The development and design of a Smart Overpressure Protection Device as well as the testing of a pilot plant are the subject of the SmOP project.
In industrial facilities, the majority of process engineering processes are carried out in pressure vessels. In the event of improper operation, the risk potential increases and bursting of the vessel must be safely avoided. As a result, these processes must be protected against impermissible over- or underpressure. For this purpose, both PCT safety devices and mechanical protective devices are used. Together with a comprehensive protection concept, these should prevent dangerous events or limit the possible damage.
Mechanical protective devices offer sufficient protection against impermissible pressures even in the event of a failure of a PCT control unit as a (component-)tested fitting, this is the main reason why they are often used in industry. Typically, many batch and semi-batch processes are superimposed with nitrogen and must be able to be relieved in the event of large level changes, in order to produce economically (for example during polymerizations). If only PCT control units are used for protection, the degree of filling or the concentration of components forming vapour pressure would have to be greatly reduced, therefore the use of an additional mechanical safety device is recommended.
Safety valves are the most frequently used mechanical safety device due to their reclosability. Before use, these must be adapted precisely to the operating conditions of the plant, the reactors and the recipes used to ensure safe and ideal blow-off behaviour. Batch (BR) or semi-batch reactors (SBR) with constantly changing recipes and the associated changing safety requirements pose enormous safety problems for plant operators. The development of an adaptive safety device, a “SmOP – Smart Overpressure Protection Device”, which adapts to the changing requirements of the plant and ensures its safety has great application potential.
By using a SmOP for reaction modes in BR or SBR, adaptive safety devices can additionally reduce process times and thus costs. This is achieved by dynamic control of a SmOP, in which the operating pressures are temporarily closer to the MAWP and thus lower reaction times are achieved compared to conventional safety valves without adaptive control. At the same time, a new, innovative protective device can prevent valve flutter, provide optimum blow-off conditions for downstream system components and prevent two-phase outflow.
PhD-Project in the scope of the CSE Research Areas: Smart Protection of Pressurized Systems (SPPS)
Begin January 2017 / Project Duration 6 Years