December 2009

Process Safety/Environment

Ensuring site-wide consistency in relief system analyses

Follow these protocols when evaluating common-cause failure scenarios for flares and headers

Brendel, R., Jacobs Consultancy

When the capacity and capabilities of a site's existing pressure relief system are to be evaluated, engineers often start by gathering current documentation for the relief valves (RVs). Typically, the site staff keep up-to-date documents on required loads and RV orifice areas for individual RVs that discharge into the system under various failure scenarios. The American Petroleum Institute (API) created a guideline for these documents so that the owner can demonstrate that each vessel and system is adequately protected by an RV for all credible overpressure scenarios. Once the information is gathered for each RV that discharges into the flare system, usually the engineer's intent is to use

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