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Vent Piping Analysis

Todd Jekel, Ph.D., P.E.
Industrial Refrigeration Consortium

2005 Research & Technology Forum

January 21, 2005

1
Purpose
z Vent piping requirements
z Pressure drop calculation & basis
z Valve back-pressure allowances
z Single relief example
z Methodology
z Example
z Vent piping recommendations

2
Relief Piping Length Limits
(ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 15-2004 Appendix H)

⎛P ⎞
d ⋅ ln ⎜⎜ o ⎟⎟
L=
0 .214 ⋅ d 5 ⋅ Po2 − P22( ) − ⎝ P2 ⎠
f ⋅ C r2 6⋅ f
L = equivalent length of pipe system (ft)
Cr = rated capacity of relief device(s) (lbair/min)
f = Moody friction factor (-)
d = inside diameter of pipe (in)
Po = allowed backpressure at relief valve outlet (psia)
P2 = absolute pressure at outlet of discharge piping (psia)

This equation is for subsonic, isothermal, compressible flow of air at a temperature

of 60oF.

3
Discharge Pressure Limit –
Choked Flow
C
P2,min = 0.6226 ⋅
d2
C = rated capacity through pipe segment (lbair/min)
d = inside diameter of pipe (in)
P2,min = absolute pressure at outlet of discharge piping (psia)

z The outlet pressure cannot be less than P2,min.

Therefore, use P2,min in place of P2 in the
length equation if P2 < P2,min

4
Fully Rough Friction Factor

1 ⎛ 12 ⋅ ε d ⎞
= − 2.0 ⋅ log ⎜ ⎟
f ⎝ 3.7 ⎠

ε = pipe roughness (ft)

d = inside diameter of pipe (in)
f = Moody friction factor (-)

Commercial steel piping roughness 0.00015 ft assumed.

Schedule 40 Schedule 80
NPS ID f ID f
¾” 0.622 0.0240 0.546 0.0247
1” 0.824 0.0225 0.742 0.0230
1-¼” 1.049 0.0210 0.957 0.0214
1-½” 1.38 0.0202 1.278 0.0205
2” 1.61 0.0190 1.5 0.0193
2-½” 2.067 0.0182 1.939
3” 2.469 0.0173 2.323
4” 3.068 0.0163 2.9
5” 4.026 0.0155 3.826
6” 5.047 0.0149 4.813
5
What is compliance?
z Is it having sufficient installed PRV capacity?
z Yes, but must also include vent piping system
effects.
z Is it having installed vent pipe equivalent length
less than limit?
z Works alright for relief vent systems with one PRV
z Too simplistic for headered vent systems?
z Is it limiting back-pressure on the PRV to that
required for a given valve?
z Yes…works as a test of compliance for both
single and headered vent piping systems!

6
Back Pressure: Po
z Use percent set pressure, P, specified by valve
manufacturer – or if no specific guidance exists–
z for conventional relief valves, 15% of set
pressure
[Po = (0.15 * P) + atmospheric pressure]
z for balanced relief valves, 25% of set pressure
[Po = (0.25 * P) + atmospheric pressure]
z for rupture members, fusible plugs, and pilot operated
relief valves, 50% of set pressure
[Po = (0.5 * P) + atmospheric pressure]

7
Example

One vessel with relief to

atmosphere

8
Vessel Specifics and PRV
Choice
z V-1 HPR
z 72” Diameter, 13’-4” Long (1” relief
connection)
z MAWP = 250 psig

z Crequired = 40 lb/min
z 250 psig PRV
 Cr = 47.5 lb/min
 ¾” FPT inlet, 1” FPT outlet

9
14.67 psia

Situation
z This represents
the minimum line
size allowed by 1” NPS Schedule 80
ASHRAE 15-2004 Leq = 40 ft

z Is this compliant?

