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Psv On Centrifugal Pump Discharge


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#1 Pauwl

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 05:22 PM

All,

I am currently tasked with sizing a few PSVs for the discharge lines of some centrifugal pumps. I am going to describe one that I currently don't understand, although they are all similar.

The pump is for a heavy oil (API 20) which is pumping from an atmospheric tank into another atmospheric tank. The pumps are basically sized to overcome tank head which is very small. Looking over the pump curves the max that they can operate at is 60 psig discharge.

The PSV is on the discharge line of the pump and recycles back to the suction of the pump. In case of a blocked flow scenario down stream, the pump will overpressure the line until it reaches it's shutdown head. The line is rated for 150# which has a design pressure of 285 psig, which could never be reached by the pump. So I don't understand what I'm protecting here.

My guess is that with no motion through the pump, the fluid will heat up and eventually you will have either thermal expansion which could over pressure the line or vaporization which could damage the pump via cavitation.

However, since the PSV just recycles to the pump suction, how is the PSV preventing anything. It just prolongs the situation for a little longer because the fluid still isn't going anywhere it's just cycling through the pump repeatedly presumably still gaining heat.

For a similar pump that is for liquid butane, the PSV recycles back to the source tank which makes sense to me since it's a volatile substance that could easily flash if heated.

IDK, I guess I'm confused about the recycle PSV set up and what it's protecting against when the Pump discharge cannot exceed the design pressure for the line.

Any guidance would be appreciated. I've actually never sized PSVs for pumps before and I'm a little bit confused about their purpose. btw, I'm a Junior

#2 JoeWong

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 07:50 PM

Pauwl,

Good analysis.

If the pump shut-off pressure is lower than piping design pressure, PSV would not be required. The only event that i would think a PSV is required would be the thermal expansion which already captured in your analysis.

Theoretically i only can see PSV is only for thermal expansion in your case. Somehow i have seen people use PSV for pump protection (recirculation) as well as thermal expansion. With PSV, it just buy time for operator to take action (could be short or long...). A proper low flow protection is required for pump protection.

#3 Art Montemayor

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 09:17 AM


Pawl:

From what you describe, I get the impression that the pump installation is just the product of inexperience (at best) or incompetence (at worse). I would challenge the installation because:

  1. I donít identify any credibility in the need for a PSV on the discharge of this centrifugal pump. I almost suspect that some one saw a discharge PSV on a positive displacement pump somewhere else and thought this might be a good idea Ė Wrong! If you canít justify the PSV, then take it out. You are just begging for more maintenance and operational problems. Use the K.I.S.S. principle here: ďKeep it Simple, StupidĒ. You are correct in using your common sense.
  2. The best and most operable type of PSV discharge on a pump (if one is needed) is back to its original source Ė never back to the pumpís own suction line. A discharge into the suction line is either a cheap attempt to save piping costs or the lack of accessible space or distance. Iíve never come across the last two reasons. A pump suffers from a discharge injected into its suction line Ė in NPSH, turbulence, and heat-up. I believe it is foolish economy to discharge into a pumpís suction line.
  3. Never rely on a safety device to ďcontrolĒ a process. This is naÔve and ignorant thinking. A PSV can never be relied upon to furnish the pumpís minimum flow requirements. As Joe infers, you need a minimum flow control valve for that Ė a totally different animal and for a totally different reason.
  4. Like government, the best PSV protection is when you can justify NO PSV installation. That is really fail-safe, and the way I would design this simple oil transfer operation. You are probably out in a remote Storage Farm somewhere and you donít want to add more equipment or devices than you need. Again, use the K.I.S.S. principle.

I hope this experience helps.



#4 Pauwl

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 12:31 PM

Thanks Guys.

#5 djack77494

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 09:19 AM

Sorry to beat a dead horse, but you're hitting on topics that are near and dear to my heart, and I feel compelled to add my 2 cents worth.

