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NFPA 85 Boiler guideline
NFPA 85 Boiler guideline

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Published by: Yaaro on Mar 09, 2008
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Are NFPA National Enhanced National

standards enough?; Fire Protection Association Coverage Linking Fire Protection Association -Search using:

* News, Most Recent 60 Days * Company Profile

SECTION: ISSN: 0018-8190 LENGTH: 698 words [TABLE OMITTED] The National Fire Protection Association Enhanced Coverage Linking National Fire Protection Association * News, Most Recent 60 Days * Company Profile (NFPA) 85 standard addresses the design, installation and operation of single- and multiple-burner boilers and other fired equipment. The NFPA 86 standard addresses similar issues for ovens, furnaces and fume incinerators. These codes are intended to prevent fires, explosions and implosions of equipment. Part of  NFPA 85 outlines requirements for safety interlocks (Table 1). Interlocks protect the fired equipment from operating in dangerous modes. These standards are prescriptive; they stipulate specific equipment requirements such as a double block and bleed valvefor a gas fuel train. Some HPI operating companies view implementing specified interlocks as satisfying requirements for functional safety. While the NFPA listed interlocks are a good start to evaluating such hazards associatewith fired equipment, they do not ensure that the risk has been reduced to a tolerable level. Several key concepts are not fully addressed by NFPA 85 including consequence severity and equipment reliability. Consequence severity. A key element missing is an evaluation of the consequence for a hazard. It is important to consider the magnitudeof the consequence to ensure that the risk is sufficiently reduced. The location of fired equipment has a direct impact on the severity of the consequence. For example, consider two identical boilers--one is located in a remote area of the plant, and the other is centrally located near offices and manned work areas. If interlocks, operation and maintenance are identical, then the frequency of an accident wouldtheoretically be the same. However, the consequence of the accident would be much higher for the boiler located in the more heavily manned area. This is why it is important to do a risk assessment on each piece of equipment. Equipment reliability. The NFPA standards do not set specific requirements for the equipment used in the safety interlocks. There is guidance on some equipment, such as programmable logic controller (PLC)and flame detectors; yet, it is not complete. To ensure that the interlocks provide the require risk reduction two things are needed a target risk reduction and reliability calculations for the interlocks. Quantifying the consequences associated with the hazard and comparingit to tolerable risk guidelines will address the first issue. Reliability calculations that consider the equipment selected, testing intervals, testing effectiveness and mission time of the system will confirm if the interlocks are

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providing the required risk reduction. The achieved risk reduction will vary greatly, depending on how the interlocks are implemented. To illustrate the impact of interlock design, consider a typical NFPA compliant interlock implemented in twodifferent ways (Table 2). The first interlock is implemented with a pressure switch and control relays, while the second interlock is done with a safety-rated transmitter and PLC. Both interlocks have identical valve configurations. The first interlock achieves a risk reduction of only 12 while the interlock that contains the safety-rated transmitter and PLC achieves a risk reduction of 270. Clearly, both approaches can be considered an interlock for low pressure, but the one that takes advantage of safety-rated equipment provides much greater risk reduction. Best practice. A best practice seen in the field is a blended approach and yields a solution that includes the strength of NFPA standards and IEC 61511/ ISA S84.00.01. This approach includes: Verify that all pertinent NFPA interlocks are implemented Include fired equipment in process hazard analysis For hazards with significant consequences, do a formal safety integrity level (SIL) selection As indicated by the SIL selection results, treat the affected NFPAinterlocks as safety instrumented functions (SIFs). Create safety requirement specifications (SRSs) and perform SIL verifications per IEC 61511. This approach satisfies the requirements of the NFPA standards andprovides alignment with the emerging functional safety standards. HP

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