Improvement of preventive fireplace protection at a tank farm

Tank farms are used for the storage of extremely flammable and explosive substances; Consequently, preventive fire safety is of major importance. When rehabilitation of such a tank farm is deliberate, contractors often advocate in depth – and thus pricey – measures. Special -protection solution developed by TÜV SÜD demonstrates that an equivalent level of safety can be reached with a far more cost-effective resolution. A central position in injury limitation is performed by early fire detection utilizing thermographic cameras.
Numerous tank farms all through Germany retailer 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 special measures in the subject of preventive hearth safety. If rehabilitation of fire-protection methods becomes needed at an older tank farm, far-reaching measures should be taken, not solely by the use of precaution but in addition to exclude potential legal responsibility dangers. And but not each measure that is technologically possible can 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 situated at a basin of a river port in Bavaria. The a part 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 highly flammable fluids with flame points of < 21 levels Celsius, as outlined in the German hazardous substances laws. In fire inspections and on-site inspections after incidents, the inspectors had recognized major non-conformities in the fire-extinguishing system. To substitute the outdated and non-conforming system, an engineering agency submitted an extensive listing of measures. These measures fully happy all regulatory necessities but represented a really cost-intensive resolution, requiring a full rehabilitation utilizing traditional extinguishing systems. For the tank-farm operating firm, the prices of implementing these measures would have added as a lot as 1.7 million euros.
In fireplace protection, the challenge lies in connecting well-founded technological knowledge and legal know-how. In follow this implies harmonising reasonable engineering providers and legal functions to obtain a cohesive, economically possible and simply carried out fire-protection concept.
Alternative answer developed by TÜV SÜD
At the working company’s request, TÜV SÜD’s third-party consultants validated the individual measures and the cost-effectiveness of the rehabilitation plan submitted by the engineering firm. Owing to the big variety of deficiencies identified in the tank farm, the consultants first prepared a listing of priorities with the measures necessary to fulfil the protection requirements and obtain the protection aims. They arrived at the conclusion that not the entire proposed measures actually needed to be implemented. Starting from this discovering, they then drew up an alternate fire-protection concept that would finally reduce the projected costs by one third.
TÜV SÜD’s rehabilitation plan included the fire-protection infrastructure already in place on the tank farm, similar to a non-automatic foam extinguishing system with a complete foaming-agent supply of 10,500 litres distributed throughout two tanks, two submerged pumps within the port basin with a pump capability of a hundred and eighty m3 per hour to ensure water supply for fire fighting 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 local skilled hearth division.
The engineering agency, against this, had deliberate to exchange the complete fire-extinguishing system. They needed to install three mobile extinguishing-agent distribution techniques in container type for remote managed sprinkling and foaming of the tanks. This solution would have required the set up of new electrical, operational and control techniques as nicely as new pipe routes connecting the extinguishing-agent distribution techniques with the fire-fighting systems within the tank fields. The costs for the three extinguishing-agent distribution systems in container form alone would have added as a lot as around 1.2 million euros.
Incipient hearth fighting situation 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 additionally met the necessities of the Bavarian Building Code (BayBo [1]), offered for three important packages of measures to attain the protection and security goals.
First, installation of a fully computerized infrared measuring system made by DIAS Infrared to ensure early fire detection. The system’s seven thermographic cameras are installed on pan-tilt models. They detect modifications in temperature at the surfaces of the tanks made of different materials and positioned within the area monitored by the cameras, before these adjustments in temperature may cause a fireplace. As the cameras can transfer, the areas to be monitored may be divided into sectors. The cameras then method these sectors cyclically in sequence. To protect the cameras against exterior influences, they are housed in ventilated and heated weatherproof enclosures (Fig. 1). Monitoring focuses primarily on the safety gadgets of the tanks, pumps and motors and on the filling systems on the tank-farm premises. The control room on the tank farm and the native skilled hearth department are notified instantly as soon because the temperature exceeds a certain restrict. The measure package deal also consists of remote triggering of the extinguishing-agent provide from the control centre and automation of the security units.
Incipient hearth combating state of affairs with energy loss the place entry 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 solution provided for replacement of the leaking and corroded pipe sections with new pipes and for set up of three fastened foam-extinguishing systems in the form of foam monitors to fight incipient fires directly. In addition, a cellular foam monitor was planned as a backup.
A third focus space considerations safeguarding the power provide required for early fireplace detection and hearth combating. According to the regional power provider, energy outages might have a period of at least half-hour. Given this, the tank-farm wanted an independent power supply system that was in a position to make sure power provide for no much less than 2 hours. The consultants relied on battery buffering and a diesel operated emergency power unit to solve this downside.
Fire safety should ensure achievement of the protection aims
Protection goals and equivalent safety stage reached
The fire-protection solution introduced by TÜV SÜD was agreed with both the tank farm’s operating firm, the municipal authority and the professional fire division. The three measure packages additionally complied with the required safety objectives and the security levels. And ultimately, they proved far more cost-effective than the solution initially proposed. Since rehabilitation of the tank farm, early fire detection at the aspect of improved fire-protection infrastructure has become a central a part of damage limitation. Since Certified was applied, the tank-farm’s operating firm – working with the skilled hearth division – has been in a place to effectively counteract all possible situations of incipient fireplace successfully and at an early stage, even in circumstances of power 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 particular type and use (special structures). Their operation includes the handling and storing of extremely explosive or flammable substances. Protection measures and security precautions thus not solely fall throughout the working company’s accountability but are also a matter of public interest. Given this, the BayBO stipulates requirements together with materials requirements which, as “General clauses of fireside protection”, help to help the protection goals defined in Article 12. However, according to article three (1) deviations from the technical constructing regulations are attainable if an alternative solution is found that’s equivalent in terms of fulfilling the final requirements in paragraph 1. In different phrases, the necessities laid down in the Building Code are deemed complied with if the commonly recognised guidelines of architecture and expertise are fulfilled.

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