In any mechanical system, pressure control is crucial to ensure the safe and efficient functioning of the system. Valves are one of the most essential components used in pressure control, and they come in different types, each serving a specific function. In this blog, we will discuss two commonly used pressure valves – Pressure Control Valve and Pressure Safety Valve, and highlight their differences to help you determine which valve best suits your system.
What is Pressure Control Valve?
Pressure Control Valves are mechanical devices that are designed to regulate and maintain the flow of mediums such as liquids, gases or vapors at a predetermined pressure. They utilize various control principles depending on the application such as direct acting, pilot operated or servo-operated valves. The main aim is to prevent overpressure or underpressure in the system for safe operation without having any effect on other process parameters like flow rate and fluid characteristics.
What is Pressure Safety Valve?
A Pressure Safety Valve (PSV) is a type of relief valve used to protect pressure vessels and systems from dangerous overpressures. It works by automatically releasing built-up excess pressure at a predetermined set point, preventing potential damage or danger to the system. PSVs are designed with safety in mind, meeting stringent standards for operation and reliability.
Difference Between Pressure Control Valve and Pressure Safety Valve
The primary difference between a pressure control valve and a pressure safety valve is its intended functionality. A pressure control valve is designed to regulate the pressure of a fluid or gas in a system continuously. At the same time, the pressure safety valve is designed to protect the system from hazardous pressure levels by releasing excess pressure when it exceeds the predetermined pressure limit.
Operating Pressure Range:
Another difference between the valves is their operating pressure range. A pressure control valve usually operates within a lower pressure range, limited to a specific range, typically less than 20 bar/290 psi. In contrast, a pressure safety valve is designed to operate in the high-pressure range and can handle pressures up to 2500 bar/36259.4 psi.
A Pressure Control Valve is commonly used when pressure needs to be maintained in a specific range, such as in hydraulic systems, refrigeration systems, and steam applications. A pressure safety valve, on the other hand, is entirely different and commonly used in situations where the pressure can exceed the safe limit, such as in process plants, petrochemical industries, and power generation plants.
Installing a pressure control or safety valve requires different approaches. A Pressure Control Valve is installed to maintain the pressure in the system within specific limits and configured according to the system’s needs. It is critical to maintain the valve accurately, as it can lead to system failures and breakdowns. In contrast, as a safety measure, a pressure safety valve is installed as a final safeguard to prevent the system from overpressure conditions, which can lead to severe incidents like explosions, fire, or equipment breakdown.
In the case of an emergency, a pressure control valve cannot prevent the system breakdown or decrease the pressure rapidly. It can only provide efficient and safe pressure control for the process. At the same time, a pressure safety valve can react quickly and release pressure, preventing any damage to the system and ensuring the safety of the equipment and personnel.
In summary, both Pressure Control valves and Pressure Safety valves are critical components in an industrial system. The differences between the two boil down to their functionality, operating pressure range, device application, installation, and emergency response. To choose between a pressure control valve or a pressure safety valve, you must determine your system’s needs, identify the potential hazards, and determine the best protective measure. Understanding the differences and applications of these valves will enable you to make an informed decision that will ensure the safety and efficiency of your system.