Two Phase Flow Regimes
THEME: Root Cause Analysis of System Performance Anomalies
This case study ‘Two-Phase Flow Regimes’, aims to demonstrate the capability of Flownex SE to carry out root cause analysis of a system to determine the cause of a system performance and safety issue. In addition to identifying the underlying cause, using Flownex SE it is possible to deliver an optimized design solution in the simulation model, in order to remove the root cause issue and generate an improved design configuration.
The case study presents how Flownex SE was successfully employed in a Power Plant commissioning project where it quickly identified the cause of a system performance anomaly, optimized the system design to remove the anomaly and efficiently returned the system performance back within desired performance parameters.
One of the considerable benefits aside from identifying and rectifying the design issue was that by using Flownex SE the analysis and optimization study was executed quickly and cost effectively keeping the commissioning schedule on track and mitigating the commercial impact on the project.
Generator Seal Oil System
THEME: Failure Mode Analysis of Thermo Hydraulic Machine Components
This case study ‘Generator Seal Oil System’, aims to demonstrate the capability of Flownex SE to simulate thermo hydraulic machine system components such as seals and simulate operational scenarios to test limits of the machine component to determine the failure modes and effects analysis of the component, to gain better understanding of how the system behaves and works.
This case study presents how Flownex SE was successfully employed to model a power generation unit hydrogen seal ring and determine causes of seal failure leading to system trips. The Flownex simulation model clearly demonstrated the relationships between system pressure, seal clearances and turbine speeds.
One of the main benefits of modelling the system to determine failure modes and causes was the saving realised by being about to perform this investigative study in the simulation environment. In order to conduct an inspection and investigation in the plant after a trip the machine is shut down and the time required for cool down, stripping, inspection and restarting is considerably costly. This simulation study quickly highlighted the out of specification issue causing the system trips allowing the client to confidently take remedial action to eliminate the issue causing the system trips.
Dynamic Mid-Air Refueling
Perform critical analysis of failure cases during dynamic mid-air refueling of a Mirage F1 Fighter. Flownex allowed engineers to simulate flow rates and the refueling sequences of the system. Track fuel distribution and investigate valve failure cases. The simulations ensured that, for any single failure case, the system would remain safe and ensure the center-of-gravity (cg) position of the aircraft remained centered. Aerosud confirmed results predicted by Flownex with ground test results. The simulation provided Aerosud with the confidence of delivering a final system design that is safe, reliable and conforms to customer requirements.
Flow measurement orifice plate sizing and uncertainty analysis
This case study demonstrates the use of some of Flownex’s power features – the Designer and the Sensitivity Analysis capability – during the design and uncertainty evaluation of flow measurement using an orifice plate connected to a pressure transducer and transmitter.
Challenge: The main challenge for this case study is the application of Flownex to:
- Size an orifice plate to be used in conjunction with a flow transmitter to serve as an accurate flow meter for natural gas.
- Evaluate the measurement uncertainty of the flow meter with variations in operating conditions and manufacturing tolerances.
Benefits: Flownex is an ideal tool to design gas flow systems, including piping, valving and most other components that are typically found in the oil and gas industry. Not only is Flownex also the ideal tool to design accurate flow measurement orifice plates, but it also has the capability to evaluate the uncertainty of the flow meter in general and the orifice plate in particular with the inevitable variations in conditions and manufacturing tolerances.
Solution: Using the Designer and the Sensitivity Analysis features built into Flownex, the orifice plate can be designed and its operational uncertainty evaluated when functioning in combination with the pressure transducer/flow transmitter.
Coalescing filter sizing and life cycle analysis using rated and specified pressure loss components
This case study discusses the sizing of a coalescer filter and demonstrates its fouling life cycle analysis using a Flownex® model which implements two new pressure loss components:
- A rated pressure loss component.
- A specified pressure loss component.
Challenge: The main challenge is the sizing and life cycle analysis of a typical coalescing filter. To simplify the Flownex model and assist with the analysis of the system performance, two new pressure loss components have been developed and are also presented in this case study.
Benefits: Although not overly complicated, the design and lifecycle analysis of a filter system has a few interesting aspects that need to be highlighted. The two new components specifically developed to assist with this analysis should prove useful to other Flownex users by simplifying the specification of typical pressure losses in complex networks.
Solution: A complete filter life cycle analysis is presented which may be applied to other similar filtration systems in Flownex networks. Two simple compound components have been developed and are discussed and demonstrated in this case study.
A basic immersion firetube Flownex model
This case study demonstrates the implementation of a basic immersion firetube model in Flownex and presents natural draft and forced draft examples.
Challenge: The main challenge is to model an immersion firetube in Flownex. Immersion firetubes are widely used in industry, most commonly in indirect heating applications where either gas or oil burners are used as a heat source.
Benefits: Flownex allows the user to model combustion, heat transfer and fluid flow processes in an elegant and easy to understand way.
Solution: Using Flownex’s compound component and scripting capabilities, a simple immersion firetube model has been developed and is presented in this case study. Furthermore, examples of natural draft and forced draft design cases are presented.
Pebble Bed Micro Model
Pebble Bed Micro Model Start-up
The PBMM (the world's first closed cycle multi-shaft gas turbine test rig) was developed to demonstrate the operation of a three-shaft, pre- and inter-cooled recuperative Brayton cycle in order to gain a better understanding of its dynamic behavior. The entire cycle was designed, simulated and commissioned with Flownex within 9 months at a cost saving of $48 million.
HTGR Power cycle
This case study demonstrates the steady-state simulation of a High Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactor (HTGR) nuclear power plant (NPP). The HTGR is one of the most promising reactor concepts of the Nuclear Renaissance, offering advantages such as improved safety and economics, shorter construction times, distributed generation and high temperature availability for process heat applications such as hydrogen production.
