Terminals are an integral part of a pipeline system. Typically, petroleum products are transported from an initiating terminal to various delivery terminals along the pipeline. Operation safety is paramount in transporting petroleum products in the pipeline industry. Safety can affect the performance and economics of a pipeline system. While effective operation safety requires well-trained operators, operational procedures, and compliance with regulatory requirements, the best way to ensure operation safety is to implement safety systems during the design stage of the pipeline system. A pressure relief system is an important component of an engineered safety system. This system is intended to prevent catastrophic failure of the transport system due to overpressure conditions that can occur under abnormal operating conditions.

This paper discusses pressure surge relief as it applies to the design of pipeline terminals. Different pressure surge relief devices such as pressure relief valves and pressure surge vessels are considered and their advantages and disadvantages are discussed. The effects of transport rates, piping configurations, and other equipment operation, such as pumps and valves, on pressure surge relief system, are evaluated.

One of the primary objectives of this paper is to discuss pressure surge events, device simulations, and key parameters to consider when selecting a pressure surge relief system for a terminal design to ensure that the piping system and hydraulic components remain safe during abnormal operating conditions. Although the analyses presented in this paper are applicable across a broad range of operating conditions and equipment and devices in terminal system designs, it is not possible to cover all situations. As such, sound engineering principles and engineering judgment should always be applied in an engineering design.

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