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Use of froth for firefighting in tank farms of the oil and petrochemical business – Part 2

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Part One of this article described the standard incident scenarios at tank farm fires and introduced foam as probably the most suitable extinguishing agent together with the firefighting equipment most commonly used. In Part Two we take a look at foam focus proportioning technologies, cell extinguishing techniques and conclude with classes discovered.
NFPA 11 describes varied types of foam concentrate proportioning gear. In the following, three systems are looked at that are most common. Tight limits for the proportioning of froth concentrate apply to all of them.
The proportioning rate should not be lower than the permitted values – i.e. 3% for a 3% foam focus or 6% for a 6% foam focus.
The proportioning rate should not exceed 30% above the permitted worth i.e. three.9% for a 3% foam focus or 7.8% for a 6% foam focus; respectively, the proportioning rate is allowed to be an absolute most of 1% above the permitted worth – i.e. 4% for a 3% foam concentrate or 7% for a 6% foam focus (the smaller value have to be used respectively).
To guarantee right proportioning, the proportioner, together with the proportioning rate have to be examined a minimal of every year and its appropriate functioning should be checked.
Fig. 1 Bladder tank with proportioner.
Bladder tank with proportioner
The bladder tank with a proportioner is a proven and cost-effective expertise. The bladder tank is a pressurized vessel with a bladder inside which is crammed with foam focus. The tank is pressurized with water from the fire-extinguishing line and discharges the foam focus from the bladder as required. The bladder is related to a proportioner which operates using the venturi precept. When the fire pumps are activated, pressure is generated by the pump, causing supply of froth focus to the proportioner. The extinguishing water flows through the venturi proportioner. The resulting vacuum induces the froth concentrate into the extinguishing water circulate.
The advantages of this method are its simple design with out shifting parts and its simple operation. No external vitality is required, and the system is comparatively inexpensive.
A drawback is that the system is a pressurized vessel subject to corresponding laws similar to ASME Boiler & Pressure Vessel Codes. In order to refill foam focus, the system must be shut down and drained. The rubber bladder is sensitive; when damaged, water will contaminate the foam concentrate. At a given proportioning fee, the system is suitable only for low variations within the extinguishing water flow pressure and volume. Adding or changing individual foam discharge gadgets is possible solely to a very restricted extent. The system is also unsuitable for proportioning highly viscous foam concentrates.
To conduct any necessary required annual testing, the system have to be activated and premix generated at the venturi proportioner inside the extinguishing water line. The correct proportioning fee should be measured in the premix by laboratory analysis. The generated premix must then be disposed of, and the consumed foam concentrate within the bladder tank must be changed.
Fig. 2: Driven proportioning pump with circulate meter.
Driven proportioning pump with move meter
The system consists of an atmospheric tank for the froth concentrate, an electric or diesel-powered foam concentrate pump with an electronically managed valve and a flow meter in the extinguishing water circulate line. When the hearth pumps are activated, the froth concentrate pump drive and digital management system should be activated. The extinguishing water move fee is measured by the flow meter and the management system adjusts the right foam concentrate amount via the control valve. The foam concentrate is injected into the extinguishing water move by the foam concentrate pump. If there’s a change in the flow rate, the amount of injected foam focus is regulated by the control valve.
The system’s benefit lies in the exact proportioning of the froth focus, unbiased of the extinguishing water strain or circulate rate. Foam focus could be topped up through the extinguishing operation. The system is capable of proportioning extremely viscous foam concentrates. For the purpose of annual testing, the system must be activated; however, the delivered foam concentrate may be measured via a return line. The proportioning fee is calculated from the extinguishing water/foam concentrate move rate. No premix is produced; and as the foam concentrate is passed back into the tank, no foam concentrate needs to be refilled.
Disadvantages are the requirement for an exterior interruption-free energy supply for the foam focus pump and the management system, in addition to the necessity for a complicated management system and the comparatively greater purchasing prices. Furthermore, it must be accepted that a delay happens between the change of the extinguishing water move price and the newly adjusted foam concentrate quantity. The foam quality may be compromised when continually altering working circumstances as foam discharge devices are turned on or off or changed.
Water motor with proportioning pump
The system consists of an atmospheric tank for the froth focus, a water motor put in in the extinguishing water circulate line and a foam concentrate pump which is related on to the water motor. Water motor and pump form one compact unit. Upon activation of the fireplace pumps, rotation in the water motor begins. The direct coupling to the foam-concentrate pump gives immediate foam-concentrate injection into the extinguishing water. If the move rate modifications, the quantity of foam focus is customized instantly.
The benefit of the system is its independence from exterior vitality sources in addition to a precise and immediate foam-concentrate proportioning whatever the extinguishing water strain or circulate price. If a piston or plunger pump is used, adjustment or calibration after installation just isn’t necessary because the water motor and the pump are volumetric gadgets firmly related to one another. Foam concentrate refilling during operation is feasible. The system is also able to proportioning extremely viscous foam concentrates. The system have to be activated for annual testing; however, the delivered foam concentrate may be measured through a return line. The proportioning rate is calculated from the extinguishing water/foam concentrate flow price. No premix is generated; and if the foam focus is passed again into the tank, no foam concentrate needs to be topped up.
