Progress of the CSE High Pressure Loop

The CSE institute in Pfinztal, Germany, is building a unique test facility for fluid dynamics investigations as well as function and performance tests of valves and safety devices. The plant is divided into three sections: low, medium and high pressure, which corresponds to the pressure stages 150 bar, 700 bar and 3400 bar.

These new state-of-the-art test facilities open a new frontier in capacity testing Europe-wide and beyond and come in handy for enhanced model validation and capacity testing of various fittings and devices never sufficiently tested before. Capacity testing with various devices including large diameter rupture disks and fittings at high-pressure and high-velocity flow will possible. These ultra-high-capacity test facilities are designed to deliver precise and reliable experimental data for flow conditions that are almost the same as the target operating conditions helping gain deeper understanding of flow in fittings thereby enhancing the safety and integrity of our assets and resources.

Experiments will be done at the new CSE, Center of Safety Excellence, Europe-wide unique test facilities comprising of the 2 Phase Flow Loop, for tests with gas/liquid mixtures up to 150 bar (2200 psi) and the High Pressure Loop for tests with Nitrogen at pressures up to up to 3400 bar (49300 psi).

The 150 bar Gas Loop which is a part of the CSE 2-Phase Flow Loop has two massive pressure vessels with a total volume of 70m3 (2472 ft3) at 150bar. The CSE High Pressure Loop comprises of two compression stages; 750 bar (10900 psi) and 3400bar. The volume of these high-pressure vessels is remarkable; 6 m3 (211 ft3) and 0.9 m3 (32 ft3), respectively. Figure 1 shows a functional diagram of the CSE 2-Phase Flow Loop and CSE High Pressure Loop.

The test facility is designed to have capacity to test even the largest of fittings. This is made possible by use of state-of-the-art devices such as Samson precision pressure regulation valves from, E+H Coriolis flow meters, and top of the range digital pressure and temperature measurement devices. The Siemens PCS7 process control system will the operator the possibility to monitor and run the plant safely and in a well-controlled manner.

In the first construction stage, two gas buffer vessels with a total volume of about 67 m³ at 150 bar were installed. These vessels are welded from pipeline tubes and have a length of 38 m and 26 m, with a diameter of 1.2 m. Dry gas is compressed into these vessels with a high-capacity multistage compressor unit.

At this time, besides the large buffer vessels, the flow measurement and control sections are also installed in our newly built hall. The compressor unit has already been installed in two containers and is awaiting final delivery and installation and connection in autumn together with the newly fabricated test vessel where test bench 1 will be installed to initially perform tests with safety relief valves and rupture disk devices. The process control system for the test-facility was delivered this summer. It is being programmed in preparation for commissioning and test operation.

These facilities have been realised collaboratively for research purposes by capitalizing on concerted efforts between the technical plant operators, high quality rupture disk manufacturer, institutions of higher learning, research institutes and a research team that is guided by experienced leaders with the core aim of promoting safety in technical plants of the future.
During the Joint US and European DIERS Users Group Meeting at the CSE in Pfinztal in May 2019, live tests for demonstration purposes are planned on this Europe-wide unique test facility. All participants of the meeting are cordially invited for this event.


J. Schmidt, J. Denecke; Das CSE Center of Safety Excellence – Kompetenzzentrum für Prozess und Anlagensicherheit; Technische Sicherheit Bd. 6 (2016) Nr. 6 Juni, Seite 37-44, Springer-VDI-Verlag GmbH.

CSE Center of Safety Excellence; YouTube-Video CSE High Pressure Loop – Schwertransport der Druckbehälter,
Video CSE-HP-Loop

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