Not all lightning strikes require direct contact to damage exposed oilfield and fuel tanks. A nearby lightning strike can create a chain reaction promoting fire/explosion to an entire site’s tanks, fluids and equipment.
The generation of electric charges, their accumulation on material, and the process of dissipating these accumulated charges cause static electricity hazards.
Sparks from static electricity are a significant source of ignition. For an electrostatic charge to be a source of ignition, four conditions must be present:
The possibility of a static discharge between the liquid surface and the tank shell, roof supports, or other appurtenances is related to the static-generating qualities of the liquid in the tank. Refined petroleum products that tend to retain static charges can introduce a greater risk of static ignition unless they are handled properly.
Exposure from lightning strikes and build-up of static electricity is a major source of fire and tank explosion, or it may be secondary effect from a direct or nearby lightning strike.
Fuel tank lightning protection system is the best proactive measure that is taken to avoid such incidents. Below are some more measures to handle such liquid properly.
LEC’s fuel tank lightning protection system
For floating roof tanks, LEC’s retractable grounding assembly (RGA) will provide a positive electrical bond between the roof and shell of the tank.
To protect against direct lightning strikes to any type of tank, LEC can provide a dissipation array system (DAS) in a variety of configurations, depending on the geometry of the tank. The DAS will continuously dissipate the electrical charge that accumulates on a tank during a thunderstorm, thus preventing the termination of a strike to the tank. Each DAS is custom designed to fit the tank exactly.
You have choices in how to protect your assets. Contact us to discuss your options for fuel tank lightning protection system.
Lightning Eliminators & Consultants, Inc. (LEC) serves its clients by installing and maintaining lightning protection systems (LPS), and prevention solutions. Equipped with over four decades of experience, LEC has provided successful support to over 90 countries and throughout the United States.