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MySep Benefits for the Company


Reduced engineering time and project timescales

The consequence of the benefits for the design engineer, outlined below, is that reliable vessel designs can be obtained more rapidly using MySep. This has an impact in improving the competitiveness of estimates and bids for engineering projects and reduced risk of costly project over-runs.

Improved overall process optimisation

MySep communication with the leading process simulators Aspen HYSYS®, UniSim® Design, Petro-SIM™, VMGSim™ and ScimSci™ PRO/II provides fast and error free performance evaluation of actual simulator operation. This allows the overall process design or operation to be optimised by incorporating accurate carry-over predictions within the simulation so that consequent impact on downstream equipment can be taken into account.

Minimisation of re-engineering

In execution of projects it is not uncommon that re-engineering of separation equipment turns out to be necessary. For example, during the Detailed Design phase of the project, it becomes evident that vessel and internals size estimates determined during the FEED phase prove unsuitable. This costly exercise may be avoided through use of reliable MySep designs during the FEED stage. As overall process designs evolve and conditions change in the process models, MySep allows rapid assessment of performance of the current design and, if needed, re-design can quickly be performed to meet new constraints.

Risk mitigation

Un-planned shut down due to failure of key equipment can be associated with very large losses in operational revenue. For example, excessive carry-over of entrained liquid can result in rapid or progressive damage to compressors resulting in extended shut-down and expensive repair replacement costs. These risks can either be a result of inappropriate design or arising from variations in operating conditions. In the former case use of MySep for initial design or for evaluation of a vendor design can ensure liquid carry over is within satisfactory limits. In the latter case MySep can allow engineers to verify if operational changes such as reduced throughput can minimise the risk of lost production.

Capital cost savings (CAPEX reductions)

The optimisation capabilities outlined on the above provide an excellent opportunity for equipment cost saving. Vessel design based on rigorous performance prediction can often be made smaller than vessels designed on the basis of traditional in-house standards and rules-of-thumb. A reduction in vessel size not only reduces the cost for the vessel, but it can also have a significant knock-on effect on the overall project cost. For example, in offshore applications, smaller vessel sizes result in lower overall topsides weight, which in turn result in very significant cost savings on the platform structure and overall project cost. Very similar scale overall capital cost savings are also obtained where modular construction is employed for engineering of on-shore processes.

Assessment of production increase scenarios (OPEX v revenue)

More than ever increased production capacity is being sought across the process industries from oil and gas production through mid-stream and downstream processing to bulk chemicals and speciality chemicals. MySep can be used directly or in conjunction with a process simulator, to assess the viability of proposed measures to increase production. Changes in throughput, stream composition and operating conditions all affect the performance of phase separation equipment and the impact carry-over of liquid with vapour or aqueous liquids with hydrocarbon liquids. This in turn will impact the performance of other equipment in the process and ultimately the profitability of process operations. For example, excessive carry-over of a costly solvent with vapour leaving a separator will necessitate increased make-up and the cost of this will affect the process profitability. MySep performance predictions can help operators to explore the cost/benefit of operating changes aimed at increased production.

Improved budgeting accuracy

By using MySep in an early stage in the project (e.g. Conceptual and FEED phase), representative vessel sizes can be swiftly obtained. Having reliable vessel sizes in an early stage in the project means a more reliable and accurate project budget cost estimate which improves the accuracy of project viability assessments. Good estimates also minimise the risk of project capital cost over runs.

Reduced dependency on equipment vendors

During project execution, operating companies and EPC contractors typically rely on vendors for vessel sizing and/or vessel performance estimates. MySep allows these companies to determine such matters in-house. This results in less time spent on vendor communication, more detailed vessel and internal specifications can be provided to vendors during procurement mitigating operational risks described above. In addition, vessel performance predictions of vendors quoting equipment can be independently verified further mitigating risk of unsatisfactory operation and costly retro-fit.

MySep Benefits for Process and Simulation Engineers

Research-based modelling for accurate design and simulation

MySep calculations are based on an incremental evaluation of the performance of each of the components that make up a separator unit, following the fluids streams from inlet through the gravity gas-liquid, liquid-liquid and demisting sections of the device. This approach, coupled with the program’s proprietary models and correlations, bring the confidence of unrivalled rigour and accuracy to designing a new separator or to evaluating the performance of an existing unit.

