BP Whiting Refinery often experienced problems with its above ground gasoline storage tanks in the winter as snow would be blown into the tanks through their center and peripheral vents and accumulate on their internal floating roofs. The size of the ventilation opening must be large enough to allow outside air to flow in and dilute gasoline vapor inside the tank, but should not be too large such that snow could be blown in. An alternative design for peripheral vents that can eliminate the problem is desired.
Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is employed to model the flow around and inside the storage tank. In addition to modeling the current tank, two modified storage tanks are modeled and proposed as possible solutions to the problem. To ensure the proposed modified tanks meet the industry standards, a tank designed based on the industry standards is modeled and is used as a benchmark.
The analysis of the flow field and air mixture for the four cases has been conducted. Comparisons among four configurations have been made to evaluate the differences in the velocity field and air mixture of the tank. The optimized design for current stage has been achieved.
Sponsor: BP Whiting Refinery