STORAGE TANK FIRE EXTINGUISHING BY FOAMFATALE: DETAILS OF A HIGH END TECHNOLOGY FOR LARGE ATMOSPHERIC STORAGE TANK FIRES
FoamFatale™ storage tank fire extinguishing technology makes it possible to make a huge step forward in protecting the environment against the damaging effects of storage tank fires
The highest level of protecting the environment is provided by successful prevention.
The secondary environmental effect of the storage tank fire extinguishing is caused by the use of extinguishing materials.
The use of artificial extinguishing materials always causes environmental pollution.
- the shortest period of time between outbreak of the fire and extinguishment
- highly efficient and effective use of extinguishing agent
The traditional method is not suitable when there are no firewater sources available.
In some cases the owner has no choice but to opt for operating without any fire protection whatsoever.
Conventional strategies, reason for low success rate
Dependence on water
FoamFatale storage tank fire extinguishing – it does not use water at all
- The implementation of conventional fire protection systems is facing serious technical problems
- The cost to set up an installation complying with NFPA recommendations is too high
- There is insufficient manpower available at short notice to operate a labour-intensive mobile or semi-fixed system
- There is a need for an acceptable level of reliability
This is FoamFatale™.
2. Description of the high performance automatic and autonomous storage tank fire extinguishing fixed system
Storage tank fire extinguishing by superintensive foam flooding
- FoamFatale™ is a revolutionary new storage tank fire extinguishing technology, using a very high foam application rate. It is called Superintensive Foam Flooding (SFF)
- The extremely high foam flow rate is provided through the new foam application device, which accommodates the very large foam flow and prevents excessive velocities in the nozzle. It is called Continuous Linear Nozzle (CLN). The CLN provides an ideal curtain-like foam application pattern, thus providing substantial and continuous cooling of the tank wall
- One of the advantages of the Self Expanding Foam concept is that it has no release rate limitations. By combining the SEF®method with the newly developed high capacity CLN, it is easy to achieve the application rates of 20-40 litres/minute/square meter. This can fulfill the requirements of the Dinamic Tactical Rules.
- The result of this combination is an extremely high efficient system. Tests carried out on a 500 m2 gasoline tank on fire repeatedly resulted in extinguishment in less than 40 seconds. The reliability of the system is very high; the valve is the only moving part in it
- The SEF® storage vessel can be a stationary vessel located in the vicinity but at a safe distance from the hydrocarbon tank. An alternative option, requiring some intervention by manpower, can be a mobile SEF® storage vessel mounted on a truck
The method eliminates the limitations of the old-fashioned systems.
Preparation of foam
FoamFatale storage tank fire extinguishing – foam storage
- Self Expanding Foam is prepared well in advance under calm and controlled conditions. This eliminates the probability of an off-spec composition of the foam
- The pre-mixed foam is stored in a pressure vessel until the moment of use
- The foam remains homogenous for at least 10 years, as experience has shown
Dimensions of SEF® vessels
FoamFatale storage tank fire extinguishing – the pressure vessel
- Static SEF® vessels can be very large. The maximum quantity of stored foam is determined only by the mechanical manufacturing limitations
- The maximum size of vessels on vehicles is determined by size and weight. The limiting factor is most probably the maximum allowable dimension of the vehicle as well as the maximum allowable axle load for the road system to be used.
Let’s the foam flow
FoamFatale storage tank fire extinguishing – the foam exits
- On release of the SEF® the pressurized foam will expand. This in turn eliminates the need for aspirating devices
- The release rate of the foam from the vessel is not bound by conventional limitations, like aspirating devices and such
- The expansion ratio of the foam is independent from the flow rate; the pressure in the foam vessel is the only factor determining the expansion
Operation of the system
FoamFatale storage tank fire extinguishing – the main valve
- The operation of the whole system is extremely simple. All that is required is to open the isolation valve between the pressurised SEF® storage vessel and the foam application device
- The simplicity eliminates the need for specialists to operate the system successfully
Applications where the SEF® concept can be used
- Hydrocarbon storage tank fire extinguishing by superintensive foam flooding
- New concept airport crash tenders
- First intervention vehicles
- Skid mounted units
- Fixed installations for restaurant cookers, fuel storage, underground fuel bunkers
- Portable and wheeled fire extinguishers
- SEF® tanks on vehicles, replacing or complementing conventional fire fighting vehicles
- Foam supply on sites handling flammable liquids that have no firewater system
- Foam supply for road car loading facilities handling flammable liquid
Advantages of the FoamFatale™ system over conventional systems
- Its reliability level is very high: the CLN can hardly be damaged by explosions or fire
- It is sabotage-proof, the fire protection system of a tank farm built by our method has no common elements, like a fire water system, which when destroyed would cause the malfunction of fire protection systems using firewater
- Requires considerably lower CAPEX
- Requires considerably lower OPEX
- The system is fully autonomous
- Does not require firewater at all
- It does not require external energy sources, like fire truck or electric pump
- It is so simple that mistakes under stressful fire conditions are unlikely
- Automatic operation of the system further reduces air pollution caused by the fire
- Its simplicity eliminates the need for specialists to operate and maintain the system
- It uses perfectly proportioned foam, mixed under calm and controlled conditions
- The foam is stored under pressure; no pump or other pressure-raising source is required
- The pressure of the container determines the expansion; no aspirating device is required
- Produces optimum quality foam at all flow rates
- Its flow rate is virtually unlimited; pumps, proportioners, aspirating devices are not there
- Very high foam-producing rates can be easily achieved at modest cost
- Has only a few key elements requiring regular inspection
- Is also suitable for the fire protection of rooms or large equipment and machinery