Improvement of preventive fire safety at a tank farm

Tank farms are used for the storage of extremely flammable and explosive substances; Consequently, preventive hearth protection is of main importance. When rehabilitation of such a tank farm is deliberate, contractors typically suggest intensive – and thus expensive – measures. A fire-protection answer developed by TÜV SÜD demonstrates that an equal degree of security can be reached with a much more cost-effective solution. A central function in harm limitation is played by early hearth detection utilizing thermographic cameras.
Numerous tank farms throughout Germany store petrol, diesel, kerosene or liquefied petroleum gasoline (LPG). In contact with air, these extremely flammable substances can form explosive mixtures. Given this, tank farms require special measures within the field of preventive hearth safety. If rehabilitation of fire-protection techniques turns into needed at an older tank farm, far-reaching measures should be taken, not solely by the use of precaution but also to exclude possible liability dangers. And yet not every measure that is technologically feasible can be 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 quantity 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 within the German hazardous substances laws. In hearth inspections and on-site inspections after incidents, the inspectors had identified main non-conformities within the fire-extinguishing system. To exchange the outdated and non-conforming system, an engineering agency submitted an intensive record of measures. These measures absolutely satisfied all regulatory necessities however represented a really cost-intensive solution, requiring a full rehabilitation utilizing conventional extinguishing techniques. For the tank-farm operating firm, the costs of implementing these measures would have added up to 1.7 million euros.
In hearth protection, the problem lies in connecting well-founded technological data and legal know-how. In apply this means harmonising cheap engineering providers and legal functions to acquire a cohesive, economically possible and easily implemented fire-protection concept.
Alternative resolution 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 firm. Owing to the big variety of deficiencies identified within the tank farm, the specialists first prepared a list of priorities with the measures essential to fulfil the safety necessities and achieve the protection objectives. They arrived at the conclusion that not all of the proposed measures truly wanted to be implemented. Starting from this discovering, they then drew up another fire-protection idea that might 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, similar to a non-automatic foam extinguishing system with a complete foaming-agent provide of 10,500 litres distributed throughout two tanks, two submerged pumps in the port basin with a pump capability of one hundred eighty m3 per hour to make sure water provide for hearth combating 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 energy supplier. The feed-in of emergency power was effected by the local skilled hearth division.
The engineering firm, by contrast, had deliberate to replace the whole fire-extinguishing system. They wished to put in three cellular extinguishing-agent distribution techniques in container form for distant managed sprinkling and foaming of the tanks. This resolution would have required the installation of new electrical, operational and control systems as well as new pipe routes connecting the extinguishing-agent distribution systems with the fire-fighting systems in the tank fields. The prices for the three extinguishing-agent distribution techniques in container kind alone would have added as a lot as round 1.2 million euros.
Incipient hearth combating state of affairs with intact energy supply and free access to the tank farm.
Implementation of three packages of measures

The different rehabilitation concept developed by TÜV SÜD, which also met the necessities of the Bavarian Building Code (BayBo [1]), offered for 3 essential packages of measures to achieve the protection and security aims.
First, installation of a totally automated infrared measuring system made by DIAS Infrared to make sure early hearth detection. The system’s seven thermographic cameras are installed on pan-tilt units. They detect adjustments in temperature on the surfaces of the tanks made of various materials and positioned within the area monitored by the cameras, before these adjustments in temperature could cause a fireplace. As the cameras can move, the areas to be monitored could be divided into sectors. The cameras then approach these sectors cyclically in sequence. To defend the cameras against external influences, they are housed in ventilated and heated weatherproof enclosures (Fig. 1). Monitoring focuses totally on the security units of the tanks, pumps and motors and on the filling techniques on the tank-farm premises. The management room on the tank farm and the native skilled hearth department are notified immediately as soon because the temperature exceeds a sure limit. The measure package additionally consists of remote triggering of the extinguishing-agent provide from the control centre and automation of the security units.
Incipient fire fighting scenario with energy loss the place 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 resolution supplied for alternative of the leaking and corroded pipe sections with new pipes and for installation of three fastened foam-extinguishing methods in the form of foam monitors to battle incipient fires immediately. In addition, a cellular foam monitor was deliberate as a backup.
A third focus area issues safeguarding the power supply required for early fire detection and hearth combating. According to the regional power provider, energy outages could have a length of no less than 30 minutes. Given เกจวัดแรงดัน , the tank-farm wanted an independent power supply system that was ready to ensure power provide for no less than 2 hours. The specialists relied on battery buffering and a diesel operated emergency energy unit to unravel this problem.
Fire protection must ensure achievement of the protection goals

Protection aims and equal safety degree reached

The fire-protection answer offered by TÜV SÜD was agreed with each the tank farm’s operating company, the municipal authority and the professional fireplace department. The three measure packages also complied with the required safety aims and the protection levels. And in the end, they proved far cheaper than the answer initially proposed. Since rehabilitation of the tank farm, early fire detection at the aspect of improved fire-protection infrastructure has become a central a half of injury limitation. Since the rehabilitation concept was implemented, the tank-farm’s operating firm – working with the professional fire division – has been capable of effectively counteract all possible scenarios of incipient hearth 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).
For extra information, go to or

Classification beneath the Bavarian Building Code (Bayerische Bauordnung, BayBo)

Tank farms are installations of a particular type and use (special structures). Their operation entails the handling and storing of extremely explosive or flammable substances. Protection measures and safety precautions thus not only fall throughout the working company’s accountability however are also a matter of public curiosity. Given this, the BayBO stipulates necessities including material necessities which, as “General clauses of fire protection”, help to assist the protection objectives defined in Article 12. However, according to article three (1) deviations from the technical constructing laws are attainable if an alternate solution is found that is equivalent when it comes to fulfilling the overall requirements in paragraph 1. In different words, the necessities laid down within the Building Code are deemed complied with if the commonly recognised guidelines of structure and technology are fulfilled.

Leave a Comment