Relief evaluation and system design for laboratories and pilot plants presents unique challenges to the relief designer. Relief devices designed for commercial production-sized process vessels are often impractical for use in laboratory and pilot plant environments due to their size. However, typical lab-scale relief devices present limitations in relieving capacity, functionality, and available set pressures that can make them unsuitable for many applications. Effective small-scale relief system design must also address a wider range of potential overpressure scenarios due to the variations in chemistry that are routinely conducted within the lab or pilot unit. The relief designer must consider the need for operational flexibility while designing a relief system that provides protection for current and future modes of operation. This paper outlines the concerns associated with relief system design for laboratories and pilot plants and presents a process for developing and managing an effective laboratory and pilot plant relief system design program.
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