The larger design and the comparatively larger purchasing costs are a drawback of the system.
With any system, consideration ought to be taken under consideration for the annual testing prices, which can be appreciable in phrases of substitute foam concentrate, disposal of premix and labour costs.
Mobile extinguishing techniques
As the stationary foam discharge equipment could be damaged in intensive fires in the tank or within the dyke space and thus lose effectiveness, mobile fireplace screens and foam pipes could also be used.
Foam pipes
Foam pipes are normally held by firefighters, making them very flexible. Yet they’ve solely restricted extinguishing agent move charges and reaches.
Firefighting displays
Firefighting screens are discharge devices mounted on automobiles or trailers and available in many sizes. The extinguishing agent circulate rate may be as much as 60,000 litres/min and the attain could be up to 180m if the pressure of the fire pumps is adequate. They are suitable to discharge foam, e.g., to extinguish a floor fireplace in a tank, or water, to chill down a neighboring tank or the tank wall of a burning tank in order to forestall it reaching the crucial temperature for a boilover, or to maintain the flames from spreading. The accumulation of water contained in the dyke area ought to always be observed to avoid an overflow of the dyke.
Mobile fireplace monitors can be provided either by the extinguishing water of the stationary hearth pumps or by mobile pumps. The injection of the foam concentrate normally takes place by way of cell proportioners. This clearly factors towards the advantage of power independence for water-motor-driven proportioning pumps.
The strategic decision for the sizes of cell units obtainable as back-ups is proven by the next instance for the placement of screens for fireplace extinguishing at tanks that are 45m in diameter and 15m high.
According to NFPA, 32,000 litres of premix per minute are required. This ends in several options for the displays. Generally, foam-concentrate proportioners for a minimal of 32,000 litres/min are required, which ought to have the power to deal with various circulate rates to guarantee flexibility throughout extinguishing operations. Depending on the native conditions, the displays will want to hold a minimum distance to the burning tank or might not be ready to be positioned near to the tanks due to particles. In addition, it will not at all times be attainable to place a quantity of monitors around the tank. It must be ensured the monitor has enough throwing height in relation to the tank peak, to ship foam into the inside of the tank.
The dimensioning of the complete firefighting system is made following authorized regulations as nicely as suggestions by associations like NFPA and is not checked out more intently in the present article.
Fig. four: Trailer with monitor M4, water motor with proportioning pump FD8000 and foam concentrate tank.
Lessons realized
As talked about within the introduction to Part One of this text, it seems that many authorities and firms haven’t learned the necessary lessons from disastrous hearth incidents of past years. Tank farm fires within the oil and petrochemical business don’t happen regularly. When เกจวัดแรงดันสูง do, they normally have devastating consequences. Let us remember the tank farm fire at Deer Park, Texas in March 2019 mentioned in the introduction.
The fireplace developed after over 30,000 litres butane-enriched naphtha had been leaking from a faulty valve for half-hour and caught fire for yet unknown reasons. The plant had no gasoline warning system and no remote-controlled valves to close off the leaking fluid. In addition, some areas did not have mounted extinguishing methods put in. All 15 tanks had been surrounded by one single dyke. The owner had relied on the native hearth service, which was on the spot in a quick time however couldn’t take control over the hearth with the gear obtainable, partially as a result of flammable substance was continuously leaking from the tank. Thirty-six hours after the fireplace had damaged out, a contract was made with an exterior firefighting company to do the extinguishing work. Mobilization of apparatus and foam concentrate in addition to the preparation of a plan of motion took roughly 13 hours. The fire was finally extinguished after 14 hours of firefighting, 63 hours after it initially broke out. Extinguishing attempts had been revamped three days, with foam focus and water shortages occurring within the meantime. In complete, over 500,000 litres of froth focus had been used. Instead of a hearth in the dyke space, eleven of the 15 tanks burnt down.
It is very probable that the fireplace would have been extinguished shortly if the warning techniques and valves had labored and a hard and fast fireplace extinguishing system had existed. It can also be probable that the fire would have been extinguished shortly if the extinguishing operation, which succeeded eventually, had been started earlier. Both circumstances would have resulted in notably much less damage.
Summing up, the next factors must be realized at least. As far as they have not but been implemented, or simply partly, they should serve as a basis for discussions about one’s personal fire-protection concept:
Have a suitable fire-protection concept together with various eventualities which adapt to the given situation often.
Always have a enough variety of cell extinguishing methods as a backup to mounted extinguishing techniques.
Stock an acceptable foam focus.
Ensure enough foam concentrate supply.
Ensure enough water supply.
Keep well-maintained, quickly and well-accessible, strategically positioned and functioning extinguishing equipment obtainable in a enough number.
Have trained personnel available in a adequate quantity.
Ensure a fast implementation of an acceptable plan of motion.
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