in-situ. Only  Set Pressure can be tested in-situ. Only
pilots are tested pilots are tested
 Adaptable for remote press sensing  Adaptable for remote press sensing
 Remote unloading possible  Remote unloading possible
 Fully opens at Set Pressure

 Not OK in polymerizing or dirty service  Not OK in polymerizing or dirty service


 Limited Chemical & Temp Compatibility  Limited Chemical & Temp Compatibility
 Limited Low Press Setting >15 psig  Limited High Press Setting <50 psig
 Not Allowed under ASME Sec I  Liquid service limitations
Relief Devices - Comparison
Pilot – Metal Seat Rupture Disks
 Excellent Seat Tightness  Good tightness, if disk is intact
 Wide choice in material
 Set Pressure can be tested in-situ
 Minimum space
 Adaptable for remote press sensing  For high capacity relief as in FCCU
 Excellent Chemical & Temp  For secondary relief in parallel to a RV
Compatibility
 Wide tolerance in burst pressure
 Only pop action available  Non-reclosing
 Premature rupture, with pressure
 Pressure limited to 1200 psig pulsations
 Temperature limited 1000°F
Relief Devices - Selection
Type Conventional Bellows Pilot
Default Selection 
Back Press ≤ 10% ≤ 30% (Note 1) No limit
Max Op Press 90% SP 90% SP 90% SP (Note 2)
ASME Sec I   
Remote Pressure Sensing/ Unloading 
Plugging, Polymer, Dirty Service  
1. Up to 50% with capacity correction 2. Up to 95% of set in revamp or high pressure situation

Rupture Disk RD/RV Combination


Rapid pressure rise Prevent atmospheric emissions
Corrosive, fouling polymerization services Reduce RV cost in corrosive service
Very large relieving area Not allowed for ASME Sec I
Always use non-fragmenting RD
Derate RV capacity by 10%
CODES & STANDARDS
Codes & Standards
 Codes - ASME Vessels under 15
psig excluded
 Section I for Steam Boilers
 Section VIII for Unfired Pressure Vessels
 Recommended Practices/ Standards - API
 RP 520 Sizing, Selection, and Installation of Pressure-Relieving
Devices in Refineries
 Part I Sizing and Selection and
 Part II Installation
 STD 521 Pressure-relieving and Depressuring Systems
 STD 526 Flanged Steel Pressure Relief Valves
 RP 2000 Relief load calculations for Storage Tanks
ASME is a Code. Compliance is mandatory.
API is a recommended practice.

API is also getting adopted as a National /


International Standard
Operating/ Design/ Set Pressure
 Operating Pressure
 + margin = PAH or PCV Dump Pressure
 + margin = PAHH Pressure
 + margin = Design Pressure
 RV is usually set at Design Pressure
 Code allows a margin over set pressure – “overpressure” for full
capacity to be reached
 10% overpressure for all contingencies, except fire
 16% with multiple valve
 21% overpressure for fire, an infrequent or rare case
 Higher overpressure  smaller RV, that is all!!
Why?
 Note:
 1. MAWP, based on installed wall thickness is not considered in RV set point.
Vessels are hydrotested to 130% of MAWP
 2. RVs can be set below Design Pressure
 3. Considering blowdown, RVs should above set 3-7% above PAHH
ASME/ API Guidelines
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Process Engineers go by Design Pressure, rather


than MAWP, as MAWP is usually known much later.

For revamp: MAWP may be OK. Caution: Corroded


walls!

Where RV is set below MAWP, overpressure can


be higher to match MAWP + Accumulation
Single Vs Multiple Devices

 Design Note: In high pressure service, large


valves may not be available. Instead of waiting
to find out at AFC stage, it helps if Process
Engineers can do a quick sizing and show
multiple valves, if required
 For heat exchangers, one may need a small RV
for thermal and a bigger RD for tube rupture.
Set RV low so that on thermal demand, RD is
not ruptured
RELIEF SCENARIO ANALYSIS
Relief Scenario Analysis
Fatal Error X

 Utility Failures Power Failed


Restart Giveup
 Power Failure - Total or Partial
 Instrument Air Failure
 Cooling Medium Failure
 Heating Medium or Steam Failure
 Controllers Failure
 Instrument Air failure to individual control valve
 Control Valve Failure - Gas blowby
 Blocked Outlet
 Inadvertent opening / closing of manual valves
 Check Valve Failure Utility failure may not result in major loads for
individual PSV. But being cumulative load,
they may govern the header and flare sizing
Common Mode / Cascading Failure

 One failure results in another


 Steam loss to Steam Turbines results in Power failure
 Power loss to Air Compressor, leads to Inst Air failure
 Power loss to pumps, leads to Cooling Medium failure
 Analyzing cascading failures - difficult but
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READ API RP 521. IT IS PAINFUL. BUT NO OTHER WAY!!


