Where pressure overload might lead to catastrophic failure in a system, pressure relief valves are essential. The pressure valves, or PRVs, work by opening when a pressure limit has been reached, and diverting either gas, liquid or liquid-gas mixtures away from the system. How this is achieved depends on the system, but it usually relies on the medium following the path of least resistance offered by the relief valve, and then being disposed of accordingly. Diverted gas might be released into the atmosphere or burned off, and liquids may be diverted into storage or run off.
Once a satisfactory equilibrium has been achieved within the system, the pressure relief valve will then close again until needed. These safety valves are vital components in high pressure systems, as pressure build up can lead to anything from equipment inefficiency and failure, to explosion or fire risk.
PRV or PSV?
Pressure relief valves operate in a similar manner to pressure safety valves, and the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably. However, the key difference is that PRVs operate gradually to regulate pressure, while PSVs operate very quickly to counteract sudden pressure spikes. To this end PRVs are more commonly used in liquid systems, and PSVs are more commonly used in gas systems.
Pressure relief valves are found in a variety of work environments and equipment types, and are integral to workplace safety. RS Components supplies quality pressure relief valves from leading brands, to support your application.
Hot Water Systems
As water can expand at 3% of its volume, depending on how much it is heated from room temperature, pressure relief valves are common in hot water systems and boilers, both in domestic and commercial installations. To ensure your hot water flow is smooth and uninterrupted, PRVs are needed to relieve unnecessary pressure in central heating systems.
Pressure regulation is vital wherever gas powered tools and equipment are used. Overpressure is a potentially catastrophic risk when gas cylinders are employed, so you will find some kind of pressure relief valve wherever gas powered systems are installed, from factory floors to beer cellars.