Risk: Implosion of storage tanks
Damage of a storage tank due to vacuum causes large economic loss. Cooling of gas in a storage tanks results to a huge drop in pressure; this may for example occur in a hot summer day, when the tank is cooled after intense rain. This pressure drop causes vacuum forces which lead to the implosion and collapse of the tank. Storage tanks are equipped with a venting device to prevent damage. Storage tanks “breath” figuratively, depending on whether the content inside is cooling down or warming up.
Temperature variations occur typically during the day or the season of the year, or due to climate change. This tank breathing leads to discharge of millions of cubic meters of hazardous substances to the environment. During breathing, there is oxygen intake into the tank or emmission of flammable or hazardous substances both of which are undesired. This can cause dangerous gas mixtures. To counter this, systems are designed for inert gas intake on one side and safe disposal of emitted substance on the other. The economic effort in implementing this is large.
CSE Institute develops die SmABs (smart anti-breathing devices) – safety devices to substitute tank venting devices to a large extent or fully. This means that tanks would not require venting devices.