Individual Failure
 Exchanger Tube Rupture
 Thermal Expansion of blocked in liquid
 External Fire
 Pressure (Surges) Transients – Liquid lines
 Ingress of volatile (e.g. water) into hot oil
 Fractionators/ Columns:
 Reflux Failure
 Loss of Cold Feed
 Excess Heat to Reboiler
 Reboiler Tube Rupture
 Absorbent failure
Individual Failure

 Abnormal Heat or Vapour Input


 Accidental Mixing of Fluids. Remember
Bhopal?
 Storage: Liquid Overfill Remember Buncefield
 Human Error
 Chemical Reactions Column Blows-off Top
 Vacuum Relief
 Atmospheric Tank Thermal Breathing
Owner may, at his risk, elect to exclude some scenarios,
considering administrative or instrument controls.
How are you going to control Hot Oil Coking?
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Power Failure

 All Electric Power driven equipment stop


 Evaluate
 Electrical one-line diagrams
 Back-up power sources: in-plant generation / grid power
 Single Equipment failure
 Localized Power failure
 Unit Power failure
 Plant-wide or plant section-wide power failure
 Consequence:
 Vapour release from columns/ vessels
 Air Cooler Fans: Natural draft credit: 25% of duty
Instrument Air Failure

 All control valves revert to safe position - FC or


FO
 Individual control valves: Analyse individually
 Consequence:
 Blocked outlet etc release
 Impact on Flare: Analyse system by system
 Simultaneous failure of Inst Air & Inst Electric Power
- unlikely This image cannot currently be display ed.
Steam/ Heating Oil Failure

 All Steam Turbine driven equipment stop


 Loss of Motive Power to eductors and ejectors
Loss of Heat to reboilers, exchangers
 Loss of Stripping Steam to columns
 Evaluate single failure, steam line blockage to a
single equipment + to individual unit
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Cooling Medium Failure


 Evaluate - impact on
 Single equipment
 Plant wide - Cooling Medium Pumps down
 Partial credit, for multiple pumps driven by independent sources
 Example - 2 electric motor + 2 steam turbine
 No credit, if ‘independent’ pumps can be on stand-by or taken off
service for maintenance
 Cooling Medium Loss to
 Exchangers and condensers; Column Condenser - Reflux failure
 Refrigeration Condenser - Blocked outlet on Refrigeration
Compressor
 Loss of chilled water, refrigerant, etc
 Compressor Lube Oil Coolers - Compressor trip
 Consequence
 Vapour release from columns/ vessels
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Blocked Outlet

 Causes
 Inadvertent valve opening or closing by operator
 Instrument / Mechanical / Utility failure
 Panic response - Wrong action
 Wrong interpretation when multiple alarms are activated
simultaneously. Multiple alarms may result in alarm fatigue, leading
to accidents. “Alarm Management Study” a MUST.
 Source pressure > downstream design pressure.
 Sources: Pumps, Compressor, Utility, HP upstream etc
 ‘LO’ or ‘CSO’ - not a good design; OK if Owner wants
 ‘LC’ valves on a high pressure source may leak

Design Tip: No double jeopardy! Only one valve closed or opened. Safety Engineer can say: Outlet SDVs got
closed but inlet SDV failed to close, asking PSV sized for both gas and liquid. No hard and fast rule.
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Blocked Outlet
 SDV – 2 or PCV-1 fails closed
 PSV - 001 Size: Full inflow to V-001

 Credit: LCV-1/LCV-2 normal liquid


flow - as only ONE valve is taken
blocked at a time. Caution: instant
flow via LCV < design. Credit?
PCV-1
 Safety engineers: Both liquid and PSV - 001
vapor flow – as on a trip, SDVs in
liquid and vapor outlets might have SDV-2
closed with inlet SDV failing to close
 Compromise: Check well flow at SDV-1 V-001
relieving pressure; usually less on SDV-4 SDV-3
high backpressure. (Not true, if
choke takes a high ∆P LCV-1
Arguments: On LCV-1 closing, liquid
can go via PCV-1. On LCV-2 closing, LCV-2
liquid can go via LCV-1 etc.
Blocked Outlet

 LCV - 1 fails closed


PSV - 001
 Pump P-001 shut-off V-001

pressure > E-001 tube P-001


LCV-1

side design pressure.


 Relief rate: Based on E-001

pump head at PSV-001 Relieving


relieving pressure and
max suction pressure of Operating
pump P- 001 Head

 Good design to have


pump outlet designed
Capacity
for shut-off head
Relief flow is less than Operating flow
Blocked Outlet

 To satisfy ASME, a PSV


is required on
equipment at pump
outlet, even if its design
pressure > pump shut-
off pressure Relieving
 Relief rate may be
nominal or Nil. Operating