I want to wholeheartedly endorse all 4 points made by Art. There is seldom (seldom but definitely not never) a reason to install a PSV in the discharge piping of a well designed centrifugal pump system. (Actually, Joe covers the thermal relief case which is one of the few good reasons to install such a PSV.) The described installation sounds as if a PSV is being substituted for a pump minimum flow valve. In my mind, you should not make such a substitution. Either a controlled minimum flow loop, measuring the total flow and using it to control a return flow that goes back to the source, or a self contained modulating valve for the same purpose should be used. I abhor the thought of sending this recirculating flow back to the pump's suction-it's false economy. Likewise, I would endorse Art's points 3 & 4. Perhaps if you cannot maintain a minimum flow through the pump and it is very inconvenient to send the excess flow back to its source, it may be best to just switch off the pump.
Doug

#6 fallah

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 12:35 PM

In an economical viewpoint ,for lowering the design pressure of a pump discharge line in order to avoiding higher material class, using PSV with set point lower than shut-off head on discharge line could be logical/acceptable?

Regards

#7 Art Montemayor

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 03:51 PM


Fallah:

Is your query related to this thread? It is difficult to interpret what you mean in your description, but I think what you are asking is:

In order to lower the working pressure on a pumpís discharge line and allow the use of a lower cost pipe, it is proposed to install a Process Safety Valve that has a set pressure no higher than the pipeís maximum allowable pressure - but lower than the pumpís maximum developed head (deadhead pressure)?

My comment to the above is that under no explanation would I allow another engineer to try to install a pressure relief safety device with the intention of having such a device act as a pressure controlling instrument. Safety device should NEVER be applied as control devices. I believe I have stated this many, many times in all these Forums. I consider this type of application as an accident waiting to happen. There is no justification to use a safety device on an application for which it was not designed. If you want to reduce the pressure of a liquid line, there are designed and engineered instruments to do this very thing. However, I would not do what you describe. Common sense dictates that if one requires a lower discharge pressure from a centrifugal pump, then the proper and safe thing to do is to simply reduce the impeller size or its speed.


#8 fallah

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 01:20 AM

Dear art
Thanks a lot for your comment,but because we have no problem with normal discharge pressure, we are not going to reduce the impeller size.Our problem is limited to coping with shut-off head which increase the design pressure of the line.If we install PSV on discharge line (along with instrumented pressure control system that trips the pump on set point lower than shut-off head ), when shutt-off happens, why could'nt we consider piping under shut-off as pressure vessel that is protected by PSV against overpressure in the case of instrument failure?

#9 djack77494

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 08:07 AM

fallah,
I understand that the higher pressure possible at shut-off conditions may suggest the need for an increase in piping class that you'd rather avoid. Despite my stated preference for a minimum flow controlled system for your situation, a PSV is certainly an alternative. I would not use an "off the shelf" or pop action safety valve since I think a chattering situation could easily result. But a modulating PSV (which is essentially a control valve) could do the job.
Good luck,
Doug

#10 JoeWong

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 01:04 PM

QUOTE (djack77494 @ Apr 27 2008, 09:07 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
...Despite my stated preference for a minimum flow controlled system for your situation, a PSV is certainly an alternative...


Doug & Fallah,

My 2-cents opinion...

Minimum flow controlled system using proper control valve with necessary control loop to limit the pump discharge pressure could be an alternative to achieve CAPEX saving as per your presented case. Nevertheless, a modulating type PSV on pump discharge certainly a safety and overpressure protection requirement.

#11 fallah

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 12:52 AM

Dear Joe Wong

Would you please describe briefly on modulating type PSV?Any proper reference?

Regards

#12 JoeWong

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 05:34 PM

QUOTE (fallah @ Apr 28 2008, 01:52 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Dear Joe Wong

Would you please describe briefly on modulating type PSV?Any proper reference?

Regards



Please read

Sizing, Selection, and Installation of Pressure-Relieving Devices in Refineries
Part IóSizing and Selection
API RECOMMENDED PRACTICE 520
SEVENTH EDITION, JANUARY 2000

section 2.2.2.6 and refer to fig. 24 & 25 for pop action and modulating type PSV.

#13 suneel.ravi

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Posted 04 October 2008 - 11:17 PM

All,

hai
i feel PSV is for thermal expansion. When Ever there is a blocked outlet, fluid will be heated up because of no motion. so to protect that pump we are using PSV. please let me know, if its not correct.

#14 Qalander (Chem)

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 02:32 AM

Dear fallah/pawul,

We faced a problem at our previous employer's we had to pump into two different pressure rated pipeline systems - i.e., one rated 600# and the other rated 300# (if recalled correctly)

Initially, we addressed the issue through manual throttling of a discharge Globe Valve.
Subsequently, we installed a PCV (with spill-back into the suction piping),
although this is definitely not an efficient utilization of resources since energy is wasted in recycle-back to suction.

