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Choosing a Gas Distribution Management System

Learn about your gas distribution options.

gas distribution management system

Gas distribution management systems are critical services for the petrochemical industry, providing safe, reliable delivery of high-pressure gases from the source to end process at the required pressure and flow. A Swagelok-designed gas distribution system can be thought of as four typical subsystems to control the delivery of gas from source to the end process: 

  • source inlet connection;
  • primary gas pressure control;
  • automatic changeover; and
  • point-of-use.

If you’re in the process of choosing a gas distribution management system, the explanations below describe each subsystem and how they can be configured to support a wide range of refinery applications, including drying, purging, blanketing, as well as use in analytical instrumentation shelters.

Source Inlet Connection Subsystem: It Starts Here
Source Inlet Connection Subsystem

The source inlet connection subsystem connects one or more high-pressure fluid supplies to the gas distribution system. This subsystem includes cylinder connections, tubing, hoses, and filters. It may also include vent, purge, and relief functions to ensure gas from the cylinder(s) is safely delivered to the primary gas pressure control or automatic changeover subsystems.

If your source is a single cylinder, the design can be as simple as a hose and cylinder connector. If your process requires multiple cylinders, you’ll typically have a manifold of multiple hoses and valves to connect each cylinder and a single outlet for the primary gas pressure control or automatic changeover subsystems.

Design and safety configurations for this subsystem may include spacing to accommodate a range of cylinder/bottle sizes or storage methods, cylinder identification tags, and the ability to isolate an individual cylinder or the entire manifold. 

Gas Panel Subsystem: First Point of Pressure Control
Gas Panel Subsystem

The gas panel subsystem is the first point of pressure reduction. Connected to a single cylinder or manifold, this subsystem is designed with single- or dual-stage pressure regulation to safely deliver gas at the required pressure and system-required flow rate. From here, the gas is routed to the facility, lab, equipment, or analyzer shelter. 

Design and safety configurations for this subsystem may include vent and relief options, standardized backplate dimensions to match cylinder width for easy installation and maintenance, and upstream and downstream pressure gauges. 

Automatic Changeover for Uninterrupted Operations 
Automatic Changeover

An automatic changeover is a special version of the gas pressure control system. It uses staggered set points of two pressure regulators to seamlessly switch from one gas source to another. This arrangement ensures uninterrupted system operations while the primary gas source is changed from one cylinder to another.

Point-Of-Use Subsystem: The Final Component 
Point-Of-Use Subsystem

This subsystem is the final component of a gas distribution management system and usually the least complex. Located close to where the gas is actually being consumed, the point-of-use system is typically a pressure regulator, gauge, and isolation valve to adjust the pressure to the requirements of test benches, vent hoods, or single or small collections of equipment.     

Design configurations include wall, benchtop, or under desk mounting brackets; compact mounting brackets when wall space is constrained; and top-to-bottom or bottom-to-top flow path options to accommodate installations that vary among sites, buildings, or within an individual system. 

Gas Distribution Management System: Focus on Design

A gas distribution management system is very configurable, with subsystems and components chosen to address the specific process need. Swagelok has decades of experience in designing, assembling, and testing gas distribution management systems for the petrochemical industry. Our experienced field engineers can assess existing systems for effectiveness, recommend upgrades to improve performance, or design new systems based on the specific needs of your facility.

Gas Distribution Management System

At Swagelok, we design gas distribution systems based on best practices. Modular panels minimize threaded connections to reduce potential leak points and are intuitively labeled for safe, simple operations and maintenance. All gas distribution systems are backed by the Swagelok Limited Lifetime Warranty.

To find out more about how Swagelok Northern California can assist with the design and assembly of gas distribution management systems in your refinery, contact our team today by calling 510-933-6200.

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