Pro-Tek Field Services specializes in lightning protection equipment and installation services for the oil and gas industry. Hydrocarbon storage tanks are particularly susceptible to lightning strikes, especially those made from fiberglass. The buildup of static electricity is also a common safety hazard that can be prevented.
Given the natural volatility of the contents in these tanks, a subsequent explosion and fire caused by lightning or static buildup can have absolutely catastrophic effects. Pro-Tek Field Services delivers a three-part standard installation procedure to help mitigate the effects of static buildup and lightning events.
·Protect equipment and assets
Phase 1: Grounding and Bonding
Phase 1 protection begins with grounding and bonding all non-continuous conductive surfaces in order to provide equal potential to ground across the site being protected. Nonconductive structures should have an appropriate conductor installed, with two paths to ground. Structures made of steel that are at least 3/16th of an inch thick can provide their own path as conductors of lightning energy, so long as they share at least two paths of sufficient carriage to ground.
Phase 2: Lightning Protection
For phase 2 protection, we build on the foundation in phase 1 and add streamer preventing terminals (SPTs) to the structure at all vertical stacks, along perimeters and horizontal pipes, and along the catwalk. Spacing is similar to that of air terminal placement for UL96 Lightning Protection standard-compliant installations.
Phase 3: Static LassoTM Tank Protector
Phase 3 provides a greater level of protection against static discharge in fiberglass tanks and fluid-transfer systems. The major issue in fiberglass tanks is that they do not have the ability to relax static charge quickly enough to prevent buildup beyond hazardous levels. The static charge in the fiberglass tank can actually equalize through the sidewall of the tank or from the surface of the fluid to other metallic components at the top of the tank, causing an arc though the flammable vapors in the tank. Our solution for fiberglass tanks is to install a linear static dissipater inside the tank below the fluid level, and bond that static dissipater to the Phase 1 system.