 If a PSV is provided for


Head

some other reason, say


fire, then it will do
Capacity

Pump suction valve & piping downstream of it to suit discharge conditions


Control Valve Failure
 Causes
 Instrument air failure; Signal (wiring) failure; DCS hardware/software failure
 Improper manual operation by operator
 Mechanical malfunction of control valve
 Hand wheel left engaged on control valve
 Plugging
 Evaluate both Open and Closed position of control valve
 No credit: for interlocks / Emergency Shutdown System in RV size;
Credit may be taken for total load to flare header
 Credit may be taken for normally open flow paths and not affected
 Simultaneous failure control valve and bypass: Owner preference
 Options: No bypass; RO in bypass; bypass valve Cv same as control valve;
parallel but not-connected control valve; parallel control valve on its own
Control Valve Failure
PSV - 002
 LCV - 1 fails open PSV - 001
 PSV - 002 Size: SDV-2
Max flow thru LCV-1 V-2
V-001
minus V-2 normal flow SDV-1
 Max flow thru LCV-1:
SDV-3
Max Cv + downstream
PSV - 002 relieving LCV-1
V-002
pressure + ∆P between
LCV and PSV
L-2
 LCV – 1 fails closed
 PSV - 001 Size: Blocked
outlet Note: Several approaches to gas blowby load estimation: All gas; gas volume
equivalent volume of liquid; both gas and liquid limited to max inflow etc.
Dynamic Simulation helps get realistic results
If it overloads or is the largest LP Flare load, consider same design pressure for
the d/s vessel to eliminate gas blowby case
Heat Exchanger Tube Failure The link ed image cannot be display ed. The file may hav e been mov ed, renamed, or deleted. Verify that the link points to the correct file and location.

 Shell & Tube heat exchangers tubes


may fail due to thermal shock, vibration, corrosion etc
 No PSV, if high pressure side design/ operating
pressure is ≤130% of design (= hydrotest) pressure of
low pressure side * temperature correction
 130% or ‘0.77 rule’ does not mean tubes don’t rupture –
a common mistake
 Evaluate potential overpressure of connected equipment
 Evaluate potential chemical reactions when two sides mix
 2 Options - tube failure at mid tube viz 2 orifices and
failure at tube sheet viz 1 nozzle + 1 orifice
 For PCHEs, one full channel failure
 No PSV for tube failure in double pipe exchangers
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 Credit: Flow thru normally open path


if LP fluid is gas or vapour
 If LP side is liquid, pressure build-up to push and
accelerate large liquid mass. It is as good as blocked
 Some consider tube rupture only when HP to LP
differential pressure > 65 bar (1,000 psi)
 On tube rupture, pressure spike is rather quick.
Usually rupture disks are provided as spring loaded
RVs take time to react
 Opening time: Rupture pin: 2ms; Rupture disk: 5ms; RV
25ms
 Recommended to have 2 RDs at either end of LP side
 Dynamic Simulation studies help, select location
Check Valve Failure
 All valves leak or pass. In early designs check valve leak was
NOT considered
 Check valves stop “bulk” flow but can’t avoid leak past them
 Some considered check valve leak only in high pressure or dirty or
surging service. Some considered specially designed, power assisted
check valve can stop reverse flow. No longer valid
 No credit to single check valve. Reduced flow area for 2
dissimilar check valves
 Standard calculation methods available to estimate leak past a
check valve
 Note: Along with leak, pressure is transmitted. That is HP side can
pressurize LP side shut-in This point out is missed out by Process Engineers in a
Hazop review

When a compressor trips, discharge from


other running compressors can back flow
into the tripped one, pressurizing its
Suction Drum
Check Valve Failure

 At a common manifold, when one of the stream stops


flowing or a pump/ compressor feeding it stops, fluids from
other streams may back flow thru the non-flow pipe

Header A 3 Workers Killed

Header B
Xmas Tree Wellhead inlet manifolds: A common check valve
Test Header or one per header
Well
Thermal Expansion
 Liquid filled equipment / piping that is blocked-in and heated
 Solar radiation; Hot side of exchanger; Heat tracing
 Heat Exchangers: Cold side vapor pressure > design pressure
 At ambient temperature; At hot side fluid inlet temperature; Heat
tracing
 OSBL: Yard piping
 10% overpressure for vessels and 33% for piping
 CSO or LO valves can eliminate thermal PSV, provided Owner
agrees to administrative control The link ed image cannot be display ed. The file may hav e been mov ed, renamed, or deleted. Verify that the link points to the correct file and location.

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Air freshener can in a closed


car - Thermal
Thermal Expansion
 Thermal Expansion  Massive Force
 Liquid Ammonia Tank in a closed garage, exploded and
propelled the truck 40m
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External Fire
Vacuum column fire
 Pool fire under equipment, even if contents are not flammable
 Radiant + direct heat boils liquid / expands vapour  increasing
pressure
 Equipment assumed blocked in and isolated when fire occurs and
inflow stopped
 There can be exemptions for this rule, example, heat exchangers
 ASME stamped equipment must be protected unless fire can be
ruled out or equipment/ system cannot be blocked-in
 Piping and piping components do not require protection.
 Interconnecting piping included in adjacent equipment
 Equipment grouping: 8.6m (28.2’) radius (2,500 sq.ft area) and 7.6m
(25’) high from grade are grouped in a single fire zone
 Liquid at NLL or HLL
 Evaluate: Effects of chemical reaction, fluid decomposition and fluid
behaviour (foaming, frothing, etc.) Do NOT design for Jet Fire load as some
do. As API RP 521 says, jet fires are
handled by blowdown viz. removing fuel
Design Tip: API indicates max fire zone size. Use it wisely to reduce Blowdown load + Flare size
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Caution: Corrosion
under insulation can
bring a vessel down
External Fire before fire does!. Need
Inspection windows

 Fire NOT considered if:


