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PETRONAS TECHNICAL STANDARDS

DESIGN AND ENGINEERING PRACTICE

MANUAL

LIQUEFIED PETROLEUM GASES


- PART 3, SECT. 04 & 05

PTS 20.161D
JUNE 1986

PREFACE

PETRONAS Technical Standards (PTS) publications reflect the views, at the time of publication,
of PETRONAS OPUs/Divisions.
They are based on the experience acquired during the involvement with the design, construction,
operation and maintenance of processing units and facilities. Where appropriate they are based
on, or reference is made to, national and international standards and codes of practice.
The objective is to set the recommended standard for good technical practice to be applied by
PETRONAS' OPUs in oil and gas production facilities, refineries, gas processing plants, chemical
plants, marketing facilities or any other such facility, and thereby to achieve maximum technical
and economic benefit from standardisation.
The information set forth in these publications is provided to users for their consideration and
decision to implement. This is of particular importance where PTS may not cover every
requirement or diversity of condition at each locality. The system of PTS is expected to be
sufficiently flexible to allow individual operating units to adapt the information set forth in PTS to
their own environment and requirements.
When Contractors or Manufacturers/Suppliers use PTS they shall be solely responsible for the
quality of work and the attainment of the required design and engineering standards. In
particular, for those requirements not specifically covered, the Principal will expect them to follow
those design and engineering practices which will achieve the same level of integrity as reflected
in the PTS. If in doubt, the Contractor or Manufacturer/Supplier shall, without detracting from his
own responsibility, consult the Principal or its technical advisor.
The right to use PTS rests with three categories of users :
1)
2)
3)

PETRONAS and its affiliates.


Other parties who are authorised to use PTS subject to appropriate contractual
arrangements.
Contractors/subcontractors and Manufacturers/Suppliers under a contract with
users referred to under 1) and 2) which requires that tenders for projects,
materials supplied or - generally - work performed on behalf of the said users
comply with the relevant standards.

Subject to any particular terms and conditions as may be set forth in specific agreements with
users, PETRONAS disclaims any liability of whatsoever nature for any damage (including injury
or death) suffered by any company or person whomsoever as a result of or in connection with the
use, application or implementation of any PTS, combination of PTS or any part thereof. The
benefit of this disclaimer shall inure in all respects to PETRONAS and/or any company affiliated
to PETRONAS that may issue PTS or require the use of PTS.
Without prejudice to any specific terms in respect of confidentiality under relevant contractual
arrangements, PTS shall not, without the prior written consent of PETRONAS, be disclosed by
users to any company or person whomsoever and the PTS shall be used exclusively for the
purpose they have been provided to the user. They shall be returned after use, including any
copies which shall only be made by users with the express prior written consent of PETRONAS.
The copyright of PTS vests in PETRONAS. Users shall arrange for PTS to be held in safe
custody and PETRONAS may at any time require information satisfactory to PETRONAS in order
to ascertain how users implement this requirement.

LIQUIFIED PETROLEUM GASES


Part 3
Sections 04.00.00 and 05.00.00
LIQUIFIED PETROLEUM GASES
The following two Sections of the Liquified Petroleum Gases manual are included in this document.
04.00.00

TRANSPORTATION

05.00.00

CYLINDER FILLING AND STORAGE PLANTS

CONTENTS
04.00.00

TRANSPORTATION

04.01.00

GENERAL

04.02.00

LOADING AND UNLOADING LPG

04.02.01

General

04.02.02

Transfer Systems

04.02.03

Pumps and Compressors - Pros and Cons

04.02.04

Loading/Unloading Facilities
Figure 04.02.01.

Methods of Transferring LPG

04.03.00

TRANSPORT BY PIPELINE

04.03.01

General

04.03.02

Pipeline Design

04.03.03

Multi-product Pipelines

04.03.04

Product Interfaces

04.03.05

Mechanical Separation

04.03.06

Two-Way Pipeline Operation

04.03.07

Safety Aspects
Figure 04.03.01

Flow Scheme - Bi-directional Sphere System for LPG Tanker


Discharge Line

04.04.00

TANKERS AND OTHER CRAFT

04.04.01

General

04.04.02

Vapour Hazards on Board Ships

04.04.03

Loading

04.04.04

Unloading

04.04.05

Shore Connections
Figure 04.04.01

Typical Tanker Loading System

Appendix 04.04.01

Details of a Typical Small Refrigerated Tanker

Appendix 04.04.02

Details of a Typical Large Refrigerated Tanker

04.05.00

BULK LORRIES

04.05.01

General

04.05.02

Skid Tanks

04.05.03

Design of Pressure Vessel for Lorries

04.05.04

Refrigerated Vessel Design

04.05.05

Pressure and Refrigerated Vessel Fittings

04.05.06

Ancillary Equipment on the Lorry

04.05.07

Protection of Vessel

04.05.08

Vehicle Loading

04.05.09

Unloading Bulk Lorries


Figure 04.05.01

Typical Power Pack Unit

Figure 04.05.02

Diagrammatic Arrangement of Pipework for Bulk Delivery


Vehicle

Appendix 04.05.01

Method of Establishing the Differential Pressure Required for a


Bulk Lorry Pump

Appendix 04.05.02

Pressure Drop Date (Tables 1 to 6)

