|Inlet Mixture Inertia – Choosing the Right Product|
The Force of Inertia, expressed as ρV2, is typically used to quantify the flow entering a vessel to determine the type of inlet separator device best suited to the application. It should be noted that ρ is the average density of the mixture, and V is the plug flow velocity of the mixture at the nozzle opening.
Low Energy Services
For low energy services, where ρV2 is less than 1,500 kg / m-s2, a V-Baffle inlet diverter may be used. At higher rates, the V-baffle may shatter the inlet liquid into smaller droplets, which will put excess load on the mist eliminators, leading to liquid carryover.
Moderate Energy Services
For moderate energy services, where ρV2 is less than 2,100 kg / m-s2, a half open pipe diverter may be used. This would use a length of pipe the same diameter as the inlet nozzle with the bottom half cut away to direct the inlet mixture downward along the center line of the vessel. They are generally inexpensive, and more effective than a V-baffle, but they should not be used in high energy services or where liquid slugs are anticipated because they can cause liquid jetting, leading to increased mist load and foaming.
High Energy Services
For higher energy services, or where liquid slugs are anticipated, with ρV2 up to 8,000 kg / m-s2, AMACS recommends an Accuflow Vane Type Inlet Separator device.
Accuflow Vane Type Inlet Separator
The Accuflow Vane Type Inlet Separator uses a series of contracting vanes to slow and disperse the inlet mixture over the vessel cross section. They are particularly useful in horizontal slug catchers, test separators and production separators. They are also used to reduce the required disengagement space above and below the inlet nozzle, allowing a designed reduction in vessel height.
Accuflows are robustly designed for a long life in severe services. They are available in a wide range of commercial alloys, most commonly SA-516 GR 70, 304L SS, and 316L SS.
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