 Sloping or proper drainage eliminates pool fire possibility
 No flammable hydrocarbon exists in the area
 Air Coolers/ equipment located 7.6m (25’) above grade OR
over open grating
 If fire load is relieved thru any passage that can’t be shut
 If Owner instructs: “Equipment will be vented and drained
when taken out of service”. e.g. Pig launcher/ receiver
 Credit for fireproof insulation as allowed by API; it
should withstand firewater jet impact
 Gas vessel: Fire PSV not effective as vessel metal
temperature > Creep temperature PETRONAS: No fire PSV for gas vessels
Design Tip: If fire relief temperature > equipment design temperature, use design temp
for RV material and flange selection. Say so in data sheet. Vessel metal temperature will be
200-300°C > RV relief temperature. Vessel will fail/ rupture/ deform first before RV lifts
RP 521 Figures Temp °F %

External Fire • Heat up rate


• Time to Rupture
400
800
100
80
1,100 36

 Vessel under fire RVs do NOT protect against structural failure when the vessel
will deform/ is exposed to extremely high temperatures during a fire
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rupture before 1/3 Tensile


PSV lifts, as metal
wall rapidly loses
strength as its 2/3 Yield
temperature rises.
 Blowdown Valves
are provided to
depressurize the
vessel within 15
minutes Max Temp
 Against fire:
 Blowdown
 FW spray
 Fireproofing
°C
°F
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Pressure Surges
Water hammer. 24 t piping flew off
 Transient Analysis required for 800m. Sheared off telephone poles

 water, liquid filled or rundown OSBL lines


 oil/condensate export pipelines
 Transient Analysis is NOT required for
 ISBL piping. Short runs and generally do NOT have quick
closing valves
 Code allowed - short term - margins may be used
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Design Tip: It is common for GRE Fire Water/ Sea Water


piping to burst during start-up, fill the Flare KOD and
bring the plant down. Have a good surge study; leave
design and construction/start-up to a single source. Take
exception from Owner, giving him the risk. Seawater flooding a column sank semi-sub
Column Cases Excess heat may not pressurize the
exchanger but will over pressure the column
 Reflux failure is usually the controlling case:
 Reflux Pump / Power Failure
 Reflux Control Valve Fails Closed
 Overhead Condenser Failure or Flooded on Draw-off Control Valve
Fails Closed
 Non-condensable Accumulates in the Condenser
 Operator Error: Block Valves Closed
 Loss of Cold Feed
 Feed Control Valve Fails Closed or Feed Pump Fails - Transient Surge
in Vapour Rate
 Excess Heat to Reboilers
 Steam or Heating Control Valve Fails Open
 Excessive Fuel to Fired Reboiler Safety Alerts
 Additional Vapours generated Column blows off top – leakage reacts
Column overflows – 15 killed; 150 injured
 Reboiler Tube Rupture
Credit: Reduced vaporization in reboiler at relieving pressure.
Reduced ∆T relieving pressure reduces relief rate
Column Cases
 Column load calculations is complicated
 3 approaches – flash, gross overhead vapour, unbalanced heat; last
one gives the best estimate
Column Overhead Vapor, kg/h Unbalanced Heat, kg/h

DC Steam Stripper 60,000 168,000

DC Fractionator 296,000 448,000

HC Debutanizer 69,000 171,000


Dyn Sim load 60%. Case 2
PSV does not pop
 Dynamic simulation can reduce The link ed image cannot be display ed. The file may hav e been mov ed, renamed, or deleted. Verify that the link points to the correct file and location.

column and reactor loads


DC Fractionator Conventional, kg/h Dyn Simulation, kg/h

.. Total power fail 448,000 259,000

.. Single power fail 85,000 0

.. Blocked outlet 258,000 172,000

From: “Optimize relief loads with dynamic simulation”, CL Xie, ZG Wang and YF Qin, HP, Dec 2013
Accidental Mixing of Fluids
 Runaway reaction - Polymerization:
 Some chemicals, when mixed in wrong
ratio or sequence may lead to run-away
reaction
 Inadvertent mixing of reactive streams
 Decomposition or polymerization due The link ed image cannot be display ed. The file may hav e been mov ed, renamed, or deleted. Verify that the link points to the correct file and location.

to abnormal heat input or loss of


cooling
 See Safety Alert
 Runaway Reaction Relief Rate
 Determination is complex. Inputs from
Owner, Catalyst Manufacturer, Process
Licensor.
 Owner/ Licensor to provide the relief
load. Pass them the responsibility

Bhopal. 4,000 to 10,000 dead; 500,000 injured


Liquid Overfill of Storage Tanks
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 Inflow exceeds outflow


 Overfilling from an offsite
pump during start-up or
LAH/LAHH failure
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Design Tip:
1. Let level transmitters for Control and Trip track each other.
2. While filling large tanks, let DCS put a time lock based on pumping rate and ullage
Vacuum Relief This image cannot currently be display ed.

 Equipment may come under vacuum:


 Fluid withdrawn without matching inflow
 Excessive condensation in Column
This image cannot currently be display ed.

Overhead Condenser
 Condensation or cooling of vapours upon
atmospheric temperature drop
 Compressor suction side blocked
 Condensing side of exchanger blocked in
while cooling continues This image cannot currently be display ed.