04.06.00

RAIL TANK WAGONS

04.06.01

General

04.06.02

Vessels for Pressurised and Refrigerated LPG

04.06.03

Insulation and Sun Protection

04.06.04

Loading Rail Tank Wagons

04.06.05

Unloading Rail Tank Wagons


Figure 04.06.01

Typical Rail Tank Wagon Unloading System

05.00.00

CYLINDER FILLING AND STORAGE PLANTS

05.01.00

GENERAL

05.02.00

DESIGN AND LAYOUT

05.02.01

Design Data

05.02.02

Layout

05.02.03

Safety Distances
Figure 05.02.01

Layout of Medium Sized Filling Plant

Figure 05.02.02

Layout of Mechanised/ Automated Filling Plant

Figure 05.02.03

Filling Plant and Cylinder Storage Safety Distances

05.03.00

BUILDINGS

05.03.01

Structure

05.03.02

Platforms/Floors

05.03.03

Ventilation

05.04.00

CYLINDER STORAGE

05.04.01

Segregation

05.04.02

Empty and Full Cylinders

05.05.00

MOVEMENT OF CYLINDERS

05.05.01

General

05.05.02

Simple Handling Equipment

05.05.03

Fork-lift Trucks

05.05.04

Conveyors

05.05.05

Conveyor Safety
Figure 05.05.01

Chain Conveyor - Junction with Stoppers

05.06.00

SPECIAL HANDLING EQUIPMENT

05.06.01

Counters

05.06.02

Stoppers

05.06.03

Shifters

05.06.04

Lifting Tables

05.06.05

Palletisation
Figure 05.06.01

Palletisation

05.07.00

IN-LINE HANDLING AND FILLING EQUIPMENT

05.07.01

General

05.07.02

Washing/Drying

05.07.03

Painting

05.07.04

Marking

05.07.05

Capping/Decapping

05.07.06

Removal of Security Nuts/Plugs

05.07.07

Evacuating, Purging and Draining

05.07.08

Filling Equipment

05.07.09

Automatic Inlet and Outlet Devices

05.07.10

Check on Filling Accuracy

05.07.11

Leak Testing

05.07.12

Refitting of Security Nuts/Plugs

05.07.13

Capping
Figure 05.07.01

Painting Booth

Figure 05.07.02

Draining System

Figure 05.07.03

Filling Carousel

Figure 05.07.04

Filling Capacities

Figure 05.07.05

Gamma Ray Level Detector

Figure 05.07.07

Water Test Bath

Figure 05.07.08

Bubble Leak Test Hood

Figure 05.07.09

Electronic Leak Test Unit

05.08.00

WORKSHOP EQUIPMENT

05.08.01

General

05.08.02

Cleaning

05.08.03

Draining

05.08.04

De and Re-valving

05.08.05

Evacuation

05.08.06

Purging

05.08.07

Testing
Figure 05.08.01

Cylinder Clamp

Figure 05.08.02

Cylinder Test Header - Manual

Figure 05.08.03

Cylinder Test Header - Semi- automatic

05.09.00

ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT

05.09.01

General

05.09.02

Zone Classification

05.10.00

PIPELINE LAYOUTS

05.10.01

Design and Construction

05.10.02

Safety Precautions

05.10.03

Flow Diagram
Figure 05.10.01

Typical Flow Diagram

04.00.00

TRANSPORTATION

04.01.00

GENERAL
In common with main line products LPG is transported by road, rail, ship and crosscountry pipeline. For small consumers it is also distributed in small packages, i.e.
cylinders and skid tanks, the transportation of which is similar to that for other packed
products.

04.02.00

LOADING AND UNLOADING LPG

04.02.01

General
Loading and unloading involve transfers from one vessel to another and to achieve this a
number of different methods may be employed depending upon a number of factors
outlined below:
-

The distance between supplying and receiving vessels.


The difference in elevation of supplying and receiving vessels.
The characteristics of the product, e.g. whether refrigerated or ambient-temperature
product.
The design characteristics of the receiving vessel which might limit the development
of high pressures during transfers.
Whether batch or trickle feed is involved.
Transfer rate required.
Method of measurement, e.g. meter, weighing, tank gauging.
The capital and operating costs involved.

The basic methods of loading and unloading, are described in 04.02.02.