10
14.67 psia

Initial Results

z V-1:
Po,max = 52.17 psia (15%) 1” NPS Schedule 80
Leq = 40 ft

Calculated
z 126 psia (45%)

In this case, the predicted pressure at the outlet of the pressure relief valve (126
psia) is greater than the allowable limit of 52 psia. This vent pipe system would
NOT comply with ASHRAE 15. Rather than a 15% back pressure, this vent pipe
system would impose a 45% back pressure on the relief valve.

11
14.67 psia

Compliant Results

z V-1:
Po,max = 52.17 psia 1-½” NPS Schedule 80
Leq = 40 ft

Calculated
z 45 psia √

In this case, the predicted pressure at the outlet of the pressure relief valve (45
psia) is less than the allowable limit of 52 psia. This vent pipe system would comply
with ASHRAE 15.

12

z Multiple pressure relief valves (PRVs) piped on

a single vent main
z Common in the ammonia refrigeration industry
z Headers may contain PRVs with different set points
z Define simultaneous relief scenario
z Usually consider all relieving if they are in a single
space

13
Relief Vent Pipe Sizing

z Sum of area of connected relief device
outlets with “due allowance for pressure
drop” (ASHRAE 15-2004 §9.7.8.4)

14
Solution Methodology

z Apply the “length equation” to each constant

area segment of piping
z Analysis considers all branch lines relieving
simultaneously at their rated capacity
z Start at the header outlet (known pressure point)
& proceed back to outlet of each PRV
z Does the design result in a back pressure less than
the maximum allowable back pressure for the PRV?

Based on methodology outlined in API 521 Guide for Pressure-Relieving and

Depressuring Systems, 4th Edition, March 1997.

15
Example

Two vessels simultaneously

relieving to a common relief
vent to atmosphere

16
Vessel Specifics and PRV
Choice
z V-1 HPR
z 72” Diameter, 13’-4” Long (1” relief connection)
z MAWP = 250 psig
z Crequired = 40 lb/min
z 250 psig PRV
 Cr = 46 lb/min ¾” FPT inlet, 1-¼” FPT outlet
z V-2 LPR
z 54” Diameter, 151” Long (¾” relief connection)
z MAWP = 150 psig
z Crequired = 28.3 lb/min
z 150 psig PRV
 Cr = 31.3 lb/min ½” FPT inlet, ¾” FPT outlet

17
Vent Piping Requirement
z PRV inlet size
z Maximum of relief connection size on the protected
vessel
z V-1: 1” relief connection > ¾” FPT PRV inlet √
z V-2: ¾” relief connection > ½” FPT PRV inlet √
z Branch relief piping size
z Minimum of outlet connection size on PRV
z V-1: 1-¼” outlet
z V-2: ¾” outlet
z Minimum area of sum of outlet areas of connected PRVs

18
π ⋅ d PRV
2

4
N π ⋅d2
2

4 i =1 4

z Simplification
N
i =1
2
PRV ,i

19

z Assuming Sch. 80 piping for all piping less

than 2” NPS
z For ¾”, internal d = 0.742”
z For 1-¼”, internal d = 1.278”
z Minimum header main internal d = 1.478”
z Smallest allowable header is 1-½” Sch. 80
z d = 1.5”

20
14.67 psia

1-½” NPS Schedule 80

Leq = 40 ft
Initial Schematic
z This represents
the minimum line 1-¼” NPS Schedule 80
sizes allowed by Leq = 20 ft

ASHRAE 15-2004

z Is this compliant?

¾” NPS Schedule 80
Leq = 10 ft

21
Step 1: 1-½” Schedule 80
d = 1.5”
P2

C = 77.3 lbm/min

(area equal to sum of
attached PRV outlets)
z Must iteratively solve the Po
length equation for Po
z Is Po > the maximum
allowable back pressure
for any of the attached
PRVs?
z If YES, increase the size
& recalculate.
z If NO, continue.