 Draining with vent closed


 Cool down and condensing after
steaming a vessel
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Vacuum Relief

 Equipment that could come under vacuum is


designed to withstand full vacuum
 Note: For large diameter columns and storage tanks,
cost of designing to full vacuum is prohibitive
 Check the consequences of air mixing with vessel
inventory before providing vacuum relief. Usual to
provide Nitrogen padding/ blanketing
 No RV required if Owner instructs that his
administrative procedures can prevent vacuum
 Draining test water; Steam condensing after a steam-out
Atmospheric Tank Protection
 Inbreathing (vacuum relief) is required for
 Maximum outflow without matching inflow
 Vapour shrinkage due to atmosphere cooling –
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 Blanket gas supply valve fails/ closed


 Out breathing (pressure relief) required for
 Maximum inflow without matching outflow
 Vapour expansion due to atmosphere warming
 Blanket gas supply valve fails open
 Vapour outlet valve fails/ closed
 Fire relief required unless tank has frangible
roof
 Fire generally does not engulf the entire tank
Atmospheric Tank Protection

 Refer API 2000, for calculation of relief load


 N2/ gas padding for thermal inbreathing/ outbreathing
 PVRV for thermal inbreathing/ outbreathing
 Gauge hatch / manway vents for fire relief
 Tanks have a low design pressure, mmWC. PVRV/
manway are weight loaded; sizing by vendor
 PVRVs installed directly on roof nozzle The link ed image cannot be display ed. The file may hav e been mov ed, renamed, or deleted. Verify that the link points to the correct file and location.

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Blanket Gas Regulators Emergency Vent


Gauge Hatch
and
Manhole Cover

PVRV
Fired Heater

 Blocked outlet and thermal


 No PSV required for process coils, unless mandated
or underrated
 PSV required for BFW and Steam coils – Code/ IBR
 Thermal PSV in Hot Oil WHRU
 Residual heat in refractory/ insulation. Not effective
against oil coking inside the tube
Pumps & Compressors
 Centrifugal Pump
 Usually designed for shut-off or highest head at zero flow
 Reciprocating/ Positive Displacement Pump/ Compressor
 RV for blocked outlet. Due to pulsation in discharge pressure keep good
margin between operating and set pressure
 Centrifugal Compressor
 Suction side for settle-out pressure. 2-3 stages in a common casing may
settle-out together + Check valve leak
 Refrigeration or low temp service ~ vapour pressure at ambient
temperature
 Discharge/ Casing: Design for surge pressure at 105% speed with maximum
[suction pressure; molecular weight] and minimum suction temperature [Oil
& Gas Industry practice] or RV provided at 120% of Normal Operating Press
 Inter-stage: Usually fire case

When a compressor trips, discharge from


other running compressors can back flow
into the tripped one, pressurizing its
Suction Drum
Typical Relief Cases – Oil & Gas

 Flowline - Blocked Outlet/ Thermal


 Inlet Sep - Blocked Outlet
 LP Sep - Blocked Outlet/ Gas Blowby
 Compressor - Fire/ Check Valve Leakage
 Compressor Last Stage - Blocked Outlet ?
 Glycol Contactor – Fire
 Fuel Gas KOD - PCV Failure
 Glycol Pump - Blocked Outlet
 Filters - Fire
 Air Vessels - Fire
RVs may not be the right solution…

 For a few cases, RV is impractical. Instrumented safeguards is needed


 Hot Oil WHRU.
 Hot Oil Boiling Pt at Relief Press >≈ Incoming Flue Gas Temp
 Heat to boiling fluid ≈ zero
 Hot oil will decompose and coke before it boils
 Instrumented protection to remove source of heat + minimum flow at all
times + thermal PSV against residual heat in WHRU
 Export pipeline of 1,000 MMSCFD
 A huge flare. HIPPS contains the HP fluid avoiding a release
 Instrumented Protection to isolate the HP source such as compressor
and/or HIPPS (2 independent SDV) from 2 “independent” trip systems.
 READ ASME CODE CASE 2211-1, now part of RP 521, Annex E

Design Tip: HIPPS/ IPF requires Documented User Approval.


Design Tip: SDVs leak, Ha Ha Only User may specify pressure protection by system design.
SIZING

Design Tip: Analyzing Relief Scenarios and Estimating Relief


Loads is the important part. Sizing is a matter of routine.
RV Sizing
KW TZ
A=
CP1KdKb M
 3 Equations
KW
 Vapour - Critical A=
P1KdKbKnKsh
 Steam - Critical (ASME Div VIII)
 Liquid
KQ G
A=
38KdKwKv P1-P2
K = Sizing constant Kn = Correction factor for Napier Equation
W = Relief flow rate Ksh = Correction factor for steam superheat
C = Coefficient Kv = Correction factor for viscosity
P1 = Upstream relieving pressure P2 = Total back pressure
Kd = Coefficient of discharge SG = Specific gravity of liquid
Kb /Kw = Back pressure correction factor Liquid sizing: trial & error step required.
Start with an assumed size to determine
Z = Compressibility Re and hence Kv. Repeat to match
M = Molecular weight See API for sizing 2 Phase Flow.
T = Upstream relieving temperature Older method of vapor + liquid
area is no longer valid
A = Required orifice area
RV Sizing