04.02.02

Transfer Systems
Gravity transfer. LPG flows from one vessel to another under it own weight, but to
prevent pressure build-up in the receiving vessel which would result in very low transfer
rates, a vapour return line is necessary. The method is only practicable where
differences in elevation between the vessels or product levels is substantial. Both
ambient-temperature and refrigerated product can be transferred by this method which is
illustrated diagramatically in Figure 04.02.01 (I).
Spray Loading. LPG is forced into the receiving vessel through top connection fitted with
a pipe provided with nozzles, orifice or slots. The emerging product partially vaporises
resulting in a cooling effect in the vapour space and thus limits the pressure build up and
obviates the necessity for a vapour return line.
Transfers may be metered but the method (illustrated in Figure 04.02.01 (II)) is not
suitable for use with refrigerated product.
Splash loading. This method is similar to spray loading but the product is allowed to
emerge from the inlet connection as a jet. This results in a violent disturbance of the
liquid surface and splashing, etc., and also causes some evaporation and cooling. The
system is not so effective as spray loading for limiting pressure build up but provided
transfer rates are not too high a vapour return line can be avoided. The method
(illustrated in Figure 04.02.01 (III)) should not be used with refrigerated product.
Simultaneous top and bottom loading. The top connection may or may not be provided
with a spray system. Product may be pumped into both top and bottom connections
simultaneously or a pressure differential valve may be used to switch from bottom to top
loading as pressure builds up or when it drops.
This method optimises transfer rates, allows metering of product as no vapour return line
is required. It is illustrated in Figure 04.02.01 (IV).
Bottom loading without a vapour return line. This system is illustrated in Figure 04.02.01
(V). As a vapour line is not used the back pressure builds up to substantial levels and
therefore high-pressure differential pumps are necessary. Metering of transfer parcels is
practicable.
Bottom loading with a vapour return line. This system allows fast transfer rates but
prevents the metering of transfer parcels. It is suitable for both ambient-temperature and
refrigerated product and is illustrated in Figure 04.02.01 (VI).

Bottom loading using an eductor. LPG is pumped into the receiving vessel through a
bottom connection. An eductor (ejector) is fitted to the line and connects it to the vapour
space of the receiving vessel.
The liquid flow through the eductor draws vapour from the top of the vessel and carries it
into the liquid phase, condensing the greater part in the process.
The system limits back-pressure build up but is no more effective in that respect than
spray loading. A vapour return line is not required; metering is possible but eductor
design is critical. The system is illustrated in Figure 04.02.01 (VII).
Bottom loading using vapour compressor .The compressor draws vapour from the
receiving vessel and introduces it into the vapour space of the supplying unit; liquid is
forced from it into the receiving vessel through a bottom connection.
High transfer rates are possible but metering is not practicable. The compressor should
be located close to the supplying vessel to minimise heat losses. This system is not used
with refrigerated product; it is illustrated in Figure 04.02.01 (VIIIa).
Top splash loading using a compressor. Vapour is drawn from a third vessel, a potential
supply vessel, and introduced into the actual supplying vessel forcing liquid from it into
the top of the receiving vessel. A vapour return line is not used between actual supplying
vessel and receiving unit and therefore metering is possible. This system is often used
for discharge of ships' tank but is not used for refrigerated product. The system is
illustrated in Figure 04.02.01 (VIIIb).
Top splash loading using a compressor and pump. The difference between this system
and that covered in Figure 04.02.01 (VIlIb) is transaction of a pump between the actual
supplying vessel and the receiving unit. The compressor ensures that there is always a
positive pressure at the pump inlet and therefore high transfer rates and metering are
practicable. Illustrated in Figure 04.02.01 (IX).
04.02.03

Pumps and Compressors - Pros and Cons


Pumps can provide high delivery pressures and are advantageous when high back
pressures can be expected. They suffer a disadvantage in that they must be located
close to and below the supplying vessel - without a net positive suction head (refer
02.09.00) cavitation will result.
Compressors are limited with respect to their location relative to the receiving vessel and
not the supplying Vessel but the problem involved, that of heat loss from the compressor
delivery line, can be tackled by the use of insulation and heating.
Compressors have a positive advantage in that they con be used for depressurising
vessels and pipeline systems. Their disadvantage is the limitation on delivery pressure.

04.02.04

Loading/Discharging Facilities
Loading/discharging facilities must be dependent on a number of factors among which
are:
-

Whether the facility is to load or discharge only, or both.

The number of products and grades to be handled. Separate lines may be used for
each product or multi-purpose lines may be preferred. In the case of multi-product
lines the choice will be between mechanical separators and allowing interfaces to
form:

The transport media involved.

The throughputs and individual parcel sizes.

The equipment used for the various systems involved is detailed in section 02.00.00.

FIGURE 04.02.01 : METHODS OF TRANSFERRING LPG

04.03.00

TRANSPORT BY PIPELINES

04.03.01

General
Pipelines may be long, multi-product, cross-country lines handling, for instance, other
white oils from a refinery to a distribution installation or depot or they may be short lines
for moving the product from one vessel to another within an installation or to or from a
ship, rail wagon or bulk lorry.
Short pipelines within an installation are usually solely for LPG. With such lines the
decision as to Whether to use a vapour return line depends on three factors:
-

Transfer rate
.Method of measurement.
Costs involved.

