Improvement of preventive fireplace safety at a tank farm

Tank farms are used for the storage of highly flammable and explosive substances; Consequently, preventive fire protection is of major significance. When rehabilitation of such a tank farm is deliberate, contractors typically advocate extensive – and thus pricey – measures. A fire-protection answer developed by TÜV SÜD demonstrates that an equivalent level of safety can also be reached with a much more cost-effective resolution. A central function in damage limitation is played by early fire detection utilizing thermographic cameras.
Numerous tank farms all through Germany retailer petrol, diesel, kerosene or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). In contact with air, these extremely flammable substances can type explosive mixtures. Given this, tank farms require special measures within the subject of preventive fireplace safety. If rehabilitation of fire-protection techniques becomes essential at an older tank farm, far-reaching measures ought to be taken, not only by way of precaution but additionally to exclude potential legal responsibility risks. And yet not each measure that is technologically feasible is also essential in case of a rehabilitation, as can 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 need 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 highly flammable fluids with flame points of < 21 degrees Celsius, as outlined within the German hazardous substances legislation. In fire inspections and on-site inspections after incidents, the inspectors had recognized major non-conformities in the fire-extinguishing system. To substitute the outdated and non-conforming system, an engineering firm submitted an extensive list of measures. These measures absolutely satisfied all regulatory necessities but represented a very cost-intensive solution, requiring a full rehabilitation using conventional extinguishing systems. For the tank-farm operating company, the prices of implementing these measures would have added up to 1.7 million euros.
In hearth safety, the challenge lies in connecting well-founded technological data and legal know-how. In practice this implies harmonising cheap engineering companies and authorized applications to obtain a cohesive, economically feasible and simply carried out fire-protection idea.
Alternative answer developed by TÜV SÜD

At the operating company’s request, TÜV SÜD’s third-party consultants validated the individual measures and the cost-effectiveness of the rehabilitation plan submitted by the engineering agency. Owing to the large variety of deficiencies recognized in the tank farm, the specialists first ready an inventory of priorities with the measures essential to fulfil the security necessities and obtain the protection goals. They arrived on the conclusion that not the entire proposed measures actually wanted to be applied. Starting from this discovering, they then drew up an alternative fire-protection concept that would finally scale back the projected costs by one third.
TÜV SÜD’s rehabilitation plan included the fire-protection infrastructure already in place at the tank farm, corresponding to 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 capacity of a hundred and eighty m3 per hour to make sure water provide for fireplace 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 power provider. The feed-in of emergency power was effected by the local skilled hearth department.
The engineering firm, in contrast, had deliberate to switch the entire fire-extinguishing system. They needed to install three cellular extinguishing-agent distribution systems in container kind for remote managed sprinkling and foaming of the tanks. This solution would have required the installation of latest electrical, operational and management methods as well as new pipe routes connecting the extinguishing-agent distribution methods with the fire-fighting systems within the tank fields. The prices for the three extinguishing-agent distribution methods in container form alone would have added up to round 1.2 million euros.
Incipient hearth fighting state of affairs 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 also met the necessities of the Bavarian Building Code (BayBo [1]), provided for three important packages of measures to achieve the safety and safety goals.
First, เพรสเชอร์เกจ of a totally automatic infrared measuring system made by DIAS Infrared to make sure early fireplace 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, before these modifications in temperature could cause a hearth. As the cameras can move, the areas to be monitored may be divided into sectors. The cameras then approach these sectors cyclically in sequence. To shield the cameras towards external influences, they are housed in ventilated and heated weatherproof enclosures (Fig. 1). Monitoring focuses primarily on the protection units 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 local skilled fire department are notified instantly as quickly as the temperature exceeds a certain restrict. The measure package deal additionally contains remote triggering of the extinguishing-agent provide from the control centre and automation of the protection gadgets.
Incipient hearth preventing state of affairs with energy loss the place entry to the tank farm is blocked by a cargo train.
In addition, it covers rehabilitation of the sprinkler and foam-extinguisher system. In this context, TÜV SÜD’s solution provided for alternative of the leaking and corroded pipe sections with new pipes and for installation of three mounted foam-extinguishing techniques within the type of foam screens to fight incipient fires instantly. In addition, a cell foam monitor was deliberate as a backup.
A third focus space issues safeguarding the ability provide required for early fireplace detection and fireplace combating. According to the regional energy supplier, energy outages may have a period of at least half-hour. Given this, the tank-farm wanted an independent energy provide system that was able to ensure power supply for at least 2 hours. The specialists relied on battery buffering and a diesel operated emergency power unit to resolve this downside.
Fire safety must guarantee achievement of the protection goals

Protection objectives and equivalent safety degree reached

The fire-protection resolution presented by TÜV SÜD was agreed with each the tank farm’s working company, the municipal authority and the professional fire division. The three measure packages also complied with the required safety objectives and the protection ranges. And ultimately, they proved far cheaper than the answer initially proposed. Since rehabilitation of the tank farm, early fire detection in conjunction with improved fire-protection infrastructure has turn into a central part of injury limitation. Since ไดอะแฟรม was carried out, the tank-farm’s working company – working with the skilled fireplace department – has been capable of successfully counteract all potential situations of incipient fireplace successfully and at an early stage, even in instances of energy 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 particular type and use (special structures). Their operation involves the handling and storing of extremely explosive or flammable substances. Protection measures and safety precautions thus not solely fall inside the working company’s accountability but are additionally a matter of public curiosity. Given this, the BayBO stipulates necessities including material necessities which, as “General clauses of fireplace protection”, help to support the safety goals defined in Article 12. However, in accordance with article three (1) deviations from the technical constructing regulations are potential if an alternate answer is discovered that’s equivalent when it comes to fulfilling the final requirements in paragraph 1. In different phrases, the requirements laid down in the Building Code are deemed complied with if the widely recognised rules of architecture and expertise are fulfilled.

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