Software combination creates powerful tool for plant safety design applications

By Control Engineering Staff November 24, 2006

Designing safety systems for hazardous environments with large amounts of flammable products demands careful analysis of fluid-flow systems and pressure relief networks. It also requires more specialized knowledge of disaster models, including jet flame, pool fire, and boiling liquid expanding vapor explosions. Such modeling depends on specialized capabilities that are now available in a new design suite that includes two software platforms working in tandem.

SimSci-Esscor and DNV have linked their respective Visual Flow 5.2 safety system design software and Phastfx flammable effects software module in a way that reportedly allows engineers to estimate a wide range of potential fire and explosion scenarios during their design work. The companies are promoting this as a means to provide comprehensive models and documentation that regulatory agencies are demanding with new plant construction or redesigns.

Visual Flow, from SimSci-Esscor unit of Invensys, provides modeling of safety related systems, including pressure relief networks, multiple flare configurations, relief valves, knock-out drums, and loops. Phastfx from DNV is a subset of Phast and contains the flammable and explosion models. The combined package promises:

  • Safer designs and operation;

  • Safety solutions developed earlier in the design process;

  • Faster regulatory documentation and compliance;

  • More efficient flare network modeling; and,

  • Reduced capital and operating costs.

When operating together, Visual Flow provides the main design modeling, but can access the Phastfx functions to analyze implications of various flammable event scenarios. DNV says this includes the collected safety experience of thousands of Phast users worldwide.