If the transfer rate is not critical and it is desirable to meter the quantity transferred - then
a vapour line should not be fitted. If high transfer rates are required and the product
transfer is to be measured by tank gauging then a vapour return line should be used.
Any long LPG plant pipeline, such as a line to the end of a long jetty for ship loading or
discharge, should be constructed to permit clearing by spheres or pigs, thus allowing
later use as a multi-product line (refer 04.03.05).
04.03.02

Pipeline Design
LPG pipelines must be designed to handle the total pressures involved. They are:
-

Maximum pumping pressure (differential).


Vapour pressure of the LPG at the highest temperature likely to be encountered.
Surge pressures likely to be created.

Hydrostatic pressure relief is essential on all LPG liquid-carrying pipelines because of the
products high coefficient of expansion. On short lines it is practicable to have hydrostatic
relief valves discharging directly to atmosphere, provided they are suitably located with
respect to potential sources of ignition, because the quantity of product discharged is
small. For long, large- diameter lines provision should be made for expanding product to
bypass shut-off valves for eventual return to storage vessel.
For details of pipeline design reference should be made to:
-

The Institute of Petroleum Model Code of Safe Practice Part 6 - Petroleum Pipelines.
American Standard ANS B31.1.8 - Gas Transmission and Distribution Piping
Systems
PETRONAS Manual PTS 31. 38.01.11 - General Piping Requirements.

If mechanical separators are to be used, reference should also be made to 04.03.05 and
to Installations and Depots manual, Section 17.00.00 (PETRONAS).
Pipelines for refrigerated product must be constructed from materials with suitable lowtemperature characteristics but they must also be designed for the full range of
temperatures involved, i.e. from low product temperature to highest likely ambient.
04.03.03

Multi-Product Pipelines
LPG can be handled in multi-product white oil pipelines although, compared to those for
other products, parcel sizes may be comparatively small. For LPG the parcel size must
be both economical and practical bearing in mind the requirement and cost of adequate
storage at each and of the system.
A multi-product pipeline must be such that:
-

The pipeline and its ancillary fittings and equipment is designed to withstand the sum
of the pressures detailed in 04.03.02 above.
The pipeline system is equipped with back pressure control valves to ensure it is
always under sufficient pressure to prevent LPG vapour formation.
It is possible to provide mechanical separation of different products or there are
adequate slop tanks to received interfaces.

04.03.04

Product Interfaces
Multi-product pipeline operating procedures should provide for the handling and
subsequent disposal of product interfaces. However, the main aspects together with a
formula for calculating interface lengths are given below.
If mechanical separators are not used between different products, or grades of
product, then the interface between them will be a mixture of both and probably
meeting neither specification. The interface parcel should be diverted from the
pipeline to a special tank (a slop tank) to enable its characteristics/composition
to be determined before disposal.
The size of the interface, and hence of the vessel to be provided for it, is
dependent upon the size of the line, the rate of pumping and the viscosities of
the products involved. The size of the interface will also be materially affected by
the operators concerned, i.e. the speed with which the necessary valves are
actuated.
The theoretical interface, i.e. that due to the pipeline only and not the operators,
may be determined from the Smith and Schulze (Shell Oil) formula which gives a
99` non contamination outside the interface.
Interface Formula

C=

684.2
R .87

C = Interface length

meters

L = Pipeline length

meters

R = Reynolds number Average


where R =

.62

+ .35

R1 + R2
2

(R1 and R2 are Reynolds Nos of the two products).


The Reynolds number can be calculated by the equation
Re =

VDi

(1)

in which:

Re

V
Di

=
=
=
=

Reynolds number, dimensionless


3
density, in kg/m
average linear flow velocity, in m/s
inside diameter of pipe, in m
-3
2
dynamic viscosity, centipoise cP = 10 Ns/m
2
(N = 1kg m/s )

For pipe having a circular cross section, equation (l) can be written as:

in which :

G
Di

Re

1.273

mass flow, in kg/s

1.273

4/

If the kinematic viscosity of a fluid is given, the equation for Re becomes:


Re =
in which:

VD i

kinematic viscosity, centistokes in m /s

The arrival of the interface at the take-off point may be determined on a


time basis (known pumping rates/flow speeds) or may be detected by
instruments which detect such characteristics as change of specific
gravity and colour, etc.

04.03.05

Mechanical Separation
Mechanical separation, i.e. pigs and spheres, can be used to separate physically
different products in a pipeline but the line must be designed and constructed for their
use.
Both pigs and spheres utilise synthetic rubbers or plastic materials to make contact with
the pipeline walls and provide the seal between the products; the materials used must be
compatible with and resistant to the products being handled.
Spheres have the advantage of being able to negotiate tighter bends than pigs and are
also relatively more tolerant to variations of pipeline diameters. For further details of line
construction and operation reference should be made to Installations and Depots
manual, Section 17.00.00, but for easy reference a number of important aspects with
respect to line construction are detailed below:
-

04.03.06

Pipe lengths are not all the same precise internal diameter. A length with the
minimum negative tolerance on internal diameter should not be joined to a length
with maximum positive tolerance. On a 10" (25 cm) internal diameter line this could
mean a step of 6 to 7 mm which is unacceptable when attached directly together.
When welding joints it is necessary to ensure there is no internal projection of weld
metal or slag. Pipes should be concentric throughout their length.
Special tees and branches must be fitted to prevent product by-passing the pigs or
spheres. These special fittings are also necessary to prevent damage to spheres
and pig cups.
Full bore valves must be used to allow the passage of a pig or sphere.
Long radius bends (5 pipeline diameters) are recommended. 3 diameter bends are
considered a minimum although a scraper pig and a sphere can negotiate 1
diameter bends.
Launching and receiving traps must be fitted at each end of the pipeline.

