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Document No.

GP 62-04
Applicability Group
Date 31 December 2005

Guidance on Practice for


Relief Valves

GP 62-04

BP GROUP
ENGINEERING TECHNICAL PRACTICES
31 December 2005 GP 62-04
Guidance on Practice for Relief Valves

Foreword

This is the first issue of Engineering Technical Practice (ETP) BP GP 62-04. This Guidance on
Practice (GP) is based on parts of heritage documents of the merged BP companies as follows:

Amoco
A-PC-PRD-00-E Pressure Relief Devices Selection and System Design.
A-PC-PRD-00-G Pressure Relief Devices Guide.
A-PC-PRD-526-P Pressure Relief Valve Supply Specification.

Amoco PTA
PTA-PC-IS-00-C Instrument Systems Installation Specification.
PTA-PC-PRD-00-C Pressure Relief Devices Installation Procedures.
PTA-PC-PRD-00-E Pressure Relief Devices Selection and System Design.
PTA-PC-PRD-00-G Pressure Relief Devices Guide.
PTA-PC-PRD-PRV-P Pressure Relief Devices Supply Specification.

Copyright 2005, BP Group. All rights reserved. The information contained in this
document is subject to the terms and conditions of the agreement or contract under which
the document was supplied to the recipients organization. None of the information
contained in this document shall be disclosed outside the recipients own organization
without the prior written permission of Director of Engineering, BP Group, unless the
terms of such agreement or contract expressly allow.

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31 December 2005 GP 62-04
Guidance on Practice for Relief Valves

Table of Contents
Page
Foreword ........................................................................................................................................ 2
1. Scope .................................................................................................................................... 4
2. Normative references............................................................................................................. 4
3. Terms and definitions............................................................................................................. 5
4. Codes .................................................................................................................................... 6
5. Design considerations............................................................................................................ 6
5.1. General....................................................................................................................... 6
5.2. Special considerations ................................................................................................ 7
5.3. Standard relief valves ................................................................................................. 7
5.4. Pilot operated relief valves .......................................................................................... 7
5.5. Rupture discs.............................................................................................................. 8
6. Sizing..................................................................................................................................... 8
7. Materials ................................................................................................................................ 8
8. Installation ............................................................................................................................. 9
9. Maintenance and operability .................................................................................................. 9
9.1. General....................................................................................................................... 9
9.2. Accessibility ................................................................................................................ 9
10. Tagging.................................................................................................................................. 9
11. Painting.................................................................................................................................. 9
12. Fire protection...................................................................................................................... 10
13. Testing and inspection ......................................................................................................... 10
Bibliography .................................................................................................................................. 11

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31 December 2005 GP 62-04
Guidance on Practice for Relief Valves

1. Scope

This GP provides guidance on practice for selection, application, and installation of relief valves for
onshore and offshore applications.

2. Normative references

The following normative documents contain requirements that, through reference in this text,
constitute requirements of this technical practice. For dated references, subsequent amendments to, or
revisions of, any of these publications do not apply. However, parties to agreements based on this
technical practice are encouraged to investigate the possibility of applying the most recent editions of
the normative documents indicated below. For undated references, the latest edition of the normative
document referred to applies.

BP
GP 06-60 Guidance on Practice for Paints and Coatings.
GP 30-76 Guidance on Practice for SIS Development of the Process
Requirements Specification.
GP 30-80 Guidance on Practice for SIS Implementation of the Process
Requirements Specification.
GP 32-47 Guidance on Practice for In Service Inspection and Testing of
Mechanical Protective Devices.
GP 42-10 Guidance on Practice for ASME B31.3 Piping Systems.
GP 44-70 Guidance on Practice for Overpressure Protection Systems.
GIS 62-041 Guidance on Industry Standard for Relief Valve Procurement.

American Petroleum Institute (API)


API RP 520 Sizing, Selection, and Installation of Pressure-Relieving Devices in
Refineries, Part I and II.
API RP 521 Guide for Pressure-Relieving and Depressuring Systems.
API Std 2000 Venting Atmospheric and Low Pressure Storage Tanks.
API RP 14C Recommended Practice for Analysis, Design, Installation, and Testing of
Basic Surface Safety Systems for Offshore Production Platforms.

ASME International (ASME)


ASME Sec I ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, Section I, Rules for
Construction of Power Boilers.
ASME Sec VIII ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, Section VIII, Pressure Vessels.

International Organization for Standardization (ISO)


ISO 10418 Petroleum and Natural Gas Industries - Offshore Production Platforms -
Analysis, Design, Installation, and Testing of Basic Surface Safety
Systems.

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)


NFPA 30 Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code.
NFPA 58 Liquefied Petroleum Gas Code.