Predict separator performance

Separators are commonly designed using company in-house methods that do not provide the capability of determining separation performance. MySep allows existing equipment to be evaluated to determine if these will perform satisfactorily as operating conditions change, addressing prediction of liquid carry-over with gas, liquid dispersed phase carry-over with continuous phase as well as complete component pressure drop analysis.

Optimise the unit design

MySep’s “Auto-size” feature allows the user to rapidly size a vessel for the governing process condition encompassing up to 6 process variations. The user can select the configuration of internals required and MySep will size the vessel to accommodate these, considering all key physical constraints such as control liquid levels and demister drainage. If required, a preliminary design can be manually adjusted to meet special requirements and the separation performance can be analysed in detail.

Optimise with different internal configurations

The Auto-size functionality also allows users to assess the impact of different configurations of internal devices on vessel sizing, for example, the effectof: vane-pack, mesh-pad and cyclonic demisters selections on overall vessel size and weight can be compared in a matter of seconds.

Optimise process system design

MySep offers links to leading process simulators like Aspen HYSYS®, UniSim® Design, Petro-SIM™, VMGSim™ and ScimSci™ PRO/II to access process and property data. This allows users to design or rate individual separator units with ease. Predicted carry-over data and pressure drop data can be transferred back to the simulator to allow the overall process simulation to take account of MySep results. This allows a system of primary and secondary separators to be optimised or a system comprising phase separators and other unit operations to be optimised taking account of key interactions.

Simulate the performance of separators in operation

Existing separators can be specified and their performance verified. Whilst this can be done in MySep itself, a new run-time module (MySep-RT) allows the user of leading simulation programs to directly integrate fully rigorous phase separator modelling within simulations. This can facilitate very efficient optimisation of overall process designs or operations using steady state simulations using case-studies to explore a virtually limitless rage of process conditions. Users can also explore the influence of process control strategies on separator operation and downstream operations using MySep-RT in dynamic simulations.

Verification of vendor internals performance prediction

Intrinsic to MySep vessel performance prediction are results for all separation internals in the vessel. These predictions are based on the actual geometry of the internals (typical geometrical values are provided by default in MySep). This means that the design engineer no longer needs to await or rely on vendor’s input for performance data. The design engineer can predict the performance to fast track project progress by other disciplines such as; mechanical, piping, instrumentation and control. In addition, MySep provides the process engineer with an independent verification of vendor designs and performance expectations.

Production of separator design deliverables

For new separator designs or for revamp projects where new internals are identified for existing vessels, engineers can benefit from immediate availability of key deliverables. MySep provides: a to-scale separator diagram showing all key internal locations and dimensions; a data sheet that is fully customisable to the user’s own Excel standard datasheet implementation; a fully-comprehensive MySep report. The report documents all detailed process analysis of separation performance, including input specifications, carry-over details, pressure drop predictions and droplet size distribution results. This provide a valuable communication tool for vendor, contractor and process operators.

Evaluate feasible operating envelope

The Operating Envelope tool within MySep allows a plot of a vessel’s performance to be generated. This gas versus liquid flow rate chart shows constant-carryover curves and superimposed operating limits for the vessel. Insights into off-design operating characteristics as well as vessel capacity limits are immediately apparent and these can form a basis for facility production planning and profitability analysis.

Explore sensitivity of performance to key process variables

Investigate the effect of operating parameters (e.g. liquid surface tension or liquid level) on vessel performance and other parameters. A wide range of selectable parameters are available for plotting, to obtain more in-depth insight in the dependencies and sensitivities of the design.

Weight estimates

MySep provides immediate calculation of vessel weight based on ASME or PD5500 design codes. This is of major importance for offshore equipment where any item has a magnified impact on structural requirements and overall project cost or feasibility. This is true to a lesser extent for on shore processing but increasingly, as modular construction practices are adopted, a similar impact of weight can be observed. A full breakdown is provided including the vessel, the internals, nozzles and flanges, vessel empty and full of liquid.

Analyse vessels subjected to sea motion

The motion module within the program allows an evaluation of the effect of prescribed vessel motion on liquid levels within a vessel. This can allow rapid development of suitable designs for FPSOs and other floating applications, including assessment of arrangement of wave inhibition baffles and dimensions and location of main separation internal devices.