Improvement of preventive hearth protection at a tank farm

Tank farms are used for the storage of extremely flammable and explosive substances; Consequently, preventive fire protection is of major significance. When rehabilitation of such a tank farm is deliberate, contractors often advocate in depth – and thus pricey – measures. เพรสเชอร์เกจ -protection answer developed by TÜV SÜD demonstrates that an equal degree of security can also be reached with a much more cost-effective resolution. A central role in harm limitation is performed by early hearth 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 fireplace safety. If rehabilitation of fire-protection techniques becomes necessary at an older tank farm, far-reaching measures must be taken, not only by means of precaution but also to exclude potential liability dangers. And yet not every measure that’s technologically possible can be necessary in case of a rehabilitation, as can be seen from the example 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 need 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 highly flammable fluids with flame points of < 21 levels Celsius, as outlined within the German hazardous substances laws. 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 To substitute the outdated and non-conforming system, an engineering agency submitted an in depth record of measures. These measures absolutely satisfied all regulatory requirements however represented a very cost-intensive answer, requiring a full rehabilitation using conventional extinguishing methods. For the tank-farm working company, the prices of implementing these measures would have added as a lot as 1.7 million euros.
In fire safety, the problem lies in connecting well-founded technological knowledge and authorized know-how. In apply this implies harmonising affordable engineering services and authorized purposes to obtain a cohesive, economically feasible and simply carried out fire-protection concept.
Alternative solution developed by TÜV SÜD

At the operating 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 the big number of deficiencies recognized in the tank farm, the specialists first prepared an inventory of priorities with the measures essential to fulfil the security requirements and achieve the safety aims. They arrived on the conclusion that not all the proposed measures really needed to be applied. Starting from this discovering, they then drew up an alternative fire-protection concept that might finally scale back the projected prices 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 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 make sure water supply for fire combating 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 energy was effected by the local professional fire department.
The engineering firm, by contrast, had deliberate to switch the entire fire-extinguishing system. They needed to install three cellular extinguishing-agent distribution methods in container kind for remote managed sprinkling and foaming of the tanks. This resolution would have required the set up of recent electrical, operational and control techniques as properly as new pipe routes connecting the extinguishing-agent distribution methods with the fire-fighting techniques in the tank fields. The prices for the three extinguishing-agent distribution techniques in container form alone would have added as a lot as round 1.2 million euros.
Incipient fireplace fighting state of affairs with intact energy provide and free access to the tank farm.
Implementation of three packages of measures

The alternative rehabilitation concept developed by TÜV SÜD, which also met the requirements of the Bavarian Building Code (BayBo [1]), supplied for three essential packages of measures to attain the safety and security goals.
First, set up 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 units. They detect changes in temperature on the surfaces of the tanks made of different materials and situated in the space monitored by the cameras, earlier than these adjustments in temperature could cause a fireplace. As the cameras can transfer, the areas to be monitored could be divided into sectors. The cameras then strategy these sectors cyclically in sequence. To defend the cameras against exterior influences, they are 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 methods on the tank-farm premises. The control room on the tank farm and the local professional fire division are notified immediately as quickly as the temperature exceeds a certain limit. The measure bundle additionally consists of distant triggering of the extinguishing-agent provide from the management centre and automation of the security gadgets.
Incipient fireplace fighting scenario with power loss the place 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 answer provided for alternative of the leaking and corroded pipe sections with new pipes and for installation of three fastened foam-extinguishing techniques in the form of foam monitors to fight incipient fires directly. In addition, a cellular foam monitor was planned as a backup.
A third focus space considerations safeguarding the facility provide required for early hearth detection and hearth combating. According to the regional power provider, energy outages might have a period of at least half-hour. Given this, the tank-farm needed an unbiased power supply system that was able to ensure power provide for a minimum of 2 hours. The consultants relied on battery buffering and a diesel operated emergency power unit to unravel this drawback.
Fire protection should ensure achievement of the safety aims

Protection aims and equivalent safety degree reached

The fire-protection solution introduced by TÜV SÜD was agreed with each the tank farm’s operating company, the municipal authority and the professional fireplace division. The three measure packages also complied with the required protection objectives and the safety ranges. And in the end, they proved far less expensive than the solution initially proposed. Since rehabilitation of the tank farm, early fireplace detection at the aspect of improved fire-protection infrastructure has turn out to be a central part of injury limitation. Since the rehabilitation idea was carried out, the tank-farm’s working company – working with the skilled fire department – has been in a place to effectively counteract all potential situations of incipient fire effectively 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 under the Bavarian Building Code (Bayerische Bauordnung, BayBo)

Tank farms are installations of a special type and use (special structures). Their operation entails the dealing with and storing of extremely explosive or flammable substances. Protection measures and security precautions thus not only fall inside the operating company’s duty however are additionally a matter of public curiosity. Given this, the BayBO stipulates requirements including materials requirements which, as “General clauses of fire protection”, help to help the safety goals outlined in Article 12. However, in accordance with article three (1) deviations from the technical constructing regulations are potential if another answer is found that is equivalent when it comes to fulfilling the overall necessities in paragraph 1. In different words, the necessities laid down within the Building Code are deemed complied with if the generally recognised rules of architecture and know-how are fulfilled.

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