Oil & Natural Gas Special Interest Group
A community for process professionals

Overpressure Protection Devices to Protect Against Tube Rupture Events in Compressor Inter/After-coolers - Recording available

Date From: 10 March 2015
Location: England
Description: A joint evening event organised by IChemE's Oil & Natural Gas Special Interest Group and the Heat Transfer Society, with presentation by Colin Deddis - Chair of the Energy Institute's Shell and Tube Heat Exchanger JIP. SONG members can replay a recording of this event free of charge. Visit the group's Resources area and log in with your membership number and PIN / password to access the webinar archive.
Event Type: Special Interest Groups
Venue: IChemE, One Portland Place, London
Organiser: SONG
Contact Name: Toby Chancellor-Weale
Contact Email: song@ichememember.org


When the tubes in shell and tube heat exchangers carry high pressure gas and there is cooling liquid in the shell (designed to a much lower pressure) a failure of a tube could lead to a transient overpressure on the low pressure side which requires over pressure protection. The API Standard 521 allows use of relief valves or bursting discs but states “The opening time for the device used should also be compatible with the requirements of the system”.

The increased use of bursting discs to protect high pressure heat exchangers over the past 10 to 15 years, since publication of EI Guidelines for the design and safe operation of shell and tube heat exchangers to withstand the impact of tube failure, has resulted in an unforeseen problem. There have been multiple incidents where forward or reverse failure of a bursting disc resulted in major liquid flow into relief system and/or uncontrolled hydrocarbon releases from the relief system. The balance of risk has changed. This EI JIP has determined how feasible it is to use relief valves or pin valves, and based on this experimental and analytical research is revising guidance for overpressure protection of shell and tube heat exchangers so as to better protect existing installations and new designs.

Colin Deddis has over 24 years’ experience in the Oil & Gas Industry. He is currently the Global Technical Authority for Process Engineering at Centrica Energy. Colin has specialist expertise in pressure relief and blowdown systems, and has held positions as a Subject Matter Expert responsible for maintaining technical practices and providing design assurance. He is a member of the API Sub-committee on Pressure Relieving Systems. 

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