October 2015

Special Report: Process Control and Information Systems

Design pressure reduction in high-pressure heat exchangers with dynamic simulation

A commercial simulation tool is used to carry out the analysis of the transient phenomena caused by the tube rupture event during the design phase of an HP heat exchanger.

Tube rupture in shell-and-tube heat exchangers is a possible cause of process pressure buildups and equipment damage. A safety practice to minimize the risk of tube rupture consists of the application of the so-called 10/13 rule, as recommended by American Petroleum Institute (API) Standard 521,1 to define the design pressure of the equipment low-pressure (LP) side, based on the high-pressure (HP) side design pressure. However, in some cases, the application of this rule might cause unnecessary high equipment cost. API Standard 5211 also suggests an alternative procedure to define the design pressure based on in-depth dynamic studies to simulate the pressure profile and pressure transients

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