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A Study of Pressure Safety Valve Response Times

under Transient Overpressures


B C R Ewan, C Weil, M Scanlon

HAZ 716

BACKGROUND TO THE WORK


Problem under consideration is the hazard of working with shell and tube
heat exchangers with high pressure gas in tubes and low pressure
liquid-filled shell
2000 Institute of Petroleum undertakes experimental programme to
investigate effects of tube rupture in STHE - publishes guidelines on
design and safe operation
2000 HSE funds parallel programme to investigate relief device opening times
under transient pulse loadings for discs and relief valves (sizes H-L)
Experience over 20 years indicates :
possibility of accidental rupture of bursting discs, e.g. reverse rupture in
flare systems, discharge of cooling water into relief systems
failure rate of bursting discs more frequent than genuine tube rupture
- introduces its own hazard rate
Question arises - how feasible is the use of relief valves for this scenario ?

SCHEMATIC OF EVENT IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING A TUBE RUPTURE

gas
bubble

hydraulic
wave

REPRESENTATION OF TUBE RUPTURE SCENARIO

PREVIOUS WORK

EXAMPLE 2" AND 4" RUPTURE DISCS

UPSTREAM SIDE BEFORE OPERATION

DOWNSTREAM SIDE AFTER OPERATION

PRESSURE BEHAVIOUR AT DISC DURING RUPTURE EVENT - 3" DISC

Pressure - barg

50

3" SS reverse buckling disc


disc burst pressure = 14.5 barg

40

30

incident pulse
pressure

20

pressure recorded
at disc location

10

0
msec

-1

10

11

12

PRESSURE BEHAVIOUR AT DISC DURING RUPTURE EVENT - 4" DISC


120
Pressure - barg

4" SS reverse buckling disc


disc burst pressure = 14.5 barg

100
80
60
incident pulse
pressure

pressure recorded
at disc location

40
20
0

msec

-1

10

11

12

Valve
letter

Discharge
area (in2)

Valve
letter

Discharge
area (in2)

D
E
F
G
H
J
K

0.110
0.196
0.307
0.503
0.785
1.287
1.838

L
M
N
P
Q
R
T

2.853
3.600
4.340
6.38
11.05
16.0
26.0

Valve discharge areas


by letter code

Bursting disks

Typical distribution of sizes


and numbers of a sample of
relief valves and bursting
disks in current use

Relief valves

Number

Size

Number

Size

1"

2"

3"

4"

16

6"

6.4"

15

8"

8.3"

10"

10.4"

EXAMPLE BEHAVIOUR OF L SIZE VALVE WITH 60 BAR PULSE LOAD

SUMMARY OF PREVIOUS FINDINGS

Valve type

Conventional
spring loaded
SRV
(2H3, 15 barg)

Conventional
spring loaded
SRV
(4L6, 10 barg)

Test condition

Overpressure
(%)

Opening time
(msec)

high pressure

400

medium
pressure

200

high pressure

520

medium
pressure

230

low pressure

70

10

STATIC TESTING OF VALVES


Main objective
To establish pressure/flow characteristics for safety valves
prior to dynamic testing for comparison with post-dynamic
test behaviour.

Method
Provide water reservoir of sufficient volume
Provide some pressure control

Monitor pressure and flowrate over sufficient duration


Requirements
pressures 11 - 14 barg
flowrates in range 60 - 150 kg/sec

SCHEMATIC OF GEOMETRY USED FOR STATIC VALVE TESTING

PT

water tank
(4 m3)

3" pipe

3" gate valve

4" pipe

25 bar air
reservoir
3m3

WATER RESERVOIR WITH VALVE MOUNTED

TYPICAL VARIATION OF TANK MASS AND APPLIED PRESSURE


DURING DISCHARGE TEST
12

Valve M
(M = 3.6 sq in)

