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High-Integrity Pressure Protection Skids (HIPPS)Offshore/Products

High-Integrity Pressure Protection System (HIPPS) has become an important aspect in offshore safety. 

At Mowe, we understand that with working pressures going higher each day and energy resources going deeper, the demand for safety has never been more important.

Traditional systems over-pressure is dealt with through relief systems. A relief system will open an alternative outlet for the fluids in the system once a set pressure is exceeded, to avoid further build-up of pressure in the protected system. This alternative outlet generally leads to a flare or venting system to safely dispose the excess fluids. A relief system aims at removing any excess inflow of fluids for safe disposal, where a HIPPS aims at stopping the inflow of excess fluids and containing them in the system.

Conventional relief systems have disadvantages such as release of (flammable and toxic) process fluids or their combustion products in the environment and often a large footprint of the installation. With increasing environmental awareness, relief systems are not always an acceptable solution. However, because of their simplicity, relatively low cost and wide availability, conventional relief systems are still often applied.


Advantages of HIPPS

HIPPS provides a solution to protect equipment in cases where:

  • -  high-pressures and / or flow rates are processed
  • -  the environment is to be protected
  • -  the economic viability of a development needs improvement
  • -  the risk profile of the plant must be reduced



ESD Valve Remote Control System MOWE

HIPPS is an instrumented safety system that is designed and built in accordance with the IEC 61508 and IEC 61511standards.

The international standards IEC 61508 and 61511 refer to safety functions and Safety Instrumented Systems (SIS) when discussing a device to protect equipment, personnel and environment. Older standards use terms like safety shut-down sysems, emergency shut-down systems or last layers of defence.


Components of HIPPS

A system that closes the source of over-pressure within 2 seconds with at least the same reliability as a safety relief valve is usually called a HIPPS. Such a HIPPS is a complete functional loop consisting of:

  • -  sensors, (or initiators) that detect the high pressure
  • -  a logic solver, which processes the input from the sensors to an output to the final element
  • -  final elements, that actually perform the corrective action in the field by bringing the process to a safe state. In case of a HIPPS this means shutting-off the source of overpressure. The final element consists of a valve, actuator and solenoids.


The scheme above present three pressure transmitters (PT) connected to a logic solver. The solver will decide based on 2-out-of-3 (2oo3) voting whether or not to activate the final element. The final elements consist here of two block valves that stop flow to the downstream facilities (right) to prevent them from exceeding a maximum pressure. The operator of the plant is warned through a pressure alarm (PA) that the HIPPS was activated. This system has a high degree of redundancy:

  • -  failure of one of the three pressure transmitters will not compromise the HIPPS functionality, as two readings of high pressure are needed for activation.
  • -  failure of one of the two block valves will not compromise the HIPPS functionality, as the other valve will close on activation of the HIPPS.

One must not confine self to the above design as the only means of materializing the HIPPS definition. One must always think of the HIPPS generically, as a means of isolating a source of a high pressure when down stream flow have been blocked, isolating the upstream equipment (source of the high pressure) in a highly reliable manner. Be this source of the high pressure a pump (in case of liquid) or a gas compressor (in case of gas), the aim of the HIPPS in these cases is to reliably shut down the pump or the gas compressor creating the high pressure condition in a reliable and safe manner.


HIPPS Diagram

hipps diagram2



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