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Guidance on Practice for Relief Valves

3. Terms and definitions

back pressure
The pressure that exists at the outlet of the pressure relieving device because of pressure in the
discharge system.

balanced safety relief valve


A safety relief valve with the bonnet vented to the atmosphere. The balanced relief valve is made with
a balancing piston, balancing bellows, and both balancing bellows and balancing piston.

closing pressure
Pressure measured at the valve inlet when the valve closes and flow is shut off

conventional pressure relief valve


A closed-bonnet Pressure Relief valve whose bonnet is usually vented to the discharge side of the
valve.

lift
The actual travel of the disk away from the closed position when the valve is relieving.

manufacturer
The recipient of a direct or indirect purchase order for materials and / or equipment. In this context, a
direct order is one issued to a manufacturer by a contractor or the Owner. An indirect order is one
issued to a manufacturer by a vendor (recipient of a direct order) for materials, fabricated components,
or subassemblies.

maximum allowable working pressure


Measured in pounds per square inch gauge, is the maximum gauge pressure permissible at the top of a
completed vessel in its operating position for a designated temperature. The design pressure may be
used in place of the maximum allowable working pressure in cases in which calculations are not made
to determine the value of the latter.

open-bonnet pressure relief valve


A pressure relief valve whose spring is directly exposed to the atmosphere through the bonnet or yoke.

operating pressure
The pressure, measured in pounds per square inch gauge, to which the vessel is usually subjected in
service.

overpressure
Measured in pounds per square inch gauge, is the pressure increase over the set pressure of the
primary pressure relieving device. Overpressure is termed accumulation when the pressure relieving
device is set at the vessels maximum allowable working pressure.

pilot operated pressure relief valve


A valve that has the major flow device combined with and controlled by a self-actuated auxiliary
pressure relief valve.

pressure relief valves


A generic term applied to relief valves, safety valves and safety relief valves. An automatic pressure-
relieving device actuated by the static pressure upstream of the valve, which opens in proportion to the
increase in pressure over the opening pressure.

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Guidance on Practice for Relief Valves

set pressure
Measured in pounds per square inch gauge, is the inlet pressure at which the pressure relief device is
adjusted to open under service conditions. In a safety or safety relief valve in gas, vapour, or steam
service, the set pressure is the inlet pressure at which the valve pops under service conditions. In a
relief or safety relief valve in liquid service, the set pressure is the inlet pressure at which the valve
starts to discharge under service conditions. For temperature service, the cold set test bench pressure
is a corrected pressure that has an incremental pressure added to the service set pressure.

4. Codes

The following codes shall be applied to the selection and design of relief valves:
1. ASME Sec I.
2. ASME Sec VIII.
3. API RP 520.
4. API RP 521.
5. API Std 2000.
6. NFPA 30.
7. NFPA 58.

5. Design considerations

5.1. General
Safety relief valves are installed for the following reasons:
The safety of operating personnel
The prevention of destruction of equipment
The conservation of material loss due to overpressure
Minimize unit downtime due to damage
Prevention of damage to downstream equipment
Compliance to state and local regulations
Safe plant operation
Minimize pollution due to discharge of vapours caused by overpressure
The basic principle of the pressure relief valve is to provide relief from an
overpressure condition automatically, reliably, economically, and efficiently. After
the overpressure condition is relieved, pressure should be contained and the system
returned to normal.
Relief devices are set at the design pressure of the weakest component in the system
being protected. However, under some conditions the relief device(s) are set at
lower pressures than the process components and local codes may permit setting
multiple relief devices above the design pressure.
a. All aspects of design shall comply with GP 44-70.
b. Design details and pressure setting shall be specified in the data sheet.
c. To confirm appropriate design, relief system shall be reviewed by means of a Hazard and
Operability (HAZOP) study or other appropriate hazard analysis methodology.

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Guidance on Practice for Relief Valves

d. Design of relief valves shall comply with the requirements of all relevant national
standards, local codes, and the requirements of this GP, including supporting referenced
codes, standards, and documents.
e. Additionally, for offshore installations, the design, installation, and testing of relief valves
shall conform to API RP 14C or ISO 10418.
f. Offshore relief systems shall demonstrate compliance with the required SIL level per
GP 30-76 and GP 30-80.
g. The basic requisite is suitable valve body, usually an angle type, having an inlet connection
that is suitable for the inlet temperature and pressure having internals designed for the
product for which it is handling.

