Global quality assurance and risk management company DNV GL has updated its software for process hazard analysis (Phast) with a new dispersion model that increases accuracy in predicting the movement of certain types of toxic clouds. The model significantly improves predictions of releases with short durations.
Companies using the software will benefit from decisions that are based on more realistic models, thereby increasing efficiency and safety in the design and operation of assets where accidents could cause hazardous releases.
Previous models have assumed the duration of a release is long enough for it to reach a steady state, which may not be the case. The dispersions of short-duration clouds are affected differently by surrounding winds. The new method, pioneered by DNV GL in partnership with BP and other key customers in the oil and gas industry, is called the along wind diffusion (AWD) method.
The scheme is easier for non-technical employees to understand, giving upper level managers a robust model on which to base their decisions. Additional new features in Phast 8 include support for modeling releases from buried pipelines and more realistic modeling of the true nature of fireballs. It also improves the accuracy and speed of risk calculations. Getting results quicker means there is more time to assess the results, which improves decision-making and risk management.