Improvement of preventive hearth safety at a tank farm

Tank farms are used for the storage of extremely flammable and explosive substances; Consequently, preventive fireplace safety is of major importance. When rehabilitation of such a tank farm is deliberate, contractors typically advocate in depth – and thus expensive – measures. A fire-protection solution developed by TÜV SÜD demonstrates that an equivalent stage of security can be reached with a much more cost-effective solution. A central function in harm limitation is performed by early fireplace detection using thermographic cameras.
Numerous tank farms throughout Germany store petrol, diesel, kerosene or liquefied petroleum gasoline (LPG). In contact with air, these highly flammable substances can form explosive mixtures. Given this, tank farms require particular measures within the area of preventive fire protection. If rehabilitation of fire-protection methods becomes needed at an older tank farm, far-reaching measures ought to be taken, not only by method of precaution but also to exclude attainable legal responsibility dangers. And but not every measure that is technologically possible is also essential in case of a rehabilitation, as could be seen from the example of a tank farm in Bavaria, Germany.
The tank farm is positioned at a basin of a river port in Bavaria. The a half of the tank farm in want of rehabilitation covers 24 tanks with a storage volume of between 600 and a pair of,000 cubic metres. The tank farm is used for intermediate storage of extremely flammable fluids with flame points of < 21 degrees Celsius, as outlined in the German hazardous substances legislation. In hearth inspections and on-site inspections after incidents, the inspectors had identified main non-conformities in the fire-extinguishing system. To exchange the outdated and non-conforming system, an engineering agency submitted an extensive record of measures. These measures totally glad all regulatory requirements but represented a very cost-intensive answer, requiring a full rehabilitation using traditional extinguishing methods. For the tank-farm operating company, the prices of implementing these measures would have added as much as 1.7 million euros.
In fireplace protection, the problem lies in connecting well-founded technological data and legal know-how. In apply this means harmonising cheap engineering providers and authorized purposes to obtain a cohesive, economically possible and easily applied fire-protection concept.
Alternative answer developed by TÜV SÜD
At the working company’s request, TÜV SÜD’s third-party specialists validated the person measures and the cost-effectiveness of the rehabilitation plan submitted by the engineering firm. Owing to the big number of deficiencies identified in the tank farm, the experts first ready a listing of priorities with the measures essential to fulfil the security requirements and obtain the protection objectives. เครื่องมือที่ใช้วัดความดัน arrived at the conclusion that not the entire proposed measures truly needed to be carried out. Starting from this discovering, they then drew up another fire-protection concept that would ultimately cut back the projected prices by one third.
TÜV SÜD’s rehabilitation plan included the fire-protection infrastructure already in place on the tank farm, such as a non-automatic foam extinguishing system with a total foaming-agent provide of 10,500 litres distributed throughout two tanks, two submerged pumps in the port basin with a pump capacity of a hundred and eighty m3 per hour to make sure water supply for fire fighting and sprinkling the shells and the roofs of the tanks, guide triggering of the shut-off valves and a transformer station powered by the regional power supplier. The feed-in of emergency power was effected by the native professional fireplace department.
The engineering agency, in contrast, had deliberate to switch the entire fire-extinguishing system. They wished to install three cellular extinguishing-agent distribution methods in container kind for distant managed sprinkling and foaming of the tanks. This solution would have required the set up of latest electrical, operational and management techniques in addition to new pipe routes connecting the extinguishing-agent distribution methods with the fire-fighting methods within the tank fields. The costs for the three extinguishing-agent distribution techniques in container type alone would have added up to around 1.2 million euros.
Incipient fire combating scenario with intact energy supply and free entry to the tank farm.
Implementation of three packages of measures
The alternative rehabilitation idea developed by TÜV SÜD, which also met the requirements of the Bavarian Building Code (BayBo [1]), supplied for three important packages of measures to attain the safety and security goals.
First, installation of a completely automatic infrared measuring system made by DIAS Infrared to ensure early fireplace detection. The system’s seven thermographic cameras are put in on pan-tilt units. They detect adjustments in temperature on the surfaces of the tanks made of different supplies and located within the space monitored by the cameras, earlier than these modifications in temperature can cause a fireplace. As the cameras can transfer, the areas to be monitored can be divided into sectors. The cameras then method these sectors cyclically in sequence. To defend the cameras towards exterior influences, they’re housed in ventilated and heated weatherproof enclosures (Fig. 1). Monitoring focuses totally on the safety units of the tanks, pumps and motors and on the filling methods on the tank-farm premises. The management room at the tank farm and the local skilled hearth department are notified immediately as quickly because the temperature exceeds a certain limit. The measure bundle also consists of remote triggering of the extinguishing-agent supply from the management centre and automation of the protection units.
Incipient fireplace preventing situation with power loss where entry to the tank farm is blocked by a cargo prepare.
In addition, it covers rehabilitation of the sprinkler and foam-extinguisher system. In this context, TÜV SÜD’s answer offered for alternative of the leaking and corroded pipe sections with new pipes and for installation of three mounted foam-extinguishing methods within the form of foam displays to fight incipient fires immediately. In addition, a cellular foam monitor was deliberate as a backup.
A third focus area issues safeguarding the facility provide required for early hearth detection and hearth fighting. According to the regional vitality provider, energy outages might have a length of at least 30 minutes. Given this, the tank-farm needed an impartial power provide system that was able to make sure power provide for a minimal of 2 hours. The experts relied on battery buffering and a diesel operated emergency power unit to solve this downside.
Fire safety should ensure achievement of the safety goals
Protection aims and equivalent safety stage reached
The fire-protection answer introduced by TÜV SÜD was agreed with each the tank farm’s working firm, the municipal authority and the skilled fireplace department. The three measure packages additionally complied with the required protection goals and the safety levels. And ultimately, they proved far more cost-effective than the solution initially proposed. Since rehabilitation of the tank farm, early fireplace detection at the aspect of improved fire-protection infrastructure has become a central part of damage limitation. Since the rehabilitation idea was implemented, the tank-farm’s operating firm – working with the skilled hearth division – has been capable of successfully counteract all attainable scenarios of incipient fireplace successfully and at an early stage, even in circumstances of energy loss or when entry to the tank farm is blocked (see Figures 2 and 3).
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Classification under the Bavarian Building Code (Bayerische Bauordnung, BayBo)
Tank farms are installations of a special sort and use (special structures). Their operation involves the handling and storing of extremely explosive or flammable substances. Protection measures and security precautions thus not only fall within the operating company’s accountability however are additionally a matter of public interest. Given this, the BayBO stipulates necessities including materials necessities which, as “General clauses of fireside protection”, help to help the protection objectives defined in Article 12. However, based on article 3 (1) deviations from the technical building laws are potential if another resolution is discovered that’s equivalent by way of fulfilling the final requirements in paragraph 1. In different phrases, the requirements laid down in the Building Code are deemed complied with if the widely recognised rules of architecture and know-how are fulfilled.

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