Improvement of preventive fireplace safety at a tank farm

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 usually advocate intensive – and thus costly – measures. A fire-protection answer developed by TÜV SÜD demonstrates that an equivalent level of safety may also be reached with a a lot more cost-effective answer. A central function in damage limitation is performed by early fireplace detection using thermographic cameras.
Numerous tank farms all through Germany store petrol, diesel, kerosene or liquefied petroleum fuel (LPG). In contact with air, these highly flammable substances can kind explosive mixtures. Given this, tank farms require particular measures within the subject of preventive fire protection. If rehabilitation of fire-protection methods turns into necessary at an older tank farm, far-reaching measures must be taken, not only by the use of precaution but in addition to exclude potential liability risks. And but not each measure that’s technologically feasible can be essential 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. เกจ์อาร์กอนsumo of the tank farm in need 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 extremely flammable fluids with flame factors of < 21 levels Celsius, as outlined within the German hazardous substances legislation. In fire inspections and on-site inspections after incidents, the inspectors had identified main non-conformities in the fire-extinguishing system. To substitute the outdated and non-conforming system, an engineering agency submitted an in depth record of measures. These measures absolutely happy all regulatory necessities but represented a very cost-intensive solution, requiring a full rehabilitation utilizing traditional extinguishing techniques. For the tank-farm operating company, the prices of implementing these measures would have added as much as 1.7 million euros.
In fireplace safety, the challenge lies in connecting well-founded technological knowledge and legal know-how. In practice this means harmonising cheap engineering services and authorized purposes to acquire a cohesive, economically feasible and easily applied fire-protection idea.
Alternative answer 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 firm. Owing to the big number of deficiencies recognized in the tank farm, the consultants first ready a listing of priorities with the measures necessary to fulfil the protection requirements and obtain the protection aims. They arrived on the conclusion that not the entire proposed measures really wanted to be implemented. Starting from this discovering, they then drew up an alternate fire-protection concept that may 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 total foaming-agent supply of 10,500 litres distributed throughout two tanks, two submerged pumps within the port basin with a pump capacity of one hundred eighty m3 per hour to ensure water provide for hearth 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 energy provider. The feed-in of emergency power was effected by the local skilled hearth department.
The engineering firm, against this, had deliberate to switch the complete fire-extinguishing system. They wished to install three mobile extinguishing-agent distribution techniques in container type for remote controlled sprinkling and foaming of the tanks. This solution would have required the set up of recent electrical, operational and management methods as nicely as new pipe routes connecting the extinguishing-agent distribution techniques with the fire-fighting techniques within the tank fields. The prices for the three extinguishing-agent distribution techniques in container type alone would have added up to around 1.2 million euros.
Incipient fireplace combating state of affairs with intact power supply and free entry to the tank farm.
Implementation of three packages of measures
The various rehabilitation concept developed by TÜV SÜD, which also met the requirements of the Bavarian Building Code (BayBo [1]), offered for 3 essential packages of measures to achieve the safety and safety goals.
First, set up of a totally computerized infrared measuring system made by DIAS Infrared to ensure early fire detection. The system’s seven thermographic cameras are put in on pan-tilt units. They detect modifications in temperature at the surfaces of the tanks made of different materials and located in the space monitored by the cameras, earlier than these modifications in temperature may cause a fire. As the cameras can move, the areas to be monitored can be divided into sectors. The cameras then method these sectors cyclically in sequence. To shield the cameras against external influences, they’re housed in ventilated and heated weatherproof enclosures (Fig. 1). Monitoring focuses primarily on the safety units 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 local skilled fireplace department are notified instantly as quickly as the temperature exceeds a sure restrict. The measure package additionally consists of remote triggering of the extinguishing-agent provide from the management centre and automation of the security units.
Incipient hearth fighting scenario with energy loss the place access 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 resolution provided for substitute of the leaking and corroded pipe sections with new pipes and for set up of three mounted foam-extinguishing techniques in the form of foam monitors to struggle incipient fires directly. In addition, a cellular foam monitor was planned as a backup.
A third focus area concerns safeguarding the ability provide required for early fire detection and fireplace fighting. According to the regional power supplier, power outages may have a period of at least half-hour. Given this, the tank-farm wanted an impartial energy provide system that was in a position to ensure energy provide for no much less than 2 hours. The specialists relied on battery buffering and a diesel operated emergency energy unit to resolve this downside.
Fire safety must guarantee achievement of the safety objectives
Protection goals and equal safety stage reached
The fire-protection resolution offered by TÜV SÜD was agreed with each the tank farm’s working firm, the municipal authority and the professional hearth department. The three measure packages additionally complied with the required safety goals and the protection levels. And in the end, they proved far more cost-effective than the solution initially proposed. Since rehabilitation of the tank farm, early fire detection in conjunction with improved fire-protection infrastructure has turn into a central a half of injury limitation. Since the rehabilitation concept was implemented, the tank-farm’s working company – working with the skilled fireplace department – has been capable of effectively counteract all possible scenarios of incipient hearth effectively and at an early stage, even in circumstances of power 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 kind and use (special structures). Their operation includes the handling and storing of extremely explosive or flammable substances. Protection measures and security precautions thus not solely fall inside the working company’s duty but are additionally a matter of public curiosity. Given this, the BayBO stipulates necessities together with materials necessities which, as “General clauses of fire protection”, assist to support the safety goals outlined in Article 12. However, based on article three (1) deviations from the technical building rules are attainable if an alternate solution is discovered that’s equal in phrases of fulfilling the general necessities in paragraph 1. In other words, the necessities laid down within the Building Code are deemed complied with if the generally recognised guidelines of architecture and expertise are fulfilled.