Two-way Pipeline Operation


Some LPG pipeline clearing operations require a pig or sphere to travel in the reverse
direction to normal.
These operations could include:
- Replacing water used for test purposes with LPG vapour.
- Replacing air with LPG vapour.
- Replacing liquid LPG with LPG vapour.
In these cases the pipeline must be designed and constructed to:
- Include pig/sphere launchers/traps capable of both launching and receiving.
- Have expansion pieces which allow pigs or spheres to travel both ways.
Figure 04.03.01 shows a flow scheme for a bi-directional sphere system for tanker
discharge line.

04.03.07

Safety Aspects
Safety distances and protection. LPG pipelines and tracks containing them should be
sited at least 10m from LPG and other product facilities. For buried lines (not normal) the
separation distance may be halved.
A low wall of maximum height 0.6m should be used as appropriate to protect
pipelines/pipetracks, i.e. against vehicular traffic.
Access While pipelines should be accessible for maintenance/control purposes,
protection should be provided against intrusion and/or damage at critical points.
Bonding/earthing. Pipelines must be electrically bonded and earthed at sufficient points
to ensure compliance with the requirements of the Institute of Petroleum's Model Code of
Safe Practice Part 1, Electrical.
Corrosion Protection. Pipelines should be painted as required to prevent corrosion, refer
the Painting and Coating manual (PETRONAS).
Buried or submerged pipelines should be cathodically protected, refer PTS
(PETRONAS).
Emergency shut-off valves. Emergency shut-off valves shall be provided at strategic
locations to enable shut-downs and isolation of the system in an emergency. The use of
manual, remote or automatic operation must be dictated by local circumstances.

FIGURE 04.03.01 : FLOW SCHEME-BI-DIRECTIONAL SPHERE SYSTEM FOR LPG TANKER


DISCHARGE LINE

04.04.00

TANKERS AND OTHER CRAFT

04.04.01

General
Tankers and other small craft used to transport bulk LPG are of two basic types, i.e.
those for ambient-temperature pressure product and those for refrigerated product.
Tanks for holding ambient-temperature product are pressure vessels similar to those
used on land. Tanks for holding refrigerated product are normally of much lighter
construction, designed for lower pressures and insulated to minimise heat inflow, to the
product. Refrigerated ships carry equipment either to handle boil off, vent it safely via a
high vent, or use it for the ship's fuel depending on the relative economies involved.
Appendix 04.04.01 provides details of a typical small tanker for handling refrigerated
product and Appendix 04.04.02 similar details for a larger vessel.

04.04.02

Vapour Hazards on Board Ships


LPG vapour is always likely to be present when LPG handling operations are involved
and as it is heavier than air and would collect in ships holds, bilges, etc., special
precautions are necessary on board ships. Any operation which involves venting product
and any equipment likely to lead to product loss in use should either be located on dock
or in well ventilated spaces Which are separated by gas-tight bulkheads, etc., from other
spaces.

04.04.03

Loading
Tankers with pressure cargo vessels invariably have both a product line and a vapour
return line for loading and unloading.
Tankers with refrigerated cargo tanks must have a vapour return line as a ship's 'boil off',
compressors are not normally large enough to cope with the larger volume of vapour
produced when loading.
There are two common systems in use for loading pressurised LPG. They are:

Spray loading as described in Section 04.02.02.

Bottom loading with vapour return as described in Section 04.02.02.

A typical refinery tanker-loading system is shown in Figure 04.04.01 for both pressurised
and refrigerated product.
04.04.04

Unloading
The three commonest methods of unloading a tanker are:
-

By ships' pumps which can handle both pressurised and refrigerated product.
By ships' pumps and compressors which is usable with pressurised product only.
By ship-borne or shore-based compressor usable only with pressurised product.

The principles of these three methods are described in 04.02.02 and are illustrated in
Figure 04.02.01.
Ships' PUMPS if used without an associated compressor must be either of the
submerged type, commonest on the large refrigerated ships, or must be located below
the cargo tank suction line and positioned in well ventilated spaces - a system
sometimes used on smaller tankers.
Pumps used in conjunction with ships' compressors may be located to suit the tanker's
layout, as can the compressors themselves.
Tankers usually have vapour return line connections although they may be avoided in
the shore system when only pressurised product is involved. Vapour return systems are
essential when refrigerated product is involved.
04.04.05

Shore Connections
Shore-based metal loading arms with articulated joints are normally used for both
pressure and refrigerated product. Details of such equipment are given in Section
02.06.00.
Hoses can be used for both loading and unloading purposes and are absolutely essential
for single buoy moorings, and when tankers cannot get alongside because of depth
restrictions, etc., in which case floating hoses can provide a solution.