4 75 0
4 50 0

11

4 25 0

10

4 00 0
3 75 0

3 50 0

valve
opens

3 25 0
3 00 0

8
7

2 75 0
2 50 0

2 25 0

flowrate
= 83.3 kg/sec

2 00 0
1 75 0

5
4

1 50 0
1 25 0

1 00 0
2

7 50
5 00

2 50

Time - seconds

70

80

90

100

110

120

130

140

Water tank pressure - barg

Water tank mass - kg

5 00 0

SCHEMATIC OF TUBE GEOMETRY USED FOR PRESENT WORK

WATER FILLED TUBE END WITH VALVE MOUNTED

MAIN BODY OF WATER FILLED TUBE

K2 location

K3 location

AIR DISCHARGE END SHOWING LOCATION OF BURSTING DIAPHRAGM

tube water
fill
water
column

air
reservoir

bursting diaphragm
location

K1 location

PSV TEST SCHEDULE FOR SHOCK TUBE OPERATION

Valve type

Set pressure
(barg)

Incident
pressure pulse
(barg)

Target
pressure
identifier

10

12
15
25
40

M 1.2
M 1.5
M 2.5
M 4.0

10

12
15
25
40

N 1.2
N 1.5
N 2.5
N 4.0

12.5

15
20
30
50

P 1.2
P 1.5
P 2.5
P 4.0

Pressure - barg

TIME RESPONSE DATA EXTRACTED FROM PRESSURE TRACES

K4 pressure trace

set pressure
level

rise and fall


time (RFT)

Time - msec

EXAMPLE BEHAVIOUR OF SAFETY VALVE WITH 30 BAR PULSE LOAD

Set pressure = 10 bar

STATIC VALVE TEST RESULTS BEFORE AND AFTER DYNAMIC PULSE LOADS

Valve

Test ID

Before dynamic test

Valve
opening
pressure
(barg)

Flow
rate
(kg/s)

Average
applied
pressure
(barg)

run a

10.1

67.4

10.1

run b

10.2

83.3

11.1

run c

10.1

82.1

11.0

run a

10.5

108.7

run b

10.7

run c

Test ID

After dynamic test

Valve
opening
pressure
(barg)

Flow
rate
(kg/s)

Average
applied
pressure
(barg)

run a2

10.1

85.9

11.3

run b2

10.1

86.7

11.1

11.5

run a2

10.3

100.7

10.7

100.9

11.3

run b2

10.4

100.6

10.7

10.4

101.1

11.2

run a

12.8

98.2

13.2

run a2

12.8

91.2

13.1

run b

12.8

127.0

13.5

run b2

12.8

100.6

13.1

run c

12.7

110.0

13.4

SUMMARY OF TIME RESPONSE DATA EXTRACTED FROM VALVE TESTS

M 1.2

Average peak
reflected pressure
(barg)
27.8

M 1.5

36.8

6.5

M 2.5

58.3

7.5

M 4.0

70.5

7.1

N 1.2

29.8

6.6

N 1.5

35.7

6.5

N 2.5

51.6

7.6

N 4.0

64.0

7.1

P 1.2

35.3

6.7

P 1.5

41.3

6.5

P 2.5

52.0

6.8

P 4.0

80.0

7.8

Valve test
identifier

Average RFT
(msec)
6.2

CONCLUSIONS
Previous work has shown that bursting discs will operate in the
range 0.2 - 0.5 msec
Reflected pressure pulses are less likely with bursting discs but
pressure doubling can still occur
Pressure safety valves react more slowly and generate a pressure reflection
Current work shows that the larger safety valves (M, N P) react quickly
to large overpressures and can relieve pulse pressures on a
timescale of 6 - 8 msec.
Static flow testing has shown valve performance appears unaffected
by the large transient pressures following tube rupture

The University of Sheffield would like to acknowledge the support provided by the
Energy Institute during the course of this work.

FURTHER INFORMATION

Additional work carried out within the project includes :


Dynamic performance of pin valve

Modelling of pressure wave generation and valve lift dynamics to


investigate other STHE factors
Production of final deliverable on updated design guidelines

See www.energyinst.org/sthe to find out more.

The University of Sheffield would like to acknowledge the support provided by the
Energy Institute during the course of this work.