As process engineer dealing with process equipment, we need to determine design pressure. For a vessel, design pressure is called maximum allowable working pressure (MAWP). The MAWP determines the setting pressure of relief valve and must be higher than vessel’s operating pressure. Operating pressure is fixed by process condition.
Table below recommends a minimum differential between operating pressure and MAWP so that the difference between operating pressure and relief valve set pressure provides a sufficient cushion. If the operating pressure is too close to the relief valve setting pressure, small surges in operating pressure could cause the relief valve to activate too soon.