Case Study: Use of Dispersion Modeling Software in Ammonia
Case Study: Use of Dispersion Modeling Software in Ammonia Refrigeration Facility Design (2013)-Sophisticated software is available commercially to model outdoor dispersion of pure and mixed gases such as ammonia from pressure relief valves, or ammonia-air mixtures from machinery room ventilation systems. The software is available from multiple vendors and is widely used in the chemical process industry, but is less commonly used in the refrigeration industry. This software can provide important information to building designers and owners as input to the decision-making process. It can show how decisions regarding the location, orientation, elevation, and velocity of ventilation discharges to atmosphere can influence the dispersion of leaking ammonia and the downwind concentration at points of interest. It can also be used to evaluate possible benefits to locating ammonia equipment inside of a properly ventilated machinery room vs. locating the equipment outdoors. This paper documents a case study of a hypothetical machinery room along with atmospheric dispersion model results for various design options. The design options include indoor vs. outdoor location of a vessel, horizontal vs. vertical discharge of machinery room exhaust, and low-velocity vs. high-velocity machinery room exhaust. It also shows the potential reduced impact to downwind areas as a result of recent standard changes that have increased dilution by increasing the emergency ventilation rate for machinery rooms from 12 to 30 air changes per hour.
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