New probabilistic consequence modelling tool for pool fires inside dike containment of tank farm

FESG tackles current issues

As of today, little research has been conducted on fire scenarios related to pool fires inside the dike containment of a tank farm. These scenarios are not unrealistic however, with the ITC Deer Park fire in Texas being a recent example. These scenarios need to be accounted for and the necessary precautions need to be taken to ensure that the fire brigade has an adequate response scenario.

Several calculation methods and software packages exist which are able to predict the thermal radiation from a small to medium-scale pool fire. If these methods and models are used to determine the possible radiation contours of a pool fire inside the dike containment of a tank farm, a degree of uncertainty exists as these models are not developed to estimate the radiant heat flux from large-scale fires. Another common issue is that the output of the method/model is heavily dependent on the choice of the value of certain input parameters made by the user.

In an effort to tackle these issues, FESG investigated the existing semi-empirical methods and software packages. These methods and software packages were analysed with respect to their ability in estimating the radiation from a tank farm fire scenario.

Modelling tool for design of tank farm and response strategy for dike fire scenario’s

Based on the analysis, a modelling tool was developed which generates a graph combining all possible radiant heat fluxes based on the given probabilistic input parameters and histograms which visualise all distances reached for certain pre-defined heat fluxes.

The output of the models can serve as a tool to develop the fire protection/suppression strategy for a dike fire scenario, as well as during the design phase of the tank farm, e.g. to determine the necessary distances between tanks inside the tank farm to limit the escalation/propagation of the fire to neighbouring tanks.

LASTFIRE large scale fire test

In 2021 FESG will be engaged in a large-scale fire test (50m x 6m) organised by LASTFIRE by leading the sub-group which is involved in radiation and dispersion simulations and measurements. 

     

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Arne Inghelbrecht - Project Manager Fire Engineered Solutions Ghent, ai@fesg.be

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