real world problems

The smoke-filled dog days of summer

This summer has been a bad one for wildfires and the resultant smoke filling the city, today is no exception and the city is blanketed in a thick cloud of smoke. Thick enough that, standing on my balcony, I can barely see buildings in my neighbourhood through the gloom. I've taken to habitually checking the smoke forecast before going outside and doing anything. In the process it got me thinking about dispersion models and how they work. Beyond forecasting the forest fire smoke, they are used throughout industry to predict where emissions from vents and stacks will go, and also in modeling emergency scenarios (if there is an uncontrolled release of some kind, where will it go?).

tags: smoke, dispersion models, gas, venting,

Risks and Consequences

I want to take a minute and talk about risk analysis and some of the underlying assumptions left unexamined.

tags: risk analysis, probability, loss functions,

Models and Testing

About this time last year I wrote up a post on storage tank venting and how to size a gooseneck. Well I was called upon recently to collect my notes and calculations into a guideline to go with my code and it forced me to reevaluate the assumptions I baked into my calcs.

tags: API 2000, venting, models,

Storage tank deflection part 2

Continuing on from last time I looked at storage tanks I want to look at how well the one foot method lines up with the equation I derived for a simple cylindrical shell.

tags: API 650, hoop stress, python,

Metrics and the Illusion of Progress

This isn't really engineering related, directly, but I think it is an interesting example of when data can lead you to the wrong conclusions.

Where I work we have a central document management database that manages the flow of documents from creation through approval and release. So, for example, I …

tags: quality system, metrics, missing data, python,

Hoop stress and wall thickness in storage tanks

In my ongoing quest to reinvent all the equations in all the engineering codes, I found myself idly wondering why the equations of shell thickness in API 650 are the way they are. You would think that the governing stress in a storage tank is the hoop stress, and the …

tags: API 650, hoop stress, python,

Storage tank venting and API 2000

A previous post talked about venting through a gooseneck, where I just assumed the amount of venting had already been figured out. This time I want to go into more details of the API-2000 method for venting, the assumptions, and the models.

(The following deals with the 2014 edition of …

tags: API 2000, venting,

Sizing a goose neck vent

This is one of those random things that came up, through work, where I was surprised to find a relative void of info on the internet: sizing a gooseneck for an aboveground storage tank.

Venting for aboveground storage tanks is dealt with in standards such as API 2000, which gives …

tags: API 2000, venting, compressible flow, fanno flow, pipe flow,

Pipe strength and the mysterious "Y"

Recently, at work, there was some work where someone needed to break out ASME B31.3 and figure out the allowable pressure for a given length of pipe -- back calculating from what was there to what was "OK".

tags: ASME B313, hoop stress,

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