⎛P ⎞
d ⋅ ln⎜⎜ 0 ⎟⎟
L=
(
0.2146 ⋅ d ⋅ P − P
5
−0
2
2
2
)
⎝ P2 ⎠
f ⋅ Cr
2
6⋅ f

22
Step 2: ¾” Schedule 80
d = 0.724”
V-2 Branch f = 0.0247
C = 31.3 lbm/min

z Use the pressure at the tee

from Step 1 for P2
z Iteratively solve the length P2
equation for Po
Po
z Is Po > the maximum
allowable back pressure
for the PRV?
z If YES, increase the size
& recalculate.
z If NO, continue.

⎛P ⎞
d ⋅ ln⎜⎜ 0 ⎟⎟
L=
(
0.2146 ⋅ d ⋅ P − P
5
− 0
2
2
2
)
⎝ P2 ⎠
f ⋅ Cr
2
6⋅ f

23
Step 3: 1-¼” Schedule 80
d = 1.278”
V-1 Branch f = 0.0214
C = 46 lbm/min

z Use the pressure at the tee

from Step 1 for P2.
z Must iteratively solve the Po
P2
equation for Po
z Is Po > the maximum
allowable back pressure
for the PRV?
z If YES, increase the size
& recalculate.
z If NO, DONE.

⎛ P0 ⎞
⋅ ⎜⎜ ⎟⎟
( )
d ln
0.2146 ⋅ d 5 ⋅ P02 − P22 ⎝ P2 ⎠
L= −
f ⋅ Cr
2
6⋅ f

24
14.67 psia

Initial Results 1-½” NPS Schedule 80

Leq = 40 ft

z V-1:
Po,max = 52.17 psia
1-¼” NPS Schedule 80
Leq = 20 ft
Calculated 67.2 psia

z 76 psia (25%) 8
z V-2:
Po,max = 37.17 psia

Calculated

z 103 psia (59%) 8 ¾” NPS Schedule 80

Leq = 10 ft

With branch piping sized at the PRV outlet and the main sized to be the sum of the
outlet areas, this sizing would be insufficient to limit the built-up back pressure at the
outlet of both relief valves. It would not comply.

25
14.67 psia

2-½” NPS Schedule 40

Leq = 52.5 ft

Compliant Results
z V-1:
Po,max = 52.17 psia
1-¼” NPS Schedule 80
Leq = 22 ft
Calculated 23.8 psia

z 48.9 psia √
z V-2:
Po,max = 37.17 psia

Calculated
z 32 psia √ 1-¼” NPS Schedule 80
Leq = 13 ft

To make this simple headered relief vent piping system comply, we have to upsize
the branch line for V-2 and the header main.

26
30 psia

2-½” NPS Schedule 40

Leq = 52.5 ft
Diffusion Tank
z V-1:
Po,max = 52.17 psia 1-½” NPS Schedule 40
Leq = 23 ft
35.8 psia
Calculated
z 43.4 psia √

z V-2:
Po,max = 37.17 psia

Calculated
z 37.17 psia √ 1-½” NPS Schedule 40
Leq = 13 ft

27
Tips for Relief Piping Design
z Size mixing tees to be
the largest of the
connected piping

Leq = 10 ft Leq = 10 ft

z Mixing tees should be

piped as to right Leq = 5.2 ft

Leq = 11.2 ft
All equivalent lengths for 2” NPS Schedule 40 fittings

28
Tips for Relief Piping Design
z Locate lower pressure set point valves near
z If given the choice don’t mix set points

z Consider up-sizing headers in machinery

rooms for future expansion

z Nearly always upsize branch lines

29
Tips for Relief Piping Design
z ASME BPVC Section VIII, Division 1 UG-135
Installation
z (a)
z PRVs intended for vapor service shall be connected
above the liquid surface
z PRVs intended for liquid service shall be connected
below the liquid surface
z (f)
z Discharge lines for PRVs shall be designed to
facilitate drainage

30
Conclusion
z New ASHRAE 15-2004 vent piping
requirements are more stringent than
previous versions