(24e) Advanced CFD Modeling On Vapor Dispersion and VCE
AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
Monday, April 27, 2009 - 4:00pm to 4:30pm
The main objective of this study is to quantify the potential overpressures due to Vapor Cloud Explosions (VCEs) and the potential gas buildup by using Computation Fluid Dynamics (CFD) for onshore oil and gas production facilities.
The VCE occurring in the facility could potentially damage nearby buildings and harm personnel. The results of the CFD overpressure study are to be used to aid in the determination of the overpressures associated with various explosive zones, and also to evaluate the need for any structural reinforcements to existing buildings due to explosive overpressure. The results of the study will further be used for planning purposes and will aid in making design decisions related to the appropriate level of safeguards needed.
A series of CFD simulations has been performed for the various vapor dispersion scenarios, covering different release rates and release locations. The modeling helps to investigate the potential gas build-up within the facility modules due to accidental releases of varying sizes, and to investigate the likelihood of detecting an accidental gas release within the module. The time until confirmed detection and the corresponding size of the combustible gas cloud were estimated in the CFD simulations. Results from the base case analysis indicated that a review of the gas detection locations or an expansion of the gas detection system could be a potentially viable risk mitigation solution. Implementation would ensure a higher likelihood for inerting the module as well as potentially reducing the size of the combustible gas cloud at the time of ignition, thus reducing the magnitude of an explosion.
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