 Subcritical Flow – Vapour, pilot and conventional


 Valid for RVs that have their cold spring setting
adjusted to compensate for the constant superimposed
BP
 Built-up back pressure <10% or allowable accumulation
K = Sizing constant
W = Relief flow rate
P1 = Upstream relieving pressure KW ZT
P2 = Downstream or backpressure A=
Kd = Coefficient of discharge
F2Kd MP1(P1-P2)
F2 = Coefficient of sub-critical flow
Z = Compressibility Do NOT interpret this equation
M = Molecular weight allows >10% back pressure
T = Upstream relieving temperature
A = Required orifice area
RV Sizing

 Coefficient of Discharge Kd
 Depends on relief valve design
 National Boiler Board certifies capacities of all RVs
 Manufacturer back calculates Kd from certified capacity
and test conditions
 If unknown, assume 0.975 for vapour and 0.65 for liquid
 RV capacity must be checked based on vendor Kd
 For all vapour and liquid RVs, manufacturer should
supply sizing calculation based on his Kd

Design Tip: Kd varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Our calculations should


not be passed to clients. Final calcs from supplier should be the deliverable.
RV Standard Sizes
Standard RV Sizes
API 526 Orifice Designation
 RVs made in standard sizes Size Area, in2
 Each standard orifice given a D 0.110
letter designation E 0.196
F 0.307
 Select a standard size larger
than the calculated one G 0.503
H 0.785
 If calculated size, marginally
J 1.287
exceeds a standard size, it may
K 1.838
be OK, as the actual orifice area
for most RVs are higher than the L 2.853

standard API area. Actual areas M 3.600


are listed in National Boiler N 4.340
Board Book P 6.380
Q 11.050
R 16.000
T 26.000
RV Standard Sizes
Standard RV Sizes
API 526 Orifice Designation
RV Inlet x Outlet Sizes Size Area, in2
Size D E F G H J K L M N P Q R T D 0.110
1 x2 E 0.196
1½ x 2 F 0.307
1½ x 3 G 0.503
2 x3
H 0.785
3 x4
J 1.287
3 x6
K 1.838
4 x6
6 x8
L 2.853
6 x 10 M 3.600
8 x 10 N 4.340
P 6.380
Q 11.050
R 16.000
T 26.000
Standard RV Sizes
This image cannot currently be display ed.
Air/Gas/Steam Service

 API area is not actual RV area


 Actual area and nozzle coefft vary from
manufacturer to manufacturer
 2J3 API Area = 1.287 in2
 Actual area = 1.427 to 1.635 in2
 Coeffts = 0.788 to 0.975
 National Board certified capacity - based
on nozzle coefft and orifice area - varies
 Why the difference?
 In 1962 ASME Sec VIII derated certified
capacities by 10%. Manufacturers did not KA is more comparable.
derate their advertised capacity or nozzle Explanation AG/Crosby
coefft, but increased nozzle area by 10%. But Advertised KA = 0.975*1.287 = 1.255
API orifice areas as advertised remain same. National Board = 0.788*1.635 = 1.288
API (K= 0.9) = 0.9*1.287 = 1.158

Actual capacity may be 10-16% more


Board RV Area is based on So don’t jump from P to R (73%) when
• Nozzle bore for full lift valves calculated size marginally exceeds
• Lift for restricted lift valve standard size
Thermal Expansion
 Relief Rate, q = αv.φ
K.d.c
αv = cubic expansion coefft of liquid at expected temp
φ = Heat Transfer Rate
Exchangers: use max Heat Duty
Solar Radiation: use as per Project Design Basis
K = Sizing constant
d = Relative Density
c = Specific heat of trapped liquid

 For thermal protection of piping, generally ¾” D 1” threaded


or 1” D 2” flanged RVs are provided; No calculations done
Fire Relief
 Liquid:
 Latent heat for multi-component is tricky, but rules of thumb help. λ = 50 to 100 units
 Assumed that entire heat goes to boil-off.
 With large liquid inventory, only a small part goes to vaporization; rest heats the liquid
 Gas:
 Temperature, T2, calculated under fire may exceed base equipment design temperature.
RV with required inlet flange rating is usually not available. In RV data sheet, specify
design temperature and indicate that T2 is for area calculation only.

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Fire Relief - Blowdown
 Without BDV, internal pressure (Hoop’s stress) rises over time;
metal’s ability to hold pressure (yield strength) falls with increasing
temperature. The vessel will fail when internal stress exceeds ability
 Blowdown brings down internal pressure and stress. As long as
internal stress is below allowable stress, vessel will not rupture
 Judiciously use to extend blowdown time when blowdown rate is
higher than design inflow capacity to reduce flare size
Stress 

Ka
Boom

Time, minutes 
RP 521 Figures
Fire Relief - Blowdown • Heat up rate
• Time to Rupture

 API RP 521: Thinner plates (LP service)


heat up faster; higher the temperature,

Flow + Pressure
Flow = Foe-θt
faster it ruptures
 If BDV initial pressure (PAHH/PSV) >> Pressure = Poe-θt

operating pressure, zoning can cut


peak rate Time 

 Take one source at a time. Loads from this Groups 1 +2 + 3


and adjacent equipment within a fire zone
(8.6m radius x 7.6m high) are taken at Group 1, then Group 2 and last Group 3
BDV initial pressure; rest at operating 50% reduction
pressure
 Staggered blowdown can reduce flare

