Equipment Design

Equipment design is one of our main areas of activity. With the support of the process simulation software CHEMCAD, we size columns, heat exchangers, pressure relief systems etc.. The design is based on the simulation of rigorous equipment models or if needed heuristic methods. 


  • Sizing results obtained through state of the art process simulation
  • Fast and accurate results after delivery of design specifications

How it works


Heat Exchangers

The rigorous heat exchanger design is carried out for predefined product and utility flow properties (temperature, pressure, composition). With the consideration of different heat transfer properties (geometry, material), a detailed TEMA sheet with the calculation results is generated. The k-value and the heat transfer area are also available as results.

Valves and Safety Relief Devices

For the flow regulation valves, we calculate the required Cv-value. The design is based on the available stream flow information and the predetermined pressure difference.

Safety valves and rupture discs 

Safety valves and rupture discs are designed according to known hazard scenarios (NFPA-30, API 520/521, OSHA, API 2000 and ISO 28300), such as fire or uncontrolled exothermic reaction.
In particular, the pipeline system, which is responsible in the event of a catastrophe for the safe transport of the fluids into another container or into the environment, can be checked. All design results are verified through further simulations.

Pipelines and Pipeline Networks

Pipes are designed for one- and two-phase flows. Starting from the stream composition and the pipe length, the following parameters can be calculated:
  • Pipe diameter
  • Pressure drop

After the sizing of individual pipes, a hydraulic flow calculation of the entire pipeline network can also be carried out, in which pumps and compressors are taken into account with their characteristic pump curves.

These calculations are of great importance for the improvement of energy efficiency or the consideration of the safety concepts.

Rectification and Absorption Columns

The sizing of the columns are performed by taking into account the geometry and mass transport characteristics. The properties of the packing material or the column trays, the flooding point and the number of theoretical separation stages are considered in the calculations.

Thus the interdependent column parameters can be calculated:

  • Height
  • Diameter

The calculation results are then validated by using a non-equilibrium model.

Tanks and Reflux Drums

For containers in which a liquid-steam (LV) or a liquid-liquid-steam (LLV) equilibrium occurs, the following parameters are calculated:
  • Height
  • Diameter

The design results are checked through dynamic simulations.

Exemplary Workflow

  • Prior to the exchange of confidential data a Non-Disclosure agreement (NDA) is being issued between the client and PrimeUnit if requested.
  • After that, the client provides all necessary product and design specifications for the equipment sizing.
  • In case of missing thermodynamic data, PrimeUnit will examine the availability via subcontractors in case the client is not able to provide additional data sets.
  • Once a rigorous model is set up and a converging simulation is generated, a detailed equipment sizing is carried out in order to obtain the dimensions and characteristics.
  • Finally the results are being delivered via a detailed documentation as well as the simulation files.

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