FIGURE 04.04.01 : TYPICAL REFINERY TANKER-LOADING SYSTEM

APPENDIX 04.04.01 : DETAILS OF TYPICAL SMALL REFRIGERATED TANKER

APPENDIX 04.04.02 : DETAILS OF TYPICAL LARGE REFRIGERATED TANKER

04.05.00

BULK LORRIES

04.05.01

General
An LPG lorry may be a bridging vehicle used to move product in bulk between two plants
in which case it is loaded and discharged by plant facilities. It may be a delivery vehicle
in which case it would carry its own pump/meter unit for discharging itself.
An LPG vehicle is invariably a standard chassis on which is mounted custom-built
equipment to handle the product. Whether power take-off facilities are included will be
dependent on the vehicle's use. For comparisons and details of various types of chassis
reference should be made to the Road Transport manual (PETRONAS).
Bulk LPG may also be distributed by the use of a skid tank on an ordinary flat lorry. This
is a low cost method of distribution when starting in a bulk market or the demand is too
small to justify a dedicated bulk lorry.

04.05.02

Skid Tanks
A skid tank should be properly designed for the purpose and product, and have
protected fittings. If local regulations do not exist, the US Government Department of
Transportation Specification 51 should be used. It is also essential to have adequate
lifting equipment to put the tank on or remove it from the lorry safely.
A skid tank requires an ancillary unit to pump and measure the product being
discharged. These are known as power pack units and consist of an engine, a pump, a
meter and a hose reel. A typical unit is shown in Figure 04.05.01.

04.05.03

Design of Pressure Vessel for Lorries


Pressure vessels for bulk lorries must be designed to contain the vapour pressure of the
LPG at the maximum temperature likely to be experienced; in addition the dynamic loads
- when the vehicle is in motion - must be accommodated. If local regulations do not exist
the vessels should be designed in accordance with the US Government Department of
Transportation Specification MCC 331.
To ensure maximum pay load the weight of the pressure vessel should be kept to a
minimum. To attain minimum weight, high tensile steels are frequently used but some of
these materials present welding problems. All welded joints should be radiographed
100%. of their length to make sure the welds are sound. After welding the completed
vessel should be heat treated to relieve internal stresses. If radiography and heat
treatment cannot be carried out the use of high tensile steels should be avoided.
To provide maximum flexibility in vehicle operation it is usual to design the pressure
vessels for the carriage of propane.
Normally it is unnecessary to provide insulation or sun shades for lorry pressure vessels.
However, some local regulation require this and in consequence may permit lower
design temperatures and pressures for the vessel.

04.05.04

Refrigerated Vessel Design


The design of vessel for refrigerated product follows closely the rules laid down for
pressure vessels. There are however a number of special aspects - they include:
-

04.05.05

The design pressure must allow for an increase in pressure due to temperature rise
in transit. Design pressures of 3 bar may be appropriate.
The vessel and its fittings must be suitable for the full range of temperature from
product refrigerated temperature to highest likely ambient.
As for pressure vessels, design would normally be for propane in order to provide for
operational flexibility.
The vessel should be designed to the low-temperature requirements of the pressure
vessel design code.
In addition to safety relief valves, the vessel should incorporate a manually (but
remote) operated vent valve to enable pressure to be relieved at will and not only
when preset pressures have been attained which, in transport, could be at
inopportune times and/or locations
The insulation should be such that heat inflow is limited to less than that required to
raise the product temperature to the level at which its vapour pressure equals the
design pressure of the vessel in normal operation.
All vessel fittings need to be insulated and protected against icing in service.
The insulation system should be:
- impervious to water
- sufficiently robust to withstand rough handling including the impact of fire hose
jets.
A typical insulation would be polyurethane foam blocks clad externally with
aluminium and sealed.

Pressure and Refrigerated Vessel Fittings


As for static tanks all fittings on vessels should be designed to withstand the test
pressure of the vessel. In the case of refrigerated product they must also be suitable for
low temperatures (-50C).
It is important that the fittings should be protected from damage in case a lorry overturns,
is involved in an accident or if a skid tank is dropped. The protection may be provided by:

Counter-sinking.

Shrouds or domes.

Location (in positions where protection is naturally afforded).

All connections to the shell of a vessel, larger than 1.4 mm diameter, must be provided
with a shut-off valve and an emergency valve, i.e. an excess flow valve.
The following fittings are required on lorry mounted vessels:
(a)

Pressure relief valves. It is recommended that two valves of the metal-to-metal


sealing type be fitted, see Section 03.02.04.

(b)

Pressure gauges. These should be connected to the vapour space. One should
be mounted on the vessel and an additional gauge positioned in the driver's cab
so he can observe the pressure while product is in transit.

