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ECE 4353

Chemical Process Safety


Relief Sizing
(Lecture 13)

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

Explain the government-industrys responsibility for


health and safety

Evaluate the nature of hazards posed by materials


which are flammable, toxic and reactive

Identify and quantify common industrial methods to


control hazards.

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Lecture 13
13.1 Pressure Relief Installations
13.2 Pressure Relief Definitions
13.3 Pressure Relief Valve Sizing for Liquid Service
13.4 Pressure Relief Valve Sizing for Vapor/Gas Service

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13.1 Pressure Relief Installations


Spot the error!

Valves not allowed


in locations that
block a relief

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Spot the error!

Relief for a vessel


should be on a
vessel, not the inlet
or outlet line
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All vessels need dedicated PSV.


Valves not allowed in locations
that block a relief.
Rupture disc and tell tale gauge
are recommended before PSV to
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protect PSV
from corrosive fluid.

Discharge pipe
shall be greater
in size than inlet
size.
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Spot the error!

The spring operated relief valve will


open first; discharging material on top
Relief shall be sized
of the rupture disk. Rupture disk may
for WORST case
not open at set point.
scenario
If discharge is polymerizing, the
Size for 3 tanks, with polymer may plug discharge of
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valves Opened.
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Relief shall be sized


for WORST case
scenario
Size for 200 gpm
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13.2 Definitions

Set pressure: The pressure at which the relief device begins to


activate.
Maximum allowable working pressure (MAWP): The maximum
gauge pressure permissible at the top of a vessel for a
designated temperature. This is sometimes called the design
pressure.
Operating pressure: The gauge pressure during normal service,
usually 10% below the MAWP.
Accumulation: The pressure increase over the MAWP of a
vessel during the relief process. Expressed as a percentage of
the MAWP.
Overpressure: The pressure increase in the vessel over the set
pressure during the relieving process. Overpressure is
equivalent to the accumulation when the set pressure is at the
MAWP.

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13.2 Definitions

Backpressure: The pressure at the outlet of the relief device


during the relief process resulting from pressure in the
discharge system.
Simmer is the audible or visible escape of compressible fluid
between the seat and disc which may occur at an inlet static
pressure below the set pressure prior to opening.
Blowdown is the difference between the set pressure and the
closing pressure of a pressure relief valve, expressed as a
percentage of the set pressure or in pressure units.
Excessive built-up back pressure can cause the valve to
operate in an unstable manner. Chatter refers to the abnormally
rapid reciprocating motion of the pressure relief valve disc
where the disc contacts the pressure relief valve seat during
cycling. This type of operation may cause damage to the valve
and interconnecting piping.

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13.3 Pressure Relief Valve Sizing


The objective of the relief valve sizing is to
determine the required relief area for the relief
device.

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13.3 Pressure Relief Valve Sizing Liquid

Conventional Spring-Operated Reliefs in


Liquid Service
Flow through spring-type reliefs is approximated as flow through an orifice.

Qv = u.A

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The viscosity correction Kv, corrects for the additional


frictional losses resulting from flow of high-viscosity
material through the valve.
The required relief vent area becomes larger as the
viscosity of the liquid increases (lower Reynolds
numbers).
This correction is given in Figure 9-2.

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The overpressure correction Kp, includes the effect


of discharge pressures greater than the set pressure.
The overpressure correction Kp, is a function of the
overpressure specified for the design.
Up to and including 25% overpressure, the relief device
capacity is affected by the changing discharge area as the
valve lifts, the change in the orifice discharge coefficient,
and the change in overpressure. Above 25% the valve
capacity is affected only by the change in overpressure
because the valve discharge area is constant and behaves
as a true orifice.
This correction is given in Figure 9-3.
Valves operating at low overpressures tend to chatter, so
overpressures less than 10% should be avoided.

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As the specified overpressure


becomes smaller, the
correction value decreases,
resulting in a larger relief area.

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The backpressure correction Kb, is used only for balancedbellows-type spring reliefs.

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Example PSV for Liquid service


A positive displacement pump pumps water at 200 gpm at
a pressure of 200 psig.
The pump is protected by a PSV set @ 200 psig.
Assuming a backpressure of 20psig, compute the area
required
(a) 10% overpressure
(b) 25% overpressure

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Co = 0.61 (conservative value)


Kv = 1.0 (Re >5000, turbulent flow)
Kp = 0.6 (at % overpressure 10%)
Kb = 1.0 as PSV is not balanced bellows

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Relief vent area decreases as the overpressure increases.

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13.4 Pressure Relief Valve Sizing Gas service

Conventional Spring-Operated Reliefs in


Gas Service
Flow through spring-type reliefs is approximated as flow through an orifice.

Define
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13.4 Pressure Relief Valve Sizing Gas service

Conventional Spring-Operated Reliefs in


Gas Service

P = P max + 14.7
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Kb values for conventional type

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Kb values for balanced bellows

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Example PSV for Vapor/Gas service


A nitrogen regulator fails and allows nitrogen to enter a
reactor through a 6-in diameter line.
The source of the nitrogen is at 70F and 150 psig.
The relief valve is set at 50 psig.
Determine the diameter of a balanced bellows spring type
vapor relief required to protect the reactor form this
incident.
Assume a relief backpressure of 20 psig.

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1.

Determine relief capacity required

2.

Determine if flow is choked.


diatomic
max relief design pressure within the reactor

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Relief Valve Orifice size

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