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Improvement of preventive hearth safety at a tank farm

Tank farms are used for the storage of highly flammable and explosive substances; Consequently, preventive hearth protection is of major importance. When rehabilitation of such a tank farm is deliberate, contractors usually advocate intensive – and thus pricey – measures. A fire-protection solution developed by TÜV SÜD demonstrates that an equivalent degree of security may additionally be reached with a a lot more cost-effective solution. A central position in damage limitation is performed by early fire detection using thermographic cameras.
Numerous tank farms throughout Germany retailer petrol, diesel, kerosene or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). In digital pressure gauge with air, these extremely flammable substances can kind explosive mixtures. Given this, tank farms require special measures in the field of preventive hearth safety. If rehabilitation of fire-protection methods becomes essential at an older tank farm, far-reaching measures must be taken, not solely by the use of precaution but additionally to exclude potential legal responsibility risks. And yet not each measure that’s technologically feasible can be needed in case of a rehabilitation, as can be seen from the instance of a tank farm in Bavaria, Germany.
The tank farm is positioned 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 volume of between 600 and 2,000 cubic metres. The tank farm is used for intermediate storage of extremely flammable fluids with flame factors of < 21 levels Celsius, as outlined in the German hazardous substances laws. In fire inspections and on-site inspections after incidents, the inspectors had identified main non-conformities in the fire-extinguishing system. To exchange the outdated and non-conforming system, an engineering agency submitted an in depth record of measures. These measures absolutely glad all regulatory requirements but represented a really cost-intensive solution, requiring a full rehabilitation utilizing traditional extinguishing techniques. For the tank-farm operating firm, the prices of implementing these measures would have added up to 1.7 million euros.
In fireplace safety, the challenge lies in connecting well-founded technological information and authorized know-how. In practice this means harmonising cheap engineering providers and authorized functions to obtain a cohesive, economically feasible and simply carried out fire-protection concept.
Alternative solution developed by TÜV SÜD

At the working company’s request, TÜV SÜD’s third-party specialists validated the individual measures and the cost-effectiveness of the rehabilitation plan submitted by the engineering agency. Owing to diaphragm seal of deficiencies recognized in the tank farm, the experts first ready a listing of priorities with the measures necessary to fulfil the safety necessities and obtain the protection goals. They arrived at the conclusion that not the entire proposed measures truly needed to be applied. Starting from this finding, they then drew up an alternative fire-protection concept that may finally cut 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 total foaming-agent supply of 10,500 litres distributed across 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 supply for fire fighting 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 vitality provider. The feed-in of emergency power was effected by the local professional fireplace division.
The engineering firm, against this, had deliberate to switch the complete fire-extinguishing system. They wanted to put in three mobile extinguishing-agent distribution systems in container form for distant managed sprinkling and foaming of the tanks. This resolution would have required the set up of new electrical, operational and control systems in addition to new pipe routes connecting the extinguishing-agent distribution systems with the fire-fighting techniques within the tank fields. The prices for the three extinguishing-agent distribution methods in container type alone would have added up to round 1.2 million euros.
Incipient hearth preventing state of affairs with intact energy provide and free access to the tank farm.
Implementation of three packages of measures

The alternative rehabilitation idea developed by TÜV SÜD, which also met the requirements of the Bavarian Building Code (BayBo [1]), provided for 3 important packages of measures to realize the safety and safety aims.
First, installation of a fully 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 items. They detect adjustments in temperature on the surfaces of the tanks made of various materials and positioned within the space monitored by the cameras, before these adjustments in temperature can cause a hearth. 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 defend the cameras against 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 methods on the tank-farm premises. The management room at the tank farm and the native skilled hearth division are notified instantly as soon as the temperature exceeds a certain limit. The measure bundle additionally contains distant triggering of the extinguishing-agent provide from the management centre and automation of the protection devices.
Incipient fire preventing state of affairs with power loss where 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 solution supplied for alternative of the leaking and corroded pipe sections with new pipes and for set up of three fixed foam-extinguishing techniques in the form of foam screens to battle incipient fires immediately. In diaphragm seal , a cellular foam monitor was deliberate as a backup.
A third focus space issues safeguarding the ability supply required for early fire detection and fireplace fighting. According to the regional energy supplier, energy outages may have a period of no much less than 30 minutes. Given this, the tank-farm wanted an independent energy supply system that was ready to make sure power provide for at least 2 hours. The experts relied on battery buffering and a diesel operated emergency power unit to resolve this drawback.
Fire safety should guarantee achievement of the safety objectives

Protection objectives and equal safety stage reached

The fire-protection resolution introduced by TÜV SÜD was agreed with both the tank farm’s operating company, the municipal authority and the professional fire division. The three measure packages also complied with the required safety aims and the security levels. And finally, they proved far less expensive than the solution initially proposed. Since rehabilitation of the tank farm, early fireplace detection along side improved fire-protection infrastructure has turn out to be a central a half of damage limitation. Since the rehabilitation concept was applied, the tank-farm’s operating firm – working with the skilled fire division – has been able to successfully counteract all possible scenarios of incipient fire successfully and at an early stage, even in circumstances of power loss or when access to the tank farm is blocked (see Figures 2 and 3).
For extra information, 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 sort and use (special structures). Their operation involves the dealing with and storing of highly explosive or flammable substances. Protection measures and security precautions thus not solely fall throughout the working company’s responsibility but are also a matter of public curiosity. Given this, the BayBO stipulates requirements together with material requirements which, as “General clauses of fireside protection”, help to help the safety aims defined in Article 12. However, based on article 3 (1) deviations from the technical building rules are possible if an alternate answer is found that’s equal when it comes to fulfilling the overall requirements in paragraph 1. In other words, the requirements laid down within the Building Code are deemed complied with if the commonly recognised guidelines of structure and expertise are fulfilled.

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