Hope this helps
Qalander

#15 fallah

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 04:04 AM

Dear Qalander

Would you please attach a simple sketch of the system you mentioned above?
Regards,

N.Fallah

#16 Qalander (Chem)

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 01:43 AM

[attachment=1080:PIC_Sketch.xls]quote name='fallah' date='Oct 5 2008, 02:04 PM' post='22486']
Dear Qalander

Would you please attach a simple sketch of the system you mentioned above?
Regards,

N.Fallah
[/quote]

OK! a rough simple sketch attached
qalander

#17 fallah

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 02:08 AM

Dear Qalander,
Thanks a lot for your sending,but i have a question:
-Looking from mechanical integrity viewpoint,what is the factor/element/....causes two different spec. lines (#300,#600) extracted from one common header in your sketch?
Regards,

#18 Qalander (Chem)

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 02:41 AM

QUOTE (fallah @ Oct 6 2008, 12:08 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Dear Qalander,
Thanks a lot for your sending,but i have a question:
-Looking from mechanical integrity viewpoint,what is the factor/element/....causes two different spec. lines (#300,#600) extracted from one common header in your sketch?
Regards,


Dear fallah as motioned this was a very rough sketch;
However to satisfy your query this pump was a subsequent addition into the main pump's array of the subject Product's pump house.
This had much higher discharge pressure and we were to optimize its usage exploring the potential.
Moreover this was LT Electric motor driven whereas others were HT (6KV) Motor driven.
The emanating immediate discharge pipeline was rated for 600#and an off shoot linked with low pressure300# header.
The pump's Actual Discharge pressure was around 375# (if recalled correctly)
The main 600# Header was meant for HT motor driven Pumps
Hope this explains the situation.
Regards
Qalander


#19 JoeWong

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 08:32 PM

QUOTE (fallah @ Oct 6 2008, 02:08 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Dear Qalander,
Thanks a lot for your sending,but i have a question:
-Looking from mechanical integrity viewpoint,what is the factor/element/....causes two different spec. lines (#300,#600) extracted from one common header in your sketch?
Regards,


This is common...The only thing is overpressure protection required whenever there is rating change. Suggest to open new thread for further discussion...

For example in demin water system. You have 10 users at 150# rating while you have 1 user at 300#. You may design

i) 2 pressure network with dedicated LP and HP pumps - LP for 150# users and HP for 300# users; OR
ii) 2 pressure network with LP pump (for 1 x 150# users) follow by HP pump (for 300# users)
iii) 1 pressure network with HP pump (for 1 x 300# users) follow by LP pump (for 150# users)

All subject to the demand of 150# and 300# users.


#20 fallah

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 02:19 AM


Dear Joe Wong
Thanks a lot for your reply.But:
-Item ii would be one or two pressure network?Could we consider a booster pump for section of 300# user?
-In item iii,considering 1 pressure network and with the source of HP pump, is it necessary applying LP pump?Can we use a PCV instead of LP pump in low pressure of the network?
Regards


#21 JoeWong

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 03:20 AM

Item ii...the HP pump is Booster pump for 300# users.
Item iii...the LP letdown station (not LP pump sorry...)

#22 djack77494

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 12:33 PM

QUOTE (suneel.ravi @ Oct 4 2008, 08:17 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
i feel PSV is for thermal expansion. When Ever there is a blocked outlet, fluid will be heated up because of no motion. so to protect that pump we are using PSV. please let me know, if its not correct.


We seem to have moved pretty far from the original thread. Addressing your posting, Ravi, the situation you describe is NOT a thermal expansion case. In a broad sense, whenever heat input can result in a pressure increase, you COULD call it a thermal expansion case. Thus, for example, a fire would be a thermal expansion case if one accepts this definition.

However, I think that the way we commonly use the term "the thermal expansion case" when we attempt to calculate relief loads for PSV sizing is to refer to situations where small, perhaps unidentified heat inputs from the surroundings will result in a small slow temperature increase in a trapped volume of liquid. Thus, for example, having a pipe filled with water that is then isolated and sits in ambient conditions, absorbing solar and ambient heat, IS a case of thermal expansion. If the water pipe were jacketed with steam, that would NOT be called a thermal expansion case.




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