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A relief system is a depressurizing system that releases gas during emergency situations. The process can be controlled through manual manipulation, a piping system, or pressurized vessel from an automatic pressure relief valve. The gas is released to the atmosphere to relieve anything above the maximum allowable working pressure. The relief system may include:

  • Flashback protection
  • Collection piping
  • Relief device
  • A gas outlet

At Polaris, we take into account the likelihood of hydrate formation and freezing during high-pressure atmospheric releases for industrial facilities by incorporating methods to depressurize the pressure vessels during an emergency shutdown. The depressuring system control valves may be adapted to unload into the relief, flare, or vent systems.

Role of Engineers in Evaluating Relief Systems

An engineer is concerned with applying ingenuity, mathematics, and scientific knowledge to generate solutions for commercial, social, and technical problems. Engineers design systems, structures, and materials while acknowledging the constraints imposed by cost, safety, regulation, and practicality. Other characteristics of engineers include:

  • Offer expert guidance to non-experts
  • Place public safety ahead of all other considerations
  • Weigh the positive and adverse effects or impact of design choices
  • Abide by precautionary principles when evaluating engineering designs
  • Practice social responsibility by applying safe design factors and building in redundancy
  • Take into account the consequences of their conduct and work for the wellbeing of others
  • Educate the public about the significant results of various scientific and technological developments
  • Discover pertinent data concerning the configuration, construction, and creation of all possible outcomes
  • Determine the causes of overpressure, determination of relief loads, and methods of pressure relief

The most efficient role filled by engineers is the individual involvement in integrating professional ethics, the safety and the welfare of the public, environmental responsibilities, legal considerations, communications, and quality of the methodologies used to approach and solve problems.

Engineering Responsibilities

One action that is standard across all engineering tasks is problem-solving. Because the engineer works with technology and science on one side and communities and individuals on the other, he or she is responsible for establishing priorities, building performance criteria, selecting processes and materials, and specifying evaluation procedures. His success depends on the ability to develop a new idea, device, process, or material using the following two-step process:

  • Problem-solving. After an analysis of the overall circumstances and a preliminary judgment on a direction for discovering a solution, the ordinarily general and obscure problem is reduced to a more specific question that can be explicitly stated. The defined question is then answered by deductive logic from known sources or by creative syntheses, such as in developing a new design. Finally, the outcomes of the interpreted problem as stated are simplified relative to the original problem and summarized in an acceptable manner.
  • Decision-making. A successful engineer is equipped for the decision-making process to handle intricate problems across broad sectors and is skilled in the application of advanced tools and artistic in the construction of new techniques. With the vision to create massive projects, our engineers at Polaris have the expertise to interpret them as integrated man-machine-environment operations, and the intelligence to predict their human impact and technical performance.

Pressure relieving systems are an essential and indispensable component of any industrial facility, from petrochemical complexes to offshore production platforms, and normally provide the ultimate plan of defense against loss of containment and overpressure. However, pressure-relieving systems, although ubiquitous, are not always widely appreciated by analytic engineers.

As global industrial facilities, petrochemical plants, and refineries continue to expand capacities to meet universal needs, engineers must keep a vigilant focus on pressure relief systems management. While these systems are a small component of an industrial facility, they are the last line of protection when other control mechanisms fail.

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