WeldFit Energy Group was selected to design a 140-foot process tower using multiple disciplines of engineering and design codes. The goals were to fully design and fabricate, in-house, all aspects of the pressure vessel at the highest standard capabilities.
WeldFit chose PV Elite to design the 140-foot double chamber cryogenic cold gas separator and demethanizer tower. The tower consisted of two chambers – a lower carbon steel chamber and upper stainless steel chamber – connected by an intermediate skirt.
The initial design challenge involved high wind loading due to wind speed over a large area. Major contributing factors to this area were vessel height, vessel diameter, and insulation thickness. The solution was to increase the shell thickness at the base of vessel and telescope the thickness with elevation. PV Elite was able to provide quick results on wind deflection during this iterative design process.
The second design challenge was rigging design for erecting the vessel. Since traditional top-mounted lifting lugs would induce high bending stresses mid-length, the use of trunnions was the ideal choice. The solution was to use Intergraph’s CodeCalc to perform the trunnion analysis. Once it arrived on-site, it had to be carefully lifted with trunnions.
The final design challenge was transportation. The tower was fabricated in Houston and transported more than 1,000 miles to Colorado by truck. The solution was to design support saddles and analyze overhang bending stresses using PV Elite.
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