5.2. Special considerations


a. The designer shall take into consideration the system integrity, especially noise when the
relief valve opens. Special care shall be taken to review the actual maximum flow that
shall exist in the discharge piping.
Failures in discharge piping have been linked to high sound power levels ( SPL)
inside the piping downstream of the relief valve. Cases have been reported where
excessive velocities have resulted in a "standing sonic wave" created at header
junctures.
b. Additional special considerations:
1. Toxicity and corrosion issues,
2. Polymer build-up that might impair valve action or restrict flow,
3. Heating or steam jacketing to prevent solidification or crystallization,
4. Damage to other equipment when valve is relieving,
5. Use of extra safety factors in sizing or rating over and above established codes,
regulations, and safety practices,
6. Relationship between operating pressure and relief pressure as affected by an upset
that is acceptable before relief valve opens,
7. Inspection and test procedures,
8. Flow detection and metering,
9. High temperature effects.

5.3. Standard relief valves


a. The capacity shall be calculated with accuracy.
b. The action selected shall be reliable and foolproof.
c. Shall be in accordance with GP 44-70.

5.4. Pilot operated relief valves


Shall be in accordance with GP 44-70.
Advantages:
Allows closer operation to relief valve setting (98%)
Leakage problems are less severe
Higher capacity
Reduction of product loss

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Guidance on Practice for Relief Valves

Disadvantages:
Large number of static and moving parts
Not recommended for dirty services due to plugging of components which
require small clearances

5.5. Rupture discs


a. Rupture discs and relief valves can be used singly in series or in parallel.
Rupture discs are often used upstream of relief valves in corrosive services to
protect relief valve internals from corroding.
Are made from metal or graphite materials.
Advantages
Simple and available in a wide variety of materials
Low cost
Provides a tight seal
Disadvantages
Rupture discs must be replaced to re-close the process
b. Shall be in accordance with GP 44-70.

6. Sizing

a. When sizing relief valves for gases, ASME Sec VIII, Division I shall be applied.
Liquids are not covered by ASME code.
b. Sizing relief valves shall include utilizing manufacturer sizing procedure.
c. Sizing shall be in accordance with GP 44-70.

7. Materials

a. Relief valve materials or components that may come in contact with process fluid(s), shall
be suitable for the product.
b. All materials used in construction of valve shall be identified.
c. Materials for valves should be suitable for prolonged service in environment at point of
installation.
d. Parts exposed to process fluids that contain corrosive gases or liquids shall be specified
and installed to comply with data sheets.
e. Valve assemblies shall use corrosion resistant bolting and fasteners as standard for:
1. Pressure retaining bolting,
2. All accessory items.
f. Particular attention should be given to prevent corrosion in chambers that are normally
freely vented (bellows vent chamber).
g. Tubing and fittings supplied with valve shall be 316 SS.
h. Refer to GIS 62-041 for more information on materials.

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Guidance on Practice for Relief Valves

8. Installation

a. Refer to GP 44-70 for relief device installation.


b. Refer to GP 42-10 for relief device piping installation.

9. Maintenance and operability

9.1. General
All threads on components that may be dismantled should have anti-seize paste (or similar).

9.2. Accessibility
a. Relief valves shall be installed to ensure they are accessible for maintenance. Platforms
should be provided for accessibility, Alternative safe means of access shall be subject to
BP approval,
Alternative means refers to permanently installed walkways or access ways that
afford adequate personnel protection as per OSHA 1910, Subpart D .with respect to
hand railing kick plates, non-slip flooring.
To check accessibility, relief valve locations could be reviewed in 3D model, if
available.
b. Adequate clearance shall be provided above relief valves so they may be removed for
maintenance.
1. Access from platform to relief valve shall not have obstructions in an area at least 1 m
(3 ft) by 1 m (3 ft).
2. To facilitate maintenance, access for lifting equipment shall be provided.

10. Tagging

a. Relief valves shall have a permanently attached, stainless steel die stamped tag.
b. Tags shall include:
1. BP furnished instrument tag number, as specified on the data sheet.
2. Manufacturer name.
3. Manufacturer model number.
4. Manufacturer serial number.
5. Service description.
6. Valve pressure relief setting.
7. Design back pressure.
8. Valve size.
9. Inlet and outlet flange size.
10. Flange ratings.
11. Date of last test.

11. Painting

a. Stainless steel bodies and components shall not be painted.

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Guidance on Practice for Relief Valves

b. Non-stainless steel relief valves shall be coated as per GP 06-60.

12. Fire protection

Passive fire protection, if used, shall be easily removable to enable inspection and testing of
valve.

13. Testing and inspection

a. Refer to GP 32-47 for inspection and testing of relief valves.


b. BP shall have the option to witness pressure tests.

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Guidance on Practice for Relief Valves

Bibliography

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)


[1] OSHA 1910 Subpart D, Working, Walking Surfaces

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