Improvement of preventive hearth protection at a tank farm

Tank farms are used for the storage of extremely flammable and explosive substances; Consequently, preventive hearth safety is of major importance. When rehabilitation of such a tank farm is deliberate, contractors usually recommend extensive – and thus expensive – measures. A fire-protection solution developed by TÜV SÜD demonstrates that an equivalent level of security may also be reached with a much more cost-effective answer. A central function in damage limitation is performed by early hearth detection using thermographic cameras.
Numerous tank farms throughout Germany retailer petrol, diesel, kerosene or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). In contact with air, these extremely flammable substances can kind explosive mixtures. Given this, tank farms require particular measures within the field of preventive fireplace protection. If rehabilitation of fire-protection systems turns into needed at an older tank farm, far-reaching measures must be taken, not solely by the use of precaution but also to exclude attainable liability risks. And but not every measure that is technologically possible can additionally be needed in case of a rehabilitation, as may be seen from the instance of a tank farm in Bavaria, Germany.
The tank farm is positioned at a basin of a river port in Bavaria. The a part of the tank farm in need of rehabilitation covers 24 tanks with a storage quantity of between 600 and a couple of,000 cubic metres. The tank farm is used for intermediate storage of extremely flammable fluids with flame points of < 21 levels Celsius, as outlined within the German hazardous substances legislation. In fire inspections and on-site inspections after incidents, the inspectors had identified major non-conformities in the fire-extinguishing system. To substitute the outdated and non-conforming system, an engineering firm submitted an extensive record of measures. These measures absolutely happy all regulatory necessities but represented a very cost-intensive answer, requiring a full rehabilitation utilizing traditional extinguishing methods. For the tank-farm working firm, the prices of implementing these measures would have added up to 1.7 million euros.
In fire safety, the challenge lies in connecting well-founded technological knowledge and legal know-how. In apply this implies harmonising affordable engineering services and legal purposes to obtain a cohesive, economically possible and easily applied fire-protection concept.
Alternative solution developed by TÜV SÜD
At the working company’s request, TÜV SÜD’s third-party experts validated the individual measures and the cost-effectiveness of the rehabilitation plan submitted by the engineering agency. Owing to the massive variety of deficiencies recognized within the tank farm, the consultants first ready an inventory of priorities with the measures essential to fulfil the security necessities and obtain the protection goals. เกจ์อาร์กอนsumo arrived at the conclusion that not the entire proposed measures actually wanted to be applied. Starting from this discovering, they then drew up another fire-protection idea that would finally scale back the projected costs by one third.
TÜV SÜD’s rehabilitation plan included the fire-protection infrastructure already in place at the tank farm, corresponding to a non-automatic foam extinguishing system with a total foaming-agent provide of 10,500 litres distributed across two tanks, two submerged pumps within the port basin with a pump capacity of 180 m3 per hour to ensure water provide for fire preventing and sprinkling the shells and the roofs of the tanks, handbook triggering of the shut-off valves and a transformer station powered by the regional vitality provider. The feed-in of emergency energy was effected by the native skilled fire division.
The engineering firm, against this, had planned to exchange the entire fire-extinguishing system. They wished to install three cell extinguishing-agent distribution methods in container form for remote managed sprinkling and foaming of the tanks. This answer would have required the installation of latest electrical, operational and management techniques as nicely as new pipe routes connecting the extinguishing-agent distribution techniques with the fire-fighting techniques within the tank fields. The prices for the three extinguishing-agent distribution systems in container type alone would have added as a lot as round 1.2 million euros.
Incipient fireplace fighting situation with intact energy provide and free access to the tank farm.
Implementation of three packages of measures
The alternative rehabilitation concept developed by TÜV SÜD, which additionally met the necessities of the Bavarian Building Code (BayBo [1]), supplied for 3 important packages of measures to realize the protection and security objectives.
First, set up of a completely computerized infrared measuring system made by DIAS Infrared to make sure early fireplace detection. The system’s seven thermographic cameras are put in on pan-tilt units. They detect adjustments in temperature at the surfaces of the tanks made of various supplies and positioned within the area monitored by the cameras, before these changes in temperature may cause a fireplace. As the cameras can transfer, the areas to be monitored could be divided into sectors. The cameras then strategy these sectors cyclically in sequence. To defend the cameras in opposition to external influences, they’re housed in ventilated and heated weatherproof enclosures (Fig. 1). Monitoring focuses totally on the protection devices of the tanks, pumps and motors and on the filling techniques on the tank-farm premises. The management room at the tank farm and the native professional fire department are notified instantly as quickly because the temperature exceeds a certain limit. The measure package deal also consists of remote triggering of the extinguishing-agent provide from the management centre and automation of the safety devices.
Incipient fireplace fighting state of affairs with power loss the place access to the tank farm is blocked by a cargo practice.
In addition, it covers rehabilitation of the sprinkler and foam-extinguisher system. In this context, TÜV SÜD’s resolution provided for replacement of the leaking and corroded pipe sections with new pipes and for set up of three fixed foam-extinguishing systems in the form of foam screens to battle incipient fires immediately. In addition, a cell foam monitor was deliberate as a backup.
A third focus space concerns safeguarding the ability supply required for early fireplace detection and hearth fighting. According to the regional vitality provider, energy outages might have a length of no much less than half-hour. Given this, the tank-farm needed an unbiased power provide system that was in a position to ensure power provide for at least 2 hours. The experts relied on battery buffering and a diesel operated emergency power unit to unravel this problem.
Fire safety must guarantee achievement of the protection objectives
Protection goals and equivalent security degree reached
The fire-protection resolution introduced by TÜV SÜD was agreed with both the tank farm’s working firm, the municipal authority and the professional hearth department. The three measure packages additionally complied with the required safety objectives and the security ranges. And finally, they proved far less expensive than the answer initially proposed. Since rehabilitation of the tank farm, early fire detection along side improved fire-protection infrastructure has become a central a part of damage limitation. Since the rehabilitation idea was implemented, the tank-farm’s operating firm – working with the skilled fireplace department – has been able to successfully counteract all attainable situations of incipient hearth 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 underneath the Bavarian Building Code (Bayerische Bauordnung, BayBo)
Tank farms are installations of a special kind and use (special structures). Their operation includes the dealing with and storing of extremely explosive or flammable substances. Protection measures and safety precautions thus not only fall within the operating company’s duty but are additionally a matter of public curiosity. Given this, the BayBO stipulates necessities together with materials requirements which, as “General clauses of fire protection”, assist to help the safety objectives defined in Article 12. However, based on article three (1) deviations from the technical building laws are potential if an alternative answer is discovered that is equivalent when it comes to fulfilling the overall requirements in paragraph 1. In other words, the requirements laid down in the Building Code are deemed complied with if the generally recognised rules of structure and expertise are fulfilled.

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