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 often advocate in depth – and thus expensive – measures. A fire-protection answer developed by TÜV SÜD demonstrates that an equivalent level of security may additionally be reached with a far more cost-effective answer. A central position in harm limitation is performed 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 form explosive mixtures. Given this, tank farms require special measures within the area of preventive fire safety. If rehabilitation of fire-protection systems turns into essential at an older tank farm, far-reaching measures must be taken, not solely by means of precaution but additionally to exclude attainable liability risks. And but not each measure that is technologically possible can be necessary in case of a rehabilitation, as could 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 couple of,000 cubic metres. The tank farm is used for intermediate storage of extremely flammable fluids with flame factors of < 21 degrees Celsius, as outlined within the German hazardous substances laws. In fire inspections and on-site inspections after incidents, the inspectors had identified major non-conformities in the fire-extinguishing system. To replace the outdated and non-conforming system, an engineering agency submitted an in depth record of measures. These measures fully happy all regulatory necessities but represented a really cost-intensive solution, requiring a full rehabilitation utilizing conventional extinguishing systems. For the tank-farm working company, the prices of implementing these measures would have added as a lot as 1.7 million euros.
In fireplace safety, the challenge lies in connecting well-founded technological data and authorized know-how. In follow this implies harmonising reasonable engineering providers and authorized functions to obtain a cohesive, economically feasible and easily applied fire-protection idea.
Alternative solution developed by TÜV SÜD
At the operating 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 agency. Owing to the massive number of deficiencies recognized in the tank farm, the consultants first prepared a list of priorities with the measures necessary to fulfil the safety requirements and achieve the safety goals. They arrived on the conclusion that not all of the proposed measures actually needed to be carried out. Starting from this finding, they then drew up another fire-protection concept that would finally cut back the projected prices 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 complete foaming-agent provide of 10,500 litres distributed throughout two tanks, two submerged pumps in the port basin with a pump capability of a hundred and eighty m3 per hour to make sure water provide for fire preventing 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 energy was effected by the local skilled fireplace department.
The engineering firm, by contrast, had deliberate to switch the whole fire-extinguishing system. They wanted to install three cell extinguishing-agent distribution systems in container kind for remote managed sprinkling and foaming of the tanks. This resolution would have required the installation of new electrical, operational and management systems in addition to new pipe routes connecting the extinguishing-agent distribution techniques with the fire-fighting systems in the tank fields. The costs for the three extinguishing-agent distribution methods in container form alone would have added up to around 1.2 million euros.
Incipient hearth preventing scenario with intact power supply and free entry to the tank farm.
Implementation of three packages of measures
The different rehabilitation idea developed by TÜV SÜD, which additionally met the necessities of the Bavarian Building Code (BayBo [1]), offered for three essential packages of measures to attain the protection and security goals.
First, installation of a totally automated infrared measuring system made by DIAS Infrared to ensure early fireplace detection. The system’s seven thermographic cameras are put in on pan-tilt units. They detect changes in temperature on the surfaces of the tanks made of various materials and located in 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 can be divided into sectors. The cameras then strategy these sectors cyclically in sequence. To defend the cameras in opposition to external influences, they are housed in ventilated and heated weatherproof enclosures (Fig. 1). Monitoring focuses totally on the security 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 fire department are notified instantly as soon because the temperature exceeds a certain limit. The measure bundle additionally consists of remote triggering of the extinguishing-agent provide from the management centre and automation of the safety gadgets.
Incipient hearth fighting 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 solution supplied for substitute of the leaking and corroded pipe sections with new pipes and for set up of three mounted foam-extinguishing systems within the form of foam screens to battle incipient fires immediately. In addition, a cell foam monitor was deliberate as a backup.
A third focus area concerns safeguarding the power supply required for early fire detection and fire combating. According to the regional energy provider, power outages might have a length of a minimum of 30 minutes. Given this, the tank-farm wanted an independent energy provide system that was able to make sure energy provide for no less than 2 hours. The specialists relied on battery buffering and a diesel operated emergency energy unit to unravel this downside.
Fire protection must ensure achievement of the protection goals
Protection aims and equal safety level reached
The fire-protection solution offered by TÜV SÜD was agreed with both the tank farm’s working company, the municipal authority and the professional fireplace department. The three measure packages additionally complied with the required safety goals and the security ranges. And finally, they proved far more cost-effective than the solution initially proposed. Since rehabilitation of the tank farm, early fireplace detection in conjunction with improved fire-protection infrastructure has turn into a central a part of injury limitation. Since the rehabilitation concept was implemented, the tank-farm’s working company – working with the skilled fire division – has been capable of effectively counteract all possible situations of incipient fire effectively and at an early stage, even in circumstances of energy loss or when entry to the tank farm is blocked (see Figures 2 and 3).
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Classification under the Bavarian Building Code (Bayerische Bauordnung, BayBo)
Tank farms are installations of a special sort and use (special structures). Their operation includes the handling and storing of highly explosive or flammable substances. Protection measures and security precautions thus not solely fall throughout the operating company’s accountability however are additionally a matter of public curiosity. Given this, the BayBO stipulates necessities together with materials requirements which, as “General clauses of fireplace protection”, help to support the safety objectives defined in Article 12. However, based on เครื่องวัดแรงดันเกจที่นิยมใช้ (1) deviations from the technical constructing laws are possible if another answer is discovered that is equivalent by method of fulfilling the final necessities in paragraph 1. In other words, the necessities laid down in the Building Code are deemed complied with if the generally recognised guidelines of architecture and know-how are fulfilled.