Tank farms are used for the storage of highly flammable and explosive substances; Consequently, preventive hearth safety is of main significance. When rehabilitation of such a tank farm is planned, contractors often advocate extensive – and thus pricey – measures. A fire-protection resolution developed by TÜV SÜD demonstrates that an equivalent level of security can be reached with a far more cost-effective answer. A central role in damage limitation is performed by early hearth detection using thermographic cameras.
Numerous tank farms throughout Germany store petrol, diesel, kerosene or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). In contact with air, these highly flammable substances can type explosive mixtures. Given this, tank farms require particular measures in the subject of preventive fireplace safety. If rehabilitation of fire-protection methods becomes needed at an older tank farm, far-reaching measures must be taken, not solely by way of precaution but also to exclude potential liability risks. And yet not every measure that’s technologically feasible 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 situated 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 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 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 To exchange the outdated and non-conforming system, an engineering firm submitted an intensive record of measures. These measures absolutely satisfied all regulatory necessities but represented a very cost-intensive answer, requiring a full rehabilitation using traditional extinguishing systems. For the tank-farm operating firm, the prices of implementing these measures would have added up to 1.7 million euros.
In hearth safety, the problem lies in connecting well-founded technological knowledge and legal know-how. In follow this implies harmonising reasonable engineering companies and legal purposes to acquire a cohesive, economically feasible 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 number of deficiencies recognized within the tank farm, the specialists first ready an inventory of priorities with the measures necessary to fulfil the safety requirements and achieve the safety goals. They arrived on the conclusion that not all the proposed measures truly needed to be implemented. Starting from this discovering, they then drew up an alternative fire-protection concept that might finally 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 total foaming-agent supply of 10,500 litres distributed throughout two tanks, two submerged pumps in the port basin with a pump capability of 180 m3 per hour to ensure water supply for hearth 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 skilled fire department.
The engineering agency, by contrast, had deliberate to switch the whole fire-extinguishing system. They needed to put in three cell extinguishing-agent distribution methods in container kind for distant controlled sprinkling and foaming of the tanks. This resolution would have required the installation of recent electrical, operational and management systems in addition to new pipe routes connecting the extinguishing-agent distribution methods with the fire-fighting techniques in the tank fields. The prices for the three extinguishing-agent distribution methods in container kind alone would have added up to around 1.2 million euros.
Incipient fire combating state of affairs with intact power provide and free access to the tank farm.
Implementation of three packages of measures
The different rehabilitation idea developed by TÜV SÜD, which additionally met the requirements of the Bavarian Building Code (BayBo ), supplied for three important packages of measures to attain the protection and security aims.
First, installation of a completely automatic infrared measuring system made by DIAS Infrared to ensure early fireplace detection. The system’s seven thermographic cameras are put in on pan-tilt models. They detect modifications in temperature on the surfaces of the tanks made of various supplies and positioned in the space monitored by the cameras, earlier than these adjustments in temperature can cause a hearth. 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 defend the cameras against external influences, they are housed in ventilated and heated weatherproof enclosures (Fig. 1). เกจ์วัดแรงดันแก๊ส focuses totally on the security gadgets of the tanks, pumps and motors and on the filling systems on the tank-farm premises. The management room on the tank farm and the native professional fireplace department are notified immediately as soon as the temperature exceeds a certain limit. The measure package additionally contains remote triggering of the extinguishing-agent supply from the control centre and automation of the protection units.
Incipient fire preventing state of affairs with energy loss where 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 answer offered for substitute of the leaking and corroded pipe sections with new pipes and for installation of three fixed foam-extinguishing techniques within the form of foam displays to battle incipient fires immediately. In addition, a cell foam monitor was deliberate as a backup.
A third focus space concerns safeguarding the facility provide required for early fireplace detection and hearth preventing. According to the regional energy supplier, power outages could have a duration of no less than half-hour. Given this, the tank-farm needed an impartial power supply system that was in a position to ensure energy provide for a minimal of 2 hours. The consultants relied on battery buffering and a diesel operated emergency power unit to solve this drawback.
Fire protection should guarantee achievement of the protection aims
Protection objectives and equal security degree reached
The fire-protection solution introduced by TÜV SÜD was agreed with both the tank farm’s operating firm, the municipal authority and the skilled fireplace department. The three measure packages also complied with the required safety objectives and the safety ranges. And finally, they proved far cheaper than the solution initially proposed. Since rehabilitation of the tank farm, early fireplace detection at the aspect of improved fire-protection infrastructure has turn out to be a central part of injury limitation. Since the rehabilitation idea was applied, the tank-farm’s operating firm – working with the professional fire division – has been able to successfully counteract all potential scenarios of incipient fire successfully 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).
For more data, go to www.tuev-sued.de/is or www.dias-infrared.de
Classification under the Bavarian Building Code (Bayerische Bauordnung, BayBo)
Tank farms are installations of a special type and use (special structures). Their operation involves the handling and storing of extremely explosive or flammable substances. Protection measures and security precautions thus not solely fall throughout the working company’s accountability but are also a matter of public curiosity. Given this, the BayBO stipulates necessities including materials requirements which, as “General clauses of fireside protection”, assist to help the safety objectives defined in Article 12. However, according to article three (1) deviations from the technical constructing rules are attainable if another solution is discovered that’s equal when it comes to fulfilling the overall necessities in paragraph 1. In other words, the necessities laid down in the Building Code are deemed complied with if the commonly recognised rules of architecture and expertise are fulfilled.
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