Improvement of preventive fireplace protection 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 planned, contractors usually suggest in depth – and thus costly – measures. A fire-protection solution developed by TÜV SÜD demonstrates that an equivalent level of safety can also be reached with a far more cost-effective resolution. A central function in damage limitation is played by early fireplace detection using thermographic cameras.
Numerous tank farms throughout Germany store petrol, diesel, kerosene or liquefied petroleum fuel (LPG). In contact with air, these extremely flammable substances can type explosive mixtures. Given this, tank farms require particular measures in the subject of preventive fireplace safety. If rehabilitation of fire-protection systems turns into necessary at an older tank farm, far-reaching measures ought to be taken, not only by the use of precaution but in addition to exclude attainable liability risks. And but not every measure that is technologically possible can additionally be necessary 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. The a half 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 degrees Celsius, as outlined within the German hazardous substances laws. In fireplace inspections and on-site inspections after incidents, the inspectors had recognized major non-conformities within 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 To exchange the outdated and non-conforming system, an engineering agency submitted an in depth record of measures.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 very cost-intensive solution, requiring a full rehabilitation using traditional extinguishing methods. For the tank-farm operating company, the costs of implementing these measures would have added as much as 1.7 million euros.
In fireplace safety, the problem lies in connecting well-founded technological knowledge and authorized know-how. In follow this implies harmonising affordable engineering companies and legal functions to obtain a cohesive, economically possible and easily carried out fire-protection concept.
Alternative solution developed by TÜV SÜD

At the working 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 variety of deficiencies identified within the tank farm, the consultants first prepared a listing of priorities with the measures essential to fulfil the security necessities and achieve the safety goals. They arrived on the conclusion that not all the proposed measures really wanted to be applied. Starting from this finding, they then drew up an alternative fire-protection concept that would ultimately reduce 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 supply of 10,500 litres distributed throughout two tanks, two submerged pumps in the port basin with a pump capacity of one hundred eighty m3 per hour to make sure water provide for fire preventing 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 supplier. The feed-in of emergency power was effected by the native professional fire department.
The engineering agency, against this, had planned to switch the whole fire-extinguishing system. They wished to install three mobile extinguishing-agent distribution techniques in container kind for distant controlled sprinkling and foaming of the tanks. This solution would have required the installation of recent electrical, operational and control techniques as nicely 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 kind alone would have added as much as round 1.2 million euros.
Incipient fireplace combating situation with intact energy provide and free access to the tank farm.
Implementation of three packages of measures

The various rehabilitation idea developed by TÜV SÜD, which also met the requirements of the Bavarian Building Code (BayBo [1]), supplied for 3 important packages of measures to attain the protection and security objectives.
First, installation of a fully automatic 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 units. They detect changes in temperature on the surfaces of the tanks made of various supplies and positioned in the space monitored by the cameras, before these changes in temperature could cause a fire. As the cameras can transfer, the areas to be monitored could be divided into sectors. The cameras then approach 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 primarily on the safety devices of the tanks, pumps and motors and on the filling techniques on the tank-farm premises. The control room at the tank farm and the local skilled fireplace department are notified instantly as quickly as the temperature exceeds a sure limit. The measure bundle also contains remote triggering of the extinguishing-agent supply from the control centre and automation of the protection devices.
Incipient fire fighting state of affairs with energy loss the place entry to the tank farm is blocked by a cargo prepare.
In addition, it covers rehabilitation of the sprinkler and foam-extinguisher system. In this context, TÜV SÜD’s resolution supplied for substitute of the leaking and corroded pipe sections with new pipes and for installation of three fastened foam-extinguishing systems in the type of foam displays to struggle incipient fires immediately. In addition, a cellular foam monitor was deliberate as a backup.
A third focus area considerations safeguarding the ability provide required for early hearth detection and fire fighting. According to the regional power provider, power outages might have a period of at least 30 minutes. Given this, the tank-farm needed an unbiased power provide system that was able to ensure power supply for no less than 2 hours. The experts relied on battery buffering and a diesel operated emergency energy unit to resolve this problem.
Fire safety must ensure achievement of the safety objectives

Protection aims and equal safety level reached

The fire-protection answer introduced by TÜV SÜD was agreed with each the tank farm’s working firm, the municipal authority and the skilled fire department. The three measure packages additionally complied with the required protection objectives and the protection ranges. And finally, they proved far cheaper than the solution initially proposed. Since rehabilitation of the tank farm, early hearth detection along side improved fire-protection infrastructure has become a central a half of injury limitation. Since ไดอะแฟรม ซีล was implemented, the tank-farm’s working firm – working with the skilled fireplace department – has been able to effectively counteract all possible eventualities of incipient fire successfully 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 particular sort and use (special structures). Their operation includes the dealing with and storing of extremely explosive or flammable substances. Protection measures and security precautions thus not only fall within the operating company’s duty but are additionally a matter of public interest. Given this, the BayBO stipulates necessities together with material necessities which, as “General clauses of fireside protection”, help to help the safety goals outlined in Article 12. However, based on article three (1) deviations from the technical constructing rules are potential if an alternate resolution is found that’s equivalent by means of fulfilling the final necessities in paragraph 1. In other words, the necessities laid down in the Building Code are deemed complied with if the generally recognised rules of structure and technology are fulfilled.