,
`
.

holepitch
diam hole
K
Where K =0.905 for equilateral triangular pitch, and K = 0.785 for a square pitch.
Hole pitch is the centretocentre hole spacing. Holes are generally spaced on an equilateral
triangular pitch as this minimises liquid bypassing around perforations and affords a greater
ratio of hole diameter to hole pitch. Fractional hole area usually varies between 0.050.15.
Determining this variable is usually a tradeoff between capacity and turndown.
Valve Tray Design
Typically valve trays are designed with 1216 valves per square foot of bubbling area.
Typically, orifice and disk diameters are about 1.5 and 2in respectively. The disk typically
rises 3/16 to 7/16in above the tray deck, open area of fully open valves is typically about 10
15%.
Calming Zones
It is common practice to provide a blank area between the inlet downcomer or inlet weir and
the hole field, and another blank area between the hole field and the outlet weir. These are
termed calming zones.
The inlet recalming zone is used because the entering liquid possesses a vertical velocity in a
downward direction, this causes excessive weeping and inhibits bubble formation at the first
row of holes or valves.
The outlet calming zones are used for vapour disengagement from the froth on the tray prior
to the liquid entering the downcomer.
Outlet Weirs
Outlet weirs maintain a certain liquid level on the tray.
Spray Regime  Weir height is not important for the spray regime as the liquid enters
the downcomer as a shower of liquid droplets. However, in practice a small weir is put
in so that if running at low flow rates and operating in the froth regime tray liquid
height can still be maintained. A height of 3/41in is generally preferred.
Froth Regime  A weir height of 23in is generally used. A higher liquid level gives
good vapour liquid contact time and provides good bubbling formation. However, the
higher the liquid level the higher the pressure drop, downcomer backup, entrainment
rate and weeping tendency.
Weir height can be determined from the following equation:
0.5dH)  h  (2 h 0.5dH)  h  (4
ow w ow
> >
Where h
w
= weir height (in)
h
ow
= height of liquid crest over the weir (in)
dH = hydraulic gradient (in)
Downcomers
The passage of liquid from the top to the bottom of a tray tower is primarily through
downcomers.
There are a number of different types:
 Straight segmental vertical downcomer  The type most commonly used. Utilises column
area for downflow and is cheaper and much more simple.
 Circular downcomer not widely used as it provides low downflow area and limited
vapour disengagement space.
 Envelope downcomer used in lowliquid load applications to minimise liquid leakage.
Not widely used.
 Sloped downcomers represent the best utilisation of column area for downflow. They
provide sufficient volume for vapour liquid disengagement without wasting the active area on
the tray below. It is recommended that the ratio of the top area to the bottom area of sloped
downcomers be between 1.5 and 2.0.
The height and width of the downcomer will be determined based on the following factors:
Downcomer Velocity  the maximum velocity needs to be low enough to prevent
downcomer flooding. Velocities range from 0.10.7ft/s
Residence Time in Downcomers  the residence time needs to be long enough to allow
adequate V/L disengagement. The ideal residence time established from reviewing
flooded columns determined that a minimum residence time of 3s is needed and the
best residence time is 5s.
Downcomer residence time is given by:
wd
bc d
r
L
h A
t
L
Where tr = residence time (s)
h
bc
= clear liquid back up (m)
L
wd
= liquid flowrate is downcomer (kg/s)
A
d
= Downcomer area (m
2
)
Relationships for downcomer area and width are described below:
Downcomer Area  Reducing downcomer area reduces the column diameter, which increases
the tray bubbling area. At large downcomer areas this can result in substantial cost savings. At
downcomers of 58% there is little economic incentive to reduce it further. Reducing
downcomer area below this:
 Makes the downcomer sensitive to foaming and fouling.
 Smaller weirs associated with small downcomers distort the liquid flow pattern.
Two types of flooding:
Downcomer back up  when high liquid flowrate causes the liquid level on the tray to
rise, causing liquid to flood back up the downcomer.
Liquid Entrainment  High vapour velocities blow liquid off the immediate tray onto
the tray above it.
Multipass Trays
You can get multipass trays. To determine whether a multipass tray is required the liquid
flow in m
3
/h/m weir length is examined. When this gets above a certain number then double
or mutlipass trays can be installed.
Advantages
Enhanced tray and downcomer capacity
Lower Tray Pressure Drop
Disadvantages
Shorter Path Length, which leads to lower tray efficiency.
Column Diameter
Principally determined by vapour flow rate. Vapour velocity must be below that
which would cause excess liquid entrainment or high pressure drop.
Maximum superficial vapour velocity given by Souders and Brown equation:
2 / 1
2
) (
) 047 . 0 27 . 0 171 . 0 (
]
]
]
+
V
V L
t t v
l l u
Where u
v
= max. allowable superficial velocity (m/s)
l
t
= plate spacing (m) (range 0.5 1.5m)
Column Diameter can be calculated from:
v v
w
c
u
V
D
4
Where D
c
= column diameter (m)
V
w
= Max. Vapour Rate (kg/s)
Column Pressure Drop
Pressure Drop per Plate
Two main sources of pressure loss
1) Vapour flow through holes (orifice loss)
2) Static head of liquid on plate
Is found by the sum of h
d
, h
w
+h
ow
and h
r
Dry Plate Pressure Drop (h
d
)
Calculate Max. vapour velocity through tray holes by:
H
b
H
A
V
u
Where V
b
= Max volumetric flow rate of liquid and gas (m3/s)
A
H
= Hole area of tray
Calculate dry plate pressure drop from:
L
v h
d
C
u
h
2
0
51
]
]
]
Where h
d
= pressure drop per tray
u
h
= Max. vapour velocity through holes (m/s)
C
0
= orifice coefficient. Obtained from fig. 11.34 below (pg 576
Coulson & Richardson).
Liquid height pressure drop (h
w
& h
ow
)
h
w
= height of weir
h
ow
= height of liquid above weir
Estimated by Francis Weir formula:
3 / 2
750
]
]
]
w L
w
ow
l
L
h
Where h
ow
= height of liquid above weir
L
w
= Liquid flow rate (kg/s)
l
w
= Weir length (m)
Total Pressure drop across plate can be calculated by using:
t L
h g P . .
Where h
t
is found from:
r ow w d t
h h h h h + + + ) (
Total column pressure drop is found from summing plate pressure drops, as well as losses
across inlets and fittings etc.
Note: 1) This pressure drop may have to be recalculated through successive iterations in a
rigorous design method.
2) If there is a significant pressure drop, it may not be assumed constant across the
column. An estimation of the pressure drop at each stage must be made (this will
affect calculation of subsequent data, eg. Temperatures, compositions etc.) and
recalculated from successive iterations.
Weep Point
Column must be designed so that lowest possible vapour velocity must be well above weep
point.
Weep point can be calculated from:
2 / 1
2
) (
)] 4 . 25 ( 90 . 0 [
v
h
h
d K
u
Where u
h
= vapour velocity at which weeping will occur (m/s)
K
2
= constant, dependant on clear liquid on the plate, from fig. 11.30 pg 571
Coulson & Richardson Vol. 6
d
h
= hole diameter (mm)