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 safety is of main importance. When rehabilitation of such a tank farm is deliberate, contractors typically suggest in depth – and thus expensive – measures. A fire-protection resolution developed by TÜV SÜD demonstrates that an equivalent degree of security can additionally be reached with a far more cost-effective answer. A central function in injury limitation is played by early fireplace detection utilizing 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 kind explosive mixtures. Given this, tank farms require particular measures in the subject of preventive fire safety. If rehabilitation of fire-protection methods turns into needed at an older tank farm, far-reaching measures must be taken, not only by the use of precaution but additionally to exclude possible legal responsibility dangers. And but not each measure that is technologically feasible is also essential in case of a rehabilitation, as could 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 part of the tank farm in need of rehabilitation covers 24 tanks with a storage volume of between 600 and a couple of,000 cubic metres. The tank farm is used for intermediate storage of highly flammable fluids with flame factors of < 21 levels Celsius, as outlined in 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 To replace the outdated and non-conforming system, an engineering firm submitted an intensive listing of measures. These measures totally glad all regulatory requirements however represented a really cost-intensive solution, requiring a full rehabilitation utilizing traditional extinguishing systems. For the tank-farm operating company, the costs of implementing these measures would have added up to 1.7 million euros.
In fireplace protection, the challenge lies in connecting well-founded technological knowledge and legal know-how. In apply this implies harmonising cheap engineering companies and authorized purposes to acquire a cohesive, economically feasible and easily carried out fire-protection concept.
Alternative resolution 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 firm. Owing to the large number of deficiencies recognized within the tank farm, the specialists first prepared a list of priorities with the measures essential to fulfil the safety requirements and achieve the protection goals. They arrived on the conclusion that not the entire proposed measures actually wanted to be implemented. Starting from this finding, they then drew up an alternative fire-protection idea 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, similar 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 capability of a hundred and eighty m3 per hour to ensure 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 power provider. The feed-in of emergency power was effected by the local professional hearth department.
The engineering agency, against this, had planned to switch the whole fire-extinguishing system. They wanted to put in three mobile extinguishing-agent distribution techniques in container type for distant controlled sprinkling and foaming of the tanks. This answer would have required the installation of recent electrical, operational and control systems as properly as new pipe routes connecting the extinguishing-agent distribution techniques with the fire-fighting methods within the tank fields. The costs for the three extinguishing-agent distribution methods in container type alone would have added up to around 1.2 million euros.
Incipient fireplace combating scenario with intact power provide and free entry to the tank farm.
Implementation of three packages of measures
The various rehabilitation concept developed by TÜV SÜD, which additionally met the necessities of the Bavarian Building Code (BayBo [1]), provided for three important packages of measures to achieve the safety and security objectives.
First, installation of a totally automated infrared measuring system made by DIAS Infrared to make sure early fire detection. The system’s seven thermographic cameras are installed on pan-tilt models. They detect adjustments in temperature on the surfaces of the tanks made of different materials and situated in the area monitored by the cameras, before these modifications in temperature may cause a fireplace. As the cameras can move, the areas to be monitored may be divided into sectors. The cameras then method these sectors cyclically in sequence. To protect the cameras towards external influences, they’re housed in ventilated and heated weatherproof enclosures (Fig. 1). Monitoring focuses totally on the security units of the tanks, pumps and motors and on the filling techniques on the tank-farm premises. The management room at the tank farm and the native skilled hearth department are notified instantly as quickly as the temperature exceeds a sure restrict. The measure package additionally includes distant triggering of the extinguishing-agent provide from the control centre and automation of the safety gadgets.
Incipient fireplace fighting scenario with energy loss where access to the tank farm is blocked by a cargo prepare.
In addition, it covers rehabilitation of the sprinkler and foam-extinguisher system. In เกจวัดแรงดันเชื้อเพลิง , TÜV SÜD’s answer supplied for replacement 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 screens to fight incipient fires instantly. In addition, a cellular foam monitor was deliberate as a backup.
A third focus space concerns safeguarding the ability supply required for early fire detection and fireplace combating. According to the regional vitality provider, energy outages might have a period of at least 30 minutes. Given this, the tank-farm needed an independent power provide system that was in a position to make sure power provide for a minimum of 2 hours. The experts relied on battery buffering and a diesel operated emergency energy unit to solve this downside.
Fire safety must guarantee achievement of the protection objectives
Protection aims and equal security level 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 division. The three measure packages also complied with the required safety objectives and the protection levels. And ultimately, they proved far more cost-effective than the answer initially proposed. Since rehabilitation of the tank farm, early hearth detection in conjunction with improved fire-protection infrastructure has turn into a central part of harm limitation. Since the rehabilitation concept was implemented, the tank-farm’s operating firm – working with the skilled fire division – has been in a place to successfully counteract all possible situations of incipient fire effectively and at an early stage, even in cases of power loss or when access to the tank farm is blocked (see Figures 2 and 3).
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Classification beneath the Bavarian Building Code (Bayerische Bauordnung, BayBo)
Tank farms are installations of a special type and use (special structures). Their operation entails the handling and storing of extremely explosive or flammable substances. Protection measures and security precautions thus not solely fall within the working company’s accountability however are additionally a matter of public curiosity. Given this, the BayBO stipulates requirements together with material requirements which, as “General clauses of fire protection”, assist to support the safety aims defined in Article 12. However, according to article three (1) deviations from the technical building regulations are potential if an alternative resolution is found that is equal when it comes to fulfilling the overall requirements in paragraph 1. In different words, the requirements laid down within the Building Code are deemed complied with if the widely recognised rules of architecture and know-how are fulfilled.

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