A PROPOSED process engineering joint industry project has secured enough sponsorship to initiate.
Burst Disks for Shell and Tube Heat Exchanger Overpressure Protection will now move forward.
But the UK’s Energy Institute says further sponsors and participants are welcome from operating companies, consultancies, EPC contractors or relief device equipment suppliers.
The need for the JIP arises from the use of bursting disks to protect the low pressure side of STHE from overpressure, in the event of a tube rupture (guillotine fracture).
Reverse rupture of bursting disks protecting STHEs, due to production platform flare system backpressures, has caused several events to escalate as the reverse rupture has led to gas releases through cooling water systems.
Rupture of bursting disks in the absence of a tube break has also resulted in an influx of cooling medium/seawater to the relief system, consequently overfilling the flare knock-out drum and flare stack.
Research by BP has revealed seven incidents in the past 13 years, resulting in either gas releases or relief system impairment in offshore facilities.
The JIP proposes to develop clearer design practice to reduce the number of bursting disk installations while maintaining or improving the inherent safety of STHEs.
It would build on an earlier JIP that concluded in 2000, with publication of guidelines for the design and safe operation of shell and tube heat exchangers to withstand the impact of tube failure.
Key deliverables comprise a summary report to be prepared for each work package and the JIP sponsors and participants; as well as revised guidelines for the design and safe operation of shell and tube heat exchangers to withstand tube failure.