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 main importance. When rehabilitation of such a tank farm is deliberate, contractors typically advocate in depth – and thus expensive – measures. A fire-protection resolution developed by TÜV SÜD demonstrates that an equivalent stage of security may additionally be reached with a far more cost-effective solution. A central function in damage limitation is performed by early fireplace detection utilizing thermographic cameras.
Numerous tank farms all through Germany retailer petrol, diesel, kerosene or liquefied petroleum fuel (LPG). In contact with air, these highly flammable substances can kind explosive mixtures. Given this, tank farms require particular measures in the subject of preventive fire safety. If rehabilitation of fire-protection methods turns into necessary at an older tank farm, far-reaching measures ought to be taken, not only by method of precaution but also to exclude potential liability dangers. And yet not each measure that’s technologically possible is also necessary in case of a rehabilitation, as could be seen from the instance of a tank farm in Bavaria, Germany.
The tank farm is located 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 highly flammable fluids with flame factors of < 21 degrees Celsius, as outlined within the German hazardous substances legislation. In hearth inspections and on-site inspections after incidents, the inspectors had identified main non-conformities within the fire-extinguishing system. To replace the outdated and non-conforming system, an engineering agency submitted an intensive list of measures. These measures fully satisfied all regulatory requirements but represented a very cost-intensive solution, requiring a full rehabilitation using traditional extinguishing systems. For the tank-farm operating company, the costs of implementing these measures would have added up to 1.7 million euros.
In fire safety, the challenge lies in connecting well-founded technological information and legal know-how. In practice this implies harmonising reasonable engineering companies and legal applications to acquire a cohesive, economically possible and simply implemented fire-protection idea.
Alternative resolution developed by TÜV SÜD
At the operating 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 agency. Owing to the big number of deficiencies recognized within the tank farm, the consultants first ready an inventory of priorities with the measures necessary to fulfil the protection necessities and obtain the safety aims. They arrived on the conclusion that not all the proposed measures really needed to be applied. Starting from this finding, they then drew up another fire-protection idea that might in the end 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, such as a non-automatic foam extinguishing system with a total foaming-agent supply of 10,500 litres distributed throughout two tanks, two submerged pumps within the port basin with a pump capability of 180 m3 per hour to make sure water provide for hearth 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 power provider. The feed-in of emergency power was effected by the local professional hearth department.
The engineering firm, by contrast, had deliberate to switch the whole fire-extinguishing system. They wished to put in three mobile extinguishing-agent distribution methods in container type for distant controlled sprinkling and foaming of the tanks. This resolution would have required the installation of recent electrical, operational and management methods as properly as new pipe routes connecting the extinguishing-agent distribution systems with the fire-fighting techniques in the tank fields. The costs for the three extinguishing-agent distribution techniques in container kind alone would have added up to round 1.2 million euros.
Incipient fireplace fighting state of affairs with intact power provide and free access to the tank farm.
Implementation of three packages of measures
The various rehabilitation concept developed by TÜV SÜD, which also met the requirements of the Bavarian Building Code (BayBo [1]), supplied for three essential packages of measures to attain the safety and security aims.
First, set up of a fully computerized infrared measuring system made by DIAS Infrared to make sure early hearth detection. The system’s seven thermographic cameras are put in on pan-tilt models. They detect changes in temperature at the surfaces of the tanks made of different supplies and located within the area monitored by the cameras, before these adjustments in temperature could 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 shield the cameras against exterior influences, they are housed in ventilated and heated weatherproof enclosures (Fig. 1). Monitoring focuses primarily on the protection units of the tanks, pumps and motors and on the filling techniques on the tank-farm premises. เครื่องมือที่ใช้วัดความดันโลหิต at the tank farm and the native skilled fireplace department are notified immediately as soon because the temperature exceeds a sure restrict. The measure package deal also contains remote triggering of the extinguishing-agent supply from the management centre and automation of the safety units.
Incipient fire combating situation 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 solution offered for alternative of the leaking and corroded pipe sections with new pipes and for installation of three mounted foam-extinguishing systems within the type of foam monitors to fight incipient fires directly. In addition, a mobile foam monitor was deliberate as a backup.
A third focus area considerations safeguarding the power supply required for early fireplace detection and fire preventing. According to the regional energy supplier, energy outages might have a duration of a minimum of 30 minutes. Given this, the tank-farm wanted an impartial power provide system that was in a position to make sure energy supply for no less than 2 hours. The specialists relied on battery buffering and a diesel operated emergency energy unit to solve this problem.
Fire protection must ensure achievement of the safety objectives
Protection aims and equal safety degree reached
The fire-protection solution offered by TÜV SÜD was agreed with both the tank farm’s working company, the municipal authority and the skilled hearth department. The three measure packages additionally complied with the required protection goals and the safety ranges. And finally, they proved far cheaper than the solution initially proposed. Since rehabilitation of the tank farm, early hearth detection along side improved fire-protection infrastructure has turn into a central a part of harm limitation. Since the rehabilitation idea was applied, the tank-farm’s operating company – working with the skilled fire department – has been in a position to successfully counteract all attainable situations of incipient fireplace successfully and at an early stage, even in instances of power loss or when access to the tank farm is blocked (see Figures 2 and 3).
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Classification beneath the Bavarian Building Code (Bayerische Bauordnung, BayBo)
Tank farms are installations of a particular 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 throughout the working company’s responsibility however are also a matter of public curiosity. Given this, the BayBO stipulates necessities together with materials requirements which, as “General clauses of fire protection”, help to support the protection goals outlined in Article 12. However, according to article 3 (1) deviations from the technical building rules are possible if an alternative solution is discovered that is equivalent when it comes to fulfilling the overall necessities in paragraph 1. In different words, the necessities laid down in the Building Code are deemed complied with if the commonly recognised guidelines of structure and expertise are fulfilled.

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