Monday, April 11, 2016
Exhibit Hall E (George R. Brown )
Layer of Protection Analysis (LOPA) is a widely used semi-quantitative risk assessment method. It provides a simplified but less precise method to assess the effectiveness of protection layers and the risk of an incident scenario. The outcome frequency and consequence are intended to be conservative by prudently selecting input data, given that design specification and component manufacturer’s data are often overly optimistic. There are many influences, including design deficiencies, lack of layer independence, availability, human factors and wear in testing and maintenance, which are not quantified and are dependent on type of process and location. This makes the risk usually overestimated. So, there are different sources and types of uncertainty in the LOPA model that need to be identified and quantified. In this study, a fuzzy logic and probabilistic hybrid approach was developed to quantify the uncertainty of frequency of initiating event and the probabilities of failure on demand (PDF) of Independent Protection Layers (IPLs) based on the available data and expert experience. The method was applied to a distillation system with a capacity to distill 40 tons of flammable n-hexane. The outcome risk of the new method was proven to be more precise comparing to the results of the conventional LOPA approach.