Flow
capacity Time 
Staggered Blowdown
• Each BDV with secured air vessel,
sized for 3 valve strokes; PAL; 2 check
valves at inlet; no bleeding devices
like regulators
From: “Design staggered depressurization sequence for flare systems”, R Dole, S Bhatt and S Sridhar, HP, Dec 2013
INSTALLATION & ISOLATION

Design Tip: Improper installation restricts capacity. Next


time you visit a plant, walk around and cringe in horror!!.
Inlet Line Resonant Chatter in a pilot can self-destruct it

 Size on RV rated flow - not on relief load


 Inlet loss <3% to avoid chatter, except with Friction Loss
remote sensing pilots
Bleed
 If inlet ∆P >3% with pilots, use actual inlet
pressure to size RV
Entrance Loss
 Upstream of demister. from vapour space; 1 Velocity Head
below Normal Liquid Level for PRV
 10d min from Control Valve
 Free draining to source; Bleed/drain @inlet
 Nozzle Entrance Loss Friction Loss
 1 VH if RV is off vessel
Bleed
 ½ VH if RV is off outlet pipe Hard T
 RV mounted upright
 Inlet line/ Vessel Nozzle ≥ RV inlet Entrance Loss
½ Velocity Head

Design Tip: Common Error: Ignoring ∆P in common piping,


specially in a group of vessels protected by a single RV.
Inlet 3%

 It is difficult to meet <3% criteria when


 Inlet pipe area/ RV area < 3. Results in body bowl
choking. Usually in bigger RV
 Suggestions:
 Have a higher inlet example 4P6; have 6P8 0.7854*4^2/P(6.38) = 1.97
 Insert a size 9.5 between P and Q 6.38^11.05 0.7854*6^2/P(6.38) = 4.43
0.7854*6^2/9.5 = 2.973
 Reduce RV lift to reduce area viz Q  9.5
 Latter 2 reduce RV area to desired to cut rated flow and ∆P
 Study of 14,863 RVs indicate 20% fails to meet 3% limit
 90 off 4P6 RVs with inlet L= 4 to 116’. ∆P = 1.2 to 19.4%.
63% > 3%

From: “Address inlet pressure loss concerns with restricted lift relief devices”, Smith D, Yoram S, HP, Mar 2014
Like high inlet loss, high back-pressure can make
Outlet a RV chatter. As soon as RV closes, flow stops,
back-pressure falls, making the RV to open

Safe Location
 Atmospheric Discharge
 To Safe Location - for steam, air and N2; not HC
 Weep or drain hole in outlet low point
 To Closed Drain ¼“ drain hole
 Thermal etc RV
 Avoid, if cross contamination is possible
 Avoid if water in drain will freeze
 To Flare
 Line should free drain to flare header; Top entry
 No liquid accumulation Free Drain
 Backpressure limitation
 Outlet line size ≥ RV outlet
 < 70% sonic and ρV² criteria
Inlet/ Outlet Isolation
 Inlet & outlet Isolation valves
 Not permitted by ASME Section I; not recommended by ASME LO
Section VIII
 If required by Owner, then both should be FB locked open (“LO” or
“CSO”)
LO
 If a spare RV is required by Owner,
 install with FB inlet & outlet valves 600 mm gap
 Inlet valve of one RV is LO and the other LC
 Some Owners require interlocked valve to ensure that one RV is
always in service
Why?
 Both outlet valves should be LO. LO
LO
 A (globe) vent valve across RV to depressurize before
draining LC
 A 2nd ball isolation valve located 600mm upstream of vent valve in LO
HP service, if globe valve is stuck on icing ~ JT cooling
 A bleed valve u/s of RV inlet block valve ~ in-situ testing
 If Owner agrees, a single common LO outlet valve for all RVs
in a system, say compressor train or Fuel Gas System
Inlet & Outlet Piping
Inlet
Lead Size, in 2 3 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20

Eq L, ft open system 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25

Closed system 75 75 75 75 75 75 75 75 75 75 75

Fittings No off Eq L, ft each

3 Elbows 4 4 5 8 9 12 14 16 18 20 23

1 Hard T 10 14 19 28 37 47 55 62 72 82 90
1 Reducer 1 2 3 4 5 7 8 9 10 11 13

0 Gate Valve 2 2 3 4 6 7 9 10 11 12 14
Eq L, ft - Open system 48 53 62 81 94 115 130 144 161 178 197

Eq L, ft - Closed system 98 103 112 131 144 165 180 194 211 228 247

Outlet
Lead Size, in 2 3 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20

Eq L, ft open system 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25
Closed system 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50

Fittings No off Eq L, ft each


3 Elbows 4 4 5 8 9 12 14 16 18 20 23

1 Hard T 10 14 19 28 37 47 55 62 72 82 90
1 Reducer 1 2 3 4 5 7 8 9 10 11 13
0 Gate Valve 2 2 3 4 6 7 9 10 11 12 14

Eq L, ft - Open system 48 53 62 81 94 115 130 144 161 178 197


Eq L, ft - Closed system 73 78 87 106 119 140 155 169 186 203 222
Design Tip: It is a pain; but MUST review RV inlet and outlet
Poor Piping piping and pump suction piping in 3D model. Easier to do
than “wish I could bury myself in sand” feeling at site

