Dynamic Vapor Breakthrough: Avoiding Pitfalls for ERS Design

Vapor breakthrough (also known as gas blowby) can occur after an instrument fails, allowing uncontrolled flow from high-pressure to low-pressure equipment. After a loss in upstream liquid level, high-pressure vapor may enter the low-pressure system, resulting in overpressure of the low-pressure equipment.

Here is presented a comprehensive overview of modelling dynamic vapor breakthrough. Different modelling methods for sizing vapor breakthrough scenarios are reviewed, including steady state modelling, implementing further complexities to reduce the relief requirement, dynamic modelling, and investigation of DIERS coupling equations for predicting vapor/liquid disengagement characteristics in a low-pressure system.

Vapor breakthrough scenarios should be carefully considered since they are frequently the sizing case for pressure relief system and flare (PRFS) design, as they have been known to be handled improperly. In some cases, the sizing credits were applied incorrectly. In others, the scenario went completely unnoticed in the hazard analysis.

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