Sizing and Design of Gravity Liquid Separators in Industrial
Sizing and Design of Gravity Liquid Separators in Industrial Refrigeration (2002)-Various “rule of thumb” methods have been developed for sizing gravity liquid separators for ammonia and other common refrigerants over the years. However, a clear systematic approach or an agreeable standard has not been established within the industrial refrigeration industry. For commonly used refrigerants such as ammonia, the installed base of separators can be used as a benchmark for sizing separators. However, when using a less common refrigerant such as CO2 the designer faces new challenges. We present a systematic approach for sizing horizontal and vertical gravity liquid separators for industrial refrigeration applications. To compute separation velocities and separation distances, a theoretical model is presented, supported by empirical data. Criteria and formulas for estimating the surge, ballast, and pump head volume are given to estimate the required liquid volume for storage. In addition, the phenomenon of liquid swelling and foaming is explained, along with related considerations. We conclude with an example for sizing a separator for a typical industrial application. The differences between using NH3 and CO2 as refrigerants are highlighted, with emphasis on the separator, the pump supply lines, suction risers, wet return lines, dry suction lines, and pump sizing.
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