Monday, December 22, 2014

High-integrity Pressure Protection System (HIPPS) Valves

HIPPS Valves
A HIPPS (high-integrity pressure protection system) is a category of "instrumented system" designed to prevent an over-pressurization condition at a process plant.

For oil, gas and chemical producers, loss of containment is a critical matter.  Over-pressure on a tank, vessel or pipeline can potentially cause explosive, flammable, toxic or hazardous chemicals to be released causing possible loss of life or adverse effects on the environment. Loss of containment can also have huge negative effects on the plants bottom line.

HIPPS will shut off the source of the high pressure before the design pressure of the system is exceeded, as opposed to a relief system which will open an alternative outlet for the fluids in the system once a set pressure is exceeded. A relief system attempts to remove any excess inflow of fluids for safe disposal, where a HIPPS is designed to stop the inflow of excess fluids and containing them in the system.  Conventional relief systems are increasingly frowned upon because they typically vent, flare or discharge hazardous or toxic fluids in to the environment.

HIPPS valves are used as the final part of an instrumented system intended to prevent an unacceptably high pressure occurring in downstream equipment. They are always arranged to fail closed and spring/hydraulic actuators are usually the only practical alternative for operation.