 Pipers locate RVs at “convenient” locations – viz


access, ignoring inlet ∆P. Need to check piping 3D
model
 Horizontal dead legs collect trash / liquid in service
 RVs in turbulent zone can chatter and get damaged
 Downstream of a Pressure Reduction Station – Fuel Gas?
 Downstream of orifice plates/ flow nozzles
 Downstream of pulsating compressor / pump discharge. Pilot
RVs may be better because of high seat loading
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Ideal Piping
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 Difficult to achieve but


recommended by
suppliers
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Common Errors Prod Sep LC

 Ignoring static head Hydrocyclone


 Between upstream & downstream
equipment as in the case of Prod Sep
and d/s vessel or Hydrocyclone
Pump at
 Between PSV and piping at a lower deck Upper Deck Piping at
Lower Deck
 Ignoring ∆P in common piping,
specially in a group of vessels Friction Loss

protected by a single RV
 Ignoring mechanical limit on
backpressure. Bigger the RV lower is
backpressure allowed.
150# RV Outlet Press Limit, psig at 100°F
Size D–J M R T
Design Tip: Important to check mechanical limit on
Convn 285 285 60 30
backpressure on flowing and non-flowing RVs.
Forgotten by Process Engineers. See RP 526 Bellow 230 80 60 30
PSV - 001 HP | LP

HIPPS Errors PAHH


PALL

PAHH Riser SDV


PALL

 HIPPS used SDV-1 SDV-2 SDV-3 HP Section LP Section


HP | LP
 Against PCV / choke failure
 Blocked outlet/ stuck pig/ hydrate blockage Subsea Flowline

 In
HP | LP
 subsea section to derate flowline/riser,
Fortified Section
instead of designing for shut-in pressure This image cannot currently be display ed.
Subsea Wells

 Topside piping
 Check
 Pressure build-up in trapped LP section by This image cannot currently be display ed.

the time PAHHs detect and fully closes SDVs


 Provide minimum length of fortified or HP
section d/s of HIPPS SDVs - pig/ hydrate
blockage, SDV leakage
 Need to provide a PSV in LP SDVs leak!
RV Discharge Velocity & Noise
Force Flow

 Tail pipes may operate at high velocities

 Based on Process input, piping to calculate the


reaction forces

 RV may need supports to counter momentum and


velocity effects of the flowing fluid
 Dual outlet PSV can help mitigate – resultant force

 Noise levels should be calculated per RP 520


 Provide noise insulation or relocate RV away
Flow Induced Vibration

 Flow induced vibrations may result in fatigue


failure.
 May require piping supports, increased wall
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Failure to update Relief Studies

 Codes and standards; methods/ assumptions


keep changing … additional insights,, Flarenet
 RVs in old plants should be revisited every 10 years
 If control valves/ equipment have been replaced
 In Oil & Gas plants, GORs, liquid profiles change
RELIEF SYSTEM DESIGN
Relief System Design

 Analyze Relief Scenarios Analysis


 Calculate Relief Loads and RV Size for each
Scenario to get Governing Case Sizing
 Summarize results for each RV for each
contingency to determine Peak Load to Flare

Info Required
1. Heat and Material Balance
2. Process Flow Diagrams (PFDs)
3. Piping and Instrumentation Drawings (P&IDs)
4. Instrument Data (Control Valve, Bypass, RO sizes, etc.)
5. Mechanical and Rotating Equipment Data
Total Load Reduction via Dyn Sim
 On total plant failure cases, viz Power, Cooling
Water, Air, it is unlikely all the PSVs will pop at the
same instant + maintain initial rate
 Columns may take time build to relief pressure
 Dynamic simulation can help find realistic load
 Note: Compressor interstage drum pops in total system
study but does not impact total load
Total Power Failure Conventional, kg/h Dyn Sim - Individual, kg/h Dyn Sim – System, kg/h

Fractionator 448,000 259,000 140,000

Comp Interstage Drum 0 0 160,000

Stripper Feed Drum 45,000 45,000 50,000

Debutanizer 72,000 72,000 5,000

Total 565,000 376,000 355,000

From: “Optimize relief loads with dynamic simulation”, CL Xie, ZG Wang and YF Qin, HP, Dec 2013
Total Load Reduction via Dyn Sim
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Dyn Sim total load is 275,000. But


design taken as 355,000 kg/h

Total Power Failure Conventional, kg/h Dyn Sim - Individual, kg/h Dyn Sim – System, kg/h

Fractionator 448,000 259,000 140,000

Comp Interstage Drum 0 0 160,000

Stripper Feed Drum 45,000 45,000 50,000

Debutanizer 72,000 72,000 5,000

Total 565,000 376,000 355,000

From: “Optimize relief loads with dynamic simulation”, CL Xie, ZG Wang and YF Qin, HP, Dec 2013
Still Accidents Happen
Boiler started Hydrotest done with
Boat hits platform PSV not bolted right without purging cold water
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Some of these accidents are not preventable by RVs but by


• Common Sense
• Good Operating Practice
• Good Instrumentation & Controls
Bend d/s of water
CS bend used instead Injection or LCV = No gas detectors in
of AS in H2 plant Erosion-corrosion Internal in Flare KOD onshore plant
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Piping Support Not


Fire Proofed Missing Check at UC Pig “Launched” Water Hammer
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THANK YOU