Improvement of preventive hearth safety at a tank farm

Tank farms are used for the storage of highly flammable and explosive substances; Consequently, preventive fireplace protection is of main importance. When rehabilitation of such a tank farm is deliberate, contractors usually suggest intensive – and thus costly – measures. A fire-protection solution developed by TÜV SÜD demonstrates that an equal level of safety can also be reached with a much more cost-effective answer. A central role in injury limitation is performed by early fireplace 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 type explosive mixtures. Given this, tank farms require particular measures within the field of preventive fire protection. If rehabilitation of fire-protection techniques becomes needed at an older tank farm, far-reaching measures must be taken, not solely by means of precaution but also to exclude potential liability risks. And yet not each measure that’s technologically possible can be essential in case of a rehabilitation, as may be seen from the example 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 extremely 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 identified main non-conformities in the fire-extinguishing system. To exchange the outdated and non-conforming system, an engineering firm submitted an intensive listing of measures. These measures absolutely happy all regulatory necessities however represented a very cost-intensive resolution, requiring a full rehabilitation utilizing traditional extinguishing techniques. For the tank-farm working company, the costs of implementing these measures would have added as much as 1.7 million euros.
In fireplace safety, the problem lies in connecting well-founded technological information and legal know-how. In follow this means harmonising cheap engineering services and legal purposes to acquire a cohesive, economically feasible and easily applied fire-protection idea.
Alternative resolution developed by TÜV SÜD
At the working 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 firm. Owing to the large number of deficiencies recognized in the tank farm, the specialists first prepared a listing of priorities with the measures necessary to fulfil the safety requirements and achieve the safety goals. They arrived at the conclusion that not all the proposed measures truly wanted to be carried out. Starting from this finding, they then drew up an alternative fire-protection idea that might ultimately scale back the projected costs by one third.
TÜV SÜD’s rehabilitation plan included the fire-protection infrastructure already in place on the tank farm, corresponding to a non-automatic foam extinguishing system with a complete foaming-agent supply of 10,500 litres distributed across two tanks, two submerged pumps in the port basin with a pump capability of one hundred eighty m3 per hour to make sure water supply for fireplace combating 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 skilled fire department.
The engineering firm, against this, had planned to exchange the complete fire-extinguishing system. They needed to install three cellular extinguishing-agent distribution methods in container form for distant controlled sprinkling and foaming of the tanks. This answer would have required the installation of new electrical, operational and management methods in addition to new pipe routes connecting the extinguishing-agent distribution systems with the fire-fighting methods within the tank fields. The prices for the three extinguishing-agent distribution techniques in container form alone would have added as much as around 1.2 million euros.
Incipient fireplace preventing 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 additionally met the necessities of the Bavarian Building Code (BayBo [1]), supplied for three essential packages of measures to realize the safety and safety aims.
First, set up of a totally computerized infrared measuring system made by DIAS Infrared to ensure early fireplace detection. The system’s seven thermographic cameras are installed on pan-tilt units. They detect changes in temperature at the surfaces of the tanks made of different materials and situated within the area monitored by the cameras, before these modifications in temperature could cause a fireplace. As the cameras can move, the areas to be monitored could be divided into sectors. The cameras then method these sectors cyclically in sequence. To protect the cameras towards exterior influences, they’re housed in ventilated and heated weatherproof enclosures (Fig. 1). Monitoring focuses totally on the security devices of the tanks, pumps and motors and on the filling methods on the tank-farm premises. The management room at the tank farm and the native skilled fire department are notified immediately as soon as the temperature exceeds a sure limit. The measure package additionally consists of distant triggering of the extinguishing-agent provide from the control centre and automation of the protection units.
Incipient fireplace preventing scenario with energy loss where access 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 offered 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 screens to struggle incipient fires immediately. In addition, a cellular foam monitor was deliberate as a backup.
A third focus area issues safeguarding the ability supply required for early hearth detection and fire preventing. According to the regional energy supplier, energy outages could have a length of a minimal of 30 minutes. Given this, the tank-farm needed an unbiased energy supply system that was able to ensure power supply for at least 2 hours. ความหมายของเครื่องวัดความดัน relied on battery buffering and a diesel operated emergency energy unit to resolve this downside.
Fire protection should ensure achievement of the protection objectives
Protection objectives and equivalent security stage reached
The fire-protection resolution introduced by TÜV SÜD was agreed with both the tank farm’s operating company, the municipal authority and the skilled fire division. The three measure packages additionally complied with the required protection aims and the protection ranges. And finally, they proved far more cost-effective than the answer initially proposed. Since rehabilitation of the tank farm, early hearth detection at the side of improved fire-protection infrastructure has turn out to be a central part of harm limitation. Since the rehabilitation idea was carried out, the tank-farm’s operating company – working with the skilled hearth department – has been in a place to successfully counteract all potential scenarios of incipient fire effectively and at an early stage, even in circumstances of power loss or when access 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 highly explosive or flammable substances. Protection measures and security precautions thus not solely fall within the working company’s accountability but are additionally a matter of public curiosity. Given this, the BayBO stipulates necessities together with material necessities which, as “General clauses of fire protection”, help to assist the protection objectives outlined in Article 12. However, based on article 3 (1) deviations from the technical building rules are potential if an alternate resolution is found that’s equal in terms of fulfilling the general requirements in paragraph 1. In different words, the requirements laid down within the Building Code are deemed complied with if the widely recognised rules of structure and technology are fulfilled.

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