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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 planned, contractors often recommend intensive – and thus pricey – measures. A fire-protection answer developed by TÜV SÜD demonstrates that an equivalent degree of security may also be reached with a a lot more cost-effective resolution. A central function in injury limitation is played by early fireplace 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 form explosive mixtures. Given this, tank farms require special measures in the field of preventive fire protection. If rehabilitation of fire-protection systems becomes necessary at an older tank farm, far-reaching measures ought to be taken, not solely by means of precaution but additionally to exclude potential legal responsibility risks. And but not every measure that’s technologically possible can also be needed in case of a rehabilitation, as could 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 a part of the tank farm in want 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 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 To substitute the outdated and non-conforming system, an engineering agency submitted an in depth record of measures.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 totally glad all regulatory necessities however represented a really cost-intensive solution, requiring a full rehabilitation using traditional extinguishing techniques. For the tank-farm working firm, the costs of implementing these measures would have added up to 1.7 million euros.
In hearth protection, the challenge lies in connecting well-founded technological knowledge and legal know-how. In follow this implies harmonising affordable engineering providers and authorized functions to acquire a cohesive, economically feasible and easily applied fire-protection idea.
Alternative answer developed by TÜV SÜD
At the working company’s request, TÜV SÜD’s third-party specialists validated the person measures and the cost-effectiveness of the rehabilitation plan submitted by the engineering agency. Owing to the large variety of deficiencies identified within the tank farm, the consultants first prepared a list of priorities with the measures necessary to fulfil the protection requirements and obtain the safety goals. They arrived on the conclusion that not the entire proposed measures truly needed to be carried out. Starting from this discovering, they then drew up another fire-protection idea that might finally reduce the projected prices 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 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 combating 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 energy supplier. The feed-in of emergency energy was effected by the local professional fireplace division.
The engineering firm, against this, had deliberate to switch the entire fire-extinguishing system. They needed to install three cell extinguishing-agent distribution systems in container form for distant managed sprinkling and foaming of the tanks. This solution would have required the set up of recent electrical, operational and management methods as well as new pipe routes connecting the extinguishing-agent distribution systems with the fire-fighting techniques within the tank fields. The costs for the three extinguishing-agent distribution systems in container form alone would have added as a lot as around 1.2 million euros.
Incipient hearth preventing scenario 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 necessities of the Bavarian Building Code (BayBo [1]), offered for 3 important packages of measures to attain the protection and security objectives.
First, installation of a totally computerized infrared measuring system made by DIAS Infrared to make sure early hearth detection. The system’s seven thermographic cameras are put in on pan-tilt models. They detect adjustments in temperature on the surfaces of the tanks made of various materials and situated in the area monitored by the cameras, earlier than these changes in temperature could cause a hearth. As the cameras can transfer, the areas to be monitored can be divided into sectors. The cameras then strategy these sectors cyclically in sequence. To shield the cameras in opposition to exterior influences, they are housed in ventilated and heated weatherproof enclosures (Fig. 1). Monitoring focuses totally on the protection gadgets of the tanks, pumps and motors and on the filling methods on the tank-farm premises. The control room at the tank farm and the native skilled fire department are notified immediately as quickly as the temperature exceeds a certain restrict. The measure package also contains remote triggering of the extinguishing-agent supply from the management centre and automation of the safety gadgets.
Incipient fire fighting situation with energy loss where entry 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 systems within the form of foam screens to struggle incipient fires instantly. In addition, a cellular foam monitor was deliberate as a backup.
A third focus space considerations safeguarding the ability supply required for early fire detection and fire fighting. According to the regional power provider, energy outages might have a duration of no much less than 30 minutes. Given this, the tank-farm wanted an impartial power supply system that was in a position to ensure power supply for at least 2 hours. The specialists relied on battery buffering and a diesel operated emergency power unit to unravel this problem.
เกจวัดแรงดันน้ำ must guarantee achievement of the safety objectives
Protection objectives and equal safety level reached
The fire-protection solution introduced by TÜV SÜD was agreed with each the tank farm’s operating firm, the municipal authority and the professional fire department. The three measure packages also complied with the required safety goals and the safety ranges. And finally, they proved far less expensive than the answer initially proposed. Since rehabilitation of the tank farm, early hearth detection at the aspect of improved fire-protection infrastructure has turn out to be a central part of harm limitation. Since the rehabilitation concept was implemented, the tank-farm’s working company – working with the skilled fire division – has been capable of effectively counteract all attainable situations of incipient fireplace successfully and at an early stage, even in circumstances of energy 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 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 only fall throughout the operating company’s duty but are additionally a matter of public interest. Given this, the BayBO stipulates requirements together with materials requirements which, as “General clauses of fireplace protection”, assist to assist the safety aims defined in Article 12. However, according to article 3 (1) deviations from the technical building rules are potential if an alternative answer is found that’s equivalent when it comes to fulfilling the final necessities in paragraph 1. In different phrases, the necessities laid down in the Building Code are deemed complied with if the commonly recognised guidelines of architecture and expertise are fulfilled.

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