Improvement of preventive fire protection at a tank farm

Tank farms are used for the storage of extremely flammable and explosive substances; Consequently, preventive hearth safety is of main significance. When rehabilitation of such a tank farm is deliberate, contractors usually suggest extensive – and thus costly – measures. A fire-protection answer developed by TÜV SÜD demonstrates that an equivalent stage of safety can also be reached with a far more cost-effective resolution. A central role in injury limitation is played by early fire detection using thermographic cameras.
Numerous tank farms all through Germany retailer petrol, diesel, kerosene or liquefied petroleum fuel (LPG). In contact with air, these extremely flammable substances can kind explosive mixtures. Given this, tank farms require special measures within the subject of preventive fire safety. If rehabilitation of fire-protection techniques turns into needed at an older tank farm, far-reaching measures ought to be taken, not only by the use of precaution but additionally to exclude possible legal responsibility dangers. And but not every measure that’s technologically feasible is also needed 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 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 within the German hazardous substances laws. In hearth inspections and on-site inspections after incidents, the inspectors had identified major non-conformities within the fire-extinguishing system. To exchange the outdated and non-conforming system, an engineering firm submitted an intensive record of measures. These measures fully glad all regulatory requirements however represented a really cost-intensive resolution, requiring a full rehabilitation using conventional extinguishing systems. For the tank-farm operating firm, the costs of implementing these measures would have added up to 1.7 million euros.
In fireplace protection, the problem lies in connecting well-founded technological information and authorized know-how. In apply this means harmonising cheap engineering companies and authorized functions to obtain a cohesive, economically possible and easily implemented fire-protection concept.
Alternative solution developed by TÜV SÜD
At the operating company’s request, TÜV SÜD’s third-party experts validated the person measures and the cost-effectiveness of the rehabilitation plan submitted by the engineering agency. Owing to the massive variety of deficiencies recognized in the tank farm, the experts first ready a listing of priorities with the measures necessary to fulfil the safety necessities and obtain the protection aims. They arrived on the conclusion that not the entire proposed measures truly needed to be carried out. Starting from this finding, they then drew up another fire-protection idea that would ultimately cut back the projected costs 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 complete foaming-agent supply of 10,500 litres distributed throughout two tanks, two submerged pumps within the port basin with a pump capacity of 180 m3 per hour to ensure water supply for fire preventing and sprinkling the shells and the roofs of the tanks, manual 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 native professional fireplace division.
The engineering firm, by contrast, had planned to exchange the complete fire-extinguishing system. They wanted to install three cell extinguishing-agent distribution systems in container form for distant controlled sprinkling and foaming of the tanks. This answer would have required the set up of latest electrical, operational and management methods as properly as new pipe routes connecting the extinguishing-agent distribution methods with the fire-fighting methods in the tank fields. The prices for the three extinguishing-agent distribution systems in container kind alone would have added up to around 1.2 million euros.
Incipient fire preventing scenario with intact energy provide and free access 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]), supplied for 3 essential packages of measures to achieve the safety and security aims.
First, installation of a fully automated infrared measuring system made by DIAS Infrared to ensure early fireplace detection. เกจ์วัดแรงดัน ’s seven thermographic cameras are installed on pan-tilt units. They detect modifications in temperature at the surfaces of the tanks made of various supplies and situated in the area monitored by the cameras, before these adjustments in temperature can cause a fire. As the cameras can transfer, the areas to be monitored could be divided into sectors. The cameras then approach these sectors cyclically in sequence. To shield the cameras in opposition to exterior influences, they’re 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 methods on the tank-farm premises. The control room on the tank farm and the native skilled fireplace department are notified immediately as soon because the temperature exceeds a sure limit. The measure package also contains remote triggering of the extinguishing-agent provide from the control centre and automation of the security units.
Incipient fireplace combating scenario 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 offered for substitute of the leaking and corroded pipe sections with new pipes and for installation of three mounted foam-extinguishing methods in the form of foam screens to fight incipient fires instantly. In addition, a cell foam monitor was deliberate as a backup.
A third focus area considerations safeguarding the ability provide required for early hearth detection and fire combating. According to the regional energy supplier, energy outages might have a duration of at least half-hour. Given this, the tank-farm wanted an impartial energy provide system that was in a position to make sure power provide for a minimal of 2 hours. The specialists relied on battery buffering and a diesel operated emergency energy unit to resolve this drawback.
Fire safety should guarantee achievement of the safety aims
Protection objectives and equal security level reached
The fire-protection solution offered by TÜV SÜD was agreed with both the tank farm’s working firm, the municipal authority and the skilled fireplace department. The three measure packages additionally complied with the required protection aims and the security levels. And ultimately, they proved far cheaper than the answer initially proposed. Since rehabilitation of the tank farm, early fire detection at the facet of improved fire-protection infrastructure has turn into a central a half of harm limitation. Since the rehabilitation concept was carried out, the tank-farm’s working firm – working with the skilled hearth department – has been able to effectively counteract all potential eventualities of incipient hearth effectively and at an early stage, even in cases 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 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 only fall inside the working company’s accountability but are additionally a matter of public interest. Given this, the BayBO stipulates necessities together with material requirements which, as “General clauses of fireplace protection”, help to assist the safety objectives outlined in Article 12. However, in accordance with article 3 (1) deviations from the technical building regulations are possible if another resolution is found that’s equivalent when it comes to fulfilling the overall requirements in paragraph 1. In different words, the necessities laid down in the Building Code are deemed complied with if the commonly recognised rules of structure and technology are fulfilled.

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