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21-02-2019 | Issue 5/2019

Fire Technology 5/2019

Optimal Safe Layout of Fuel Storage Tanks Exposed to Pool Fire: One Dimensional Deterministic Modelling Approach

Journal:
Fire Technology > Issue 5/2019
Author:
Angan Sengupta
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Abstract

Fire hazard is one of the main risks associated to fuel storage tanks in petroleum and in the petrochemical industries. Such a hazard includes pool fires in the storage tanks or in the bunds, fire propagation from the source tank to target tanks both in absence and in presence of wind, and also the cascading/domino effect due to confined and unconfined vapour cloud explosion and or BLEVE associated with the source tank. In the present work, a radiation shield of flowing water has been introduced at a distance from the source fuel storage tank to prevent the domino effect originating from this source tank, under fire, to the target fuel storage tanks in a tank farm. A simple one dimensional model has been developed from the steady state energy balance to simulate the safe distances (i.e. rim–rim distance) between fuel storage tanks containing class-I fuel (e.g. gasoline), both in presence and absence of a water-shield under no-wind and cross-wind conditions. The model predictions have shown that the maximum safe inter-tank separation distance of 28.42 m is anticipated at a wind velocity of 6 m/s, compared to 16.34 m in no-wind condition, beyond which the centroid of the parallelepiped (a solid-flame geometry) falls outside the base of the tilted flame geometry causing flattening of flame and a very sluggish increase in the flame tilt angle as the inverse of the Richardson number in the presence of wind velocity vector increases. Furthermore, the present one dimensional mathematical model has also been extended to show that introduction of a water-shield with an appropriate thickness (δopt) is able to prevent the propagation of radiation heat flux under both no-wind and cross-wind conditions to a much lower distance close to 8.34 m between tanks (measured from the centre of the source tank), than those predicted from the existing empirical models; viz. Point Source model and Shokrie-Beyler’s model.

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