(c)

A liquid level gauge fitted preferably on the geometric centre line.

(d)

A fixed ullage gauge - unless the liquid level gauge is of a type which can be
satisfactorily used for this purpose.

(e)

Liquid inlet and outlet connections (which may be common).

(f)

Vapour connection.

(g)

For vehicles fitted with pump/meter units connections for pump bypass and meter
differential pressure valve.

(h)

A manhole or other access for cleaning and inspection purposes.

As connections are normally located at the back or on the bottom of a vehicle, internal
pipes must be fitted to link the connections to the vapour space when this is necessary.
Vessel connections (and piping manifolds) should enable vehicles fitted with their own
pumps to self load as well as discharge thereby enabling such vehicles to pick up from
other vehicles or customers' storage. (Refer 04.05.06 below.)

04.05.06

Ancillary Equipment on the Lorry


Pump - The Pump should be mounted below the vessel. It should have a suction strainer
and a bypass line back to the vessel fitted with a bypass relief valve.
The design of pipe work should enable the pump to load the vessel as well as discharge
it. Figure 04.05.02 shows a typical bulk lorry piping arrangement.
Meter - The meter should have a vapour eliminator and a differential, diaphragmoperated, back-pressure valve. Normally these are supplied as an integral unit with the
meter itself.
The pressure balance side of the diaphragm of the differential back-pressure valve is
connected to the vapour space of the vessel. The differential pressure over and above
the vapour pressure is provided by a spring. This differential prevents vapour formation
in the meter.
Hose unit - Hose reels are standard units and should preferably be of the self-winding
type.
It is important that the hose is protected by a suitably sized excess flow valve which
should be mounted at the connection of hose and permanent piping. This excess - flow
valve is additional to the excess- flow or safety valve fitted at the vessels outlet
connection. Which may have a far greater capacity.
Figure 04.05.02 gives a diagrammatic arrangement of pipework for a bulk delivery
vehicle.

04.05.07

Protection of Vessel
The mounting of the tank and accessories on the chassis should ensure that no part
extends beyond the rear bumper and that fittings an the lower sides are well protected
should the vehicle overturn, etc.

04.05.08

Vehicle Loading
The method of vehicle loading will depend upon the measurement and stock control
techniques in use. If a vapour return line is not used then product can be loaded through
a mater. Alternatively, if a weighbridge is available vehicles may be weighed before and
after filling so that the method of filling is immaterial.
Alternatively, if the vehicle is fitted with a meter then provided that security systems are
adequate, product in vehicles can be counted as stock so that measurement is not
required for loading only for discharge.
Whichever method of loading is used filling should be controlled either by weight or by
the ullage gauge - metering alone is not acceptable unless the vehicle is truly known to
be empty.
The safe filling levels for vehicle tanks must be determined on the basis of the longest
period the vehicle will remain full, the maximum temperature rise likely over that period
and an acceptable ullage remaining after expansion of the contents due to temperature
rise. In the absence of local regulations, a 20C temperature rise and a 2% ullage should
be utilised.

04.05.09

Unloading Bulk Lorries


Bulk bridging vehicles are usually unloaded by depot pump or depot compressor. A
compressor is preferred because it allows depressurisation of the vessel after discharge.
A bulk delivery vehicle carries its own pump, meter and hose for discharging into
customers' tanks. As measurement of quantities delivered is by meter, vapour return
cannot be used.
Pump capacity should be compatible with the size of parcel delivered. Pump must also
have adequate differential pressure characteristics to overcome:
-

The pressure drop in the hose and meter, etc.


The back pressure developed in the customer's vessel.
The drop in vapour pressure in the lorry vessel as delivery proceeds.

Appendix 04.05.01 gives an example of the method of establishing the differential


pressure requirements for a bulk lorry pump.
Appendix 04.05.01 gives an example of the method of establishing the differential
pressure requirements for a bulk lorry pump.
Appendix 04.05.02 gives the following data:
Table 1 - Pressure drop in vessels being discharged.
Table 2 - Back pressure built up in vessel being filled
Table 3 - Resistance to flow through average LPG meters
Table 4 - Resistance to flow in the average globe valve
Table 5 - Resistance to flow in 15 meters of delivery hose.
Table 6 - Resistance to flow of the filler valve.

FIGURE 04.05.01 : SKID MOUNTED PUMPING AND METERING UNIT POWER PACK

FIGURE 04.05.02 : DIAGRAMMATIC ARRANGEMENT OF PIPEWORK FOR A BULK DELIVERY VEHICLE

APPENDIX 04.05.01
METHOD OF ESTABLISHING THE DIFFERENTIAL PRESSURE
REQUIRED FOR A BULK LORRY PUMP
EXAMPLE :

Delivery rate

- 233 litres/minute (3.9 dm/S)

Product

- Propane

Ambient/product temperature

- 21C

Receiving vessel

- filling into vapour space

No vapour return line used


Bulk vehicle does a complete drop in one operation
Pressure drop through 50 mm meter

- 0.2 bar

Pressure drop through 50 mm valve

- 0.0 bar

Pressure drop through 32 mm valve

- 0.27 bar

Pressure drop through 32 mm filler valve

- 0.7 bar

Pressure drop through 15 m of 32 mm hose

- 0.6 bar

Back pressure build-up in tank being filled

- 1.2 bar

Drop in pressure tank being discharged

- 2.7 bar
-------------5.67 bar
========

If temperature is 38C instead of 21C - all other aspects unchanged the differential pressure
requirement becomes 9.1 bar.

