April 2009


Rethink your overpressure systems

Consider multiple relief valve designs

Rahimi Mofrad, S., Petrofac Engineering & Constructions

Installing a single relief valve to handle the relieving rate of particular equipment during emergency conditions is a normal practice in the hydrocarbon processing industry. Relief valves are primarily sized using equations presented in API-520 sections 3.6 through 3.101 as appropriate for vapor, gases, liquid, steam or two-phase fluids. API-5262 is used to select a standard orifice size, orifice designation, inlet and outlet flange sizes, material, pressure/temperature limits and other specifications. This preliminary relief valve sizing and selection is verified by manufacturers, using the valve's effective coefficient of discharge, back pressure correction factor and other parameters.

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