CASE STUDY: Styldrift Mine Air Reticulation System
Challenge: This case study ‘Styldrift Mine’, aims to demonstrate the capability of Flownex SE to create an accurate simulation model to carry out a design optimization study of a large compressed air network. To determine the ideal design with regard to sizing pipes, accumulators, compressor equipment and future expansion accounting for total equipment consumption and factored losses in the system.
The case study presents how Flownex SE was successfully employed on a large mining installation design project, where it successfully determined the operating conditions of a proposed installation to deliver an optimized final design. The case study describes how using a step by step approach in Flownex through a series of simulations the user can improve operational performance, test every possible demand load scenario. This shows that Flownex is not just a thermo fluids analysis tool, but it can also be used in the mechanical design optimization of thermo fluid systems in the mining industry.
One of the considerable benefits aside from delivering an optimized design on this project was the fact that the detailed mechanical design can be based on the Flownex optimum design recommendations. Thereby reducing the additional project and operational costs usually associated with over or under specification of equipment when an optimized design has not been fully simulated, tested and determined.
PSV Sizing and Reaction Force Modelling
This case study demonstrates the use of Flownex® to size properly performing pressure control valves for typical plant operation and to size and select a code compliant matching pressure safety valve, and calculate the associated relief flow reaction forces.
Pressure control valves (PCVs), pressure regulating valves and pressure safety valves (PSVs) are an important part of any plant design in the oil and gas industry. Gas products are typically transported at very high pressures to reduce pumping costs and reduce line sizes. Pressure control valves (and the subset of pressure regulating valves) are then used to reduce the pressures to the required levels at the point of consumption. However, if a pressure control valve fails, the plant design must make provision for safety systems to prevent catastrophic events from taking place. The proper selection and installation of pressure safety valves is one option. Alternatively, two pressure control valves may be installed in series in a so called active-monitor arrangement. Furthermore, a slam-shut valve may be installed that is able to shut down the plant in a short period of time.
This paper discusses the combination of pressure control and pressure safety valves where the latter is used as the means of ensuring failure should the former fail. The usage of PSVs is commonplace in most oil and gas plants, in fact, all international design codes and standards in the oil and gas industry mandate their use at any position in the plant where pressures may exceed design parameters. Pressure increases beyond design values may occur mainly due to three causes:
- Process failure – a situation where faulty equipment is no longer capable of controlling the pressure to acceptable limits. This may include a failed control valve, a blocked outlet, a tube rupture, a loss of utility such as cooling medium or power, gas blow-by etc.
- Locked-in thermal expansion – a situation where a vessel or length of pressure piping may be locked in upstream and downstream and a resident heat source then causes the internal pressure to rise beyond design limits.
- External fire relief – a situation where an external fire may add heat to a vessel or pressure piping, resulting in a similar scenario to the locked-in thermal expansion case.
A side-effect of the installation of a PSV is the resulting reaction force that may be created when the PSV opens. Since most PSVs “pop” open rather quickly, very high reaction forces may result and must be checked by the design engineer.
This case study demonstrates how Flownex® can be used to size a PCV as well as a matching full-flow PSV and easily calculate the resulting reaction forces. Checks for design code compliance are also performed.
Natural Draft Stack
This case study demonstrates the use of Flownex® to model a natural draft exhaust stack such as those typically used in natural gas combustion processes. A basic stack compound component has been developed to assist and simplify the modeling process.
Natural draft processes rely on buoyancy effects to generate draft. However, when modeling an exhaust stack, the stack height also implies a small but significant pressure drop due to elevation. These two effects combine to drive the natural draft flow.
Additionally, the exhaust stack compound component imple-ments convenient mechanisms to specify stack geometry and losses such as the elbow between the vertical stack and the horizontal piping feeding into the stack. It allows for a unity exit loss as well as an additional loss factor that could be used for any additional losses in the stack design such as a velocity seal, a silencer or a spark arrestor.
Pressure Piping Thickness and Flange Rating Calculation
In the oil and gas industry high pressure applications are mostly the norm rather than the exception. Process engineers may employ Flownex® to model liquid or gas piping systems as part of their heat and mass balance, and pipe sizing calculations. However, the process engineer often has to rely on others to determine the required pipe schedules (wall thickness) and flange ratings.
Flownex® has a very powerful facility in terms of its scripting capability. Combined with the Generic 4D chart library, all the tools required are available to implement pressure piping calculations according to any design standard. In fact, any data table oriented calculation procedure may be implemented using this approach. This case study demonstrates the implementation of three such international standards – ASME B31.3, AS 1210 and AS 4041 – in a simple script. It also further demonstrates how to use the Generic 4D charts as a material property library to be used by the script.
Fired Heater Design
The design of a fired heater (or similar) package typically starts with a heat and mass balance. This first step is necessary to determine the process parameters which determine most of the sizing of the package. A fired heater package heat and mass balance includes the modelling of the combustion process and the modelling of the heat transfer and fluid flow processes. Modelling the combustion process typically involves the specification of the fuel gas composition, the combustion air composition, the air-fuel ratio and the fuel flow rate. The heat transfer from the fired heater combustion process into the process fluid may be specified in terms of an overall heater thermal efficiency. Typical heat and mass balance calculations do not provide estimations of the physical size of the heater or even the ducting and other components such as combustion air fans, neither do they enable the calculation of system pressure losses or heat losses. They are also incapable of providing insight into tube wall and process fluid film temperatures which are very important in the oil and gas industry. Flownex® enables the user to perform all these tasks easily and quickly in a single calculation.