APPENDIX 04.05.02
th

The following tables are extracts from handbook Butane-Propane Cases 4 Edition
TABLE 1
PRESSURE DROP IN VESSELS BEING DISCHARGED NO VAPOUR RETURN PROPANE BAR

TABLE 2
BACK PRESSURE BUILT UP IN VESSELS BEING FILLED

TABLE 3
RESISTANCE TO FLOW OF AVERAGE LPG METERS BAR

TABLE 4
RESISTANCE TO FLOW OF AVERAGE GLOBE VALVE BAR

TABLE 5
RESISTANCE TO FLOW OF SOFT LENGTHS OF DELIVERY HOSE BAR

TABLE 6
RESISTANCE TO FLOW OF TANK FILLER VALVES BAR

04.06.00

RAIL TANK WAGONS

04.06.01

General
In most countries it is usual for the railways to own the running gear or chassis of rail
tank waggons but because it is specialised equipment 'The Shipper' owns the tank and its
fittings.
Basically, LPG vessels and their fittings for rail use are similar to those for road use. The
main difference between the two transport units is that RTWs never carry their own
discharging equipment.

04.06.02

Vessels For Pressurised and Refrigerated LPG


The design of vessels for rail use follows the same pattern as for road use except in
regard to braking and shunting Stresses. Most railway authorities require a g factor and
7g is a typical requirement. In the UK where block trains are utilised for dedicated
journeys and shunting yards are avoided a g factor of 4 is accepted for these particular
waggons - the remainder still require 7g.
Another difference is that 'lop filling connections are used on RTWs in a number of
countries although, given the choice, bottom connections are preferred as they are less
vulnerable to damage and facilitate the making/breaking of connections.
It is strongly recommended that the liquid filling and discharge connections are equipped
with emergency quick-closing valves remotely operated by cables which would ensure
immediate closure if the wagon moved. Typical examples are the Fisher internal safety
control valve and the Rego flomatic internal valve.

04.06.03

Insulation and Sun Protection


The transit of Rail Wagons from a loading depot to destination is the responsibility of the
railway authorities. The 'shipper', therefore, has no control over the trip time or route the
wagons take. For these reasons many railway authorities require bulk LPG waggons to be
fitted with sun shades.
Some rail authorities require waggons to be insulated to reduce heat flow in fire exposure.
If authorities require neither sun shades nor insulation, the economics of different design
criteria should be evaluated, i.e. is it cheaper to provide a sun shade or insulation than to
increase the designed working pressure and safety valve capacity, etc.
Insulation for refrigerated vessels follows the same rules as bulk lorry refrigerated
vessels: see 04.05.04.

04.06.04

Loading Rail Tank Wagons


Rail tank waggons are usually loaded to an ullage level by pump. If spray loading is not
used a vapour return line will increase loading rates. (Refer Section 04.02.02)

04.06.05

Unloading Rail Tank Wagons


Rail tank waggons are usually unloaded by using a compressor as described in Section
04.02.02. A pump, connected to the bottom of the vessel can also be used but a
compressor is required to complete the discharge and depressurise the vessel.

FIGURE 04.06.01 : TYPICAL RAIL TANK WAGGON UNLOADING SYSTEM

05.00.00

CYLINDER FILLING AND STORAGE PLANTS

05.01.00

GENERAL
(a)

LPG cylinder storage and filling plants vary considerably in layout and size
dependent upon the size limitations as well as the number of products being
handled and the number size and type of cylinder filled; the method of product
supply also has a significant effect.

(b)

As soon as it is economically viable two or more storage vessels should be


provided for each of the products handled in order to cover emergency situations
as well as periodic inspection/testing/maintenance.

(c)

Cylinder filling and storage may be located outdoors, on roofed plots or within
custom built filling and storage sheds.

(d)

Filling and storage should be separated either by space, walls or water screens
or a combination of them.

(e)

When more than one product is handled design should minimise the risk of
cylinders being filled with the wrong product.

05.02.00

DESIGN AND LAYOUT

05.02.01

Design Data
The following data is among the more important aspects which need to be considered:
-

05.02.02

The number of products to be handled.


The number of cylinder types/sizes to be filled and the number of cylinder valves
involved.
The throughout per product per cylinder size/type per cylinder valve variant for a
minimum period of five years.
Number of days worked per year and whether single or double shift.
Variation between average daily/weekly/monthly throughputs and peak
daily/weekly/monthly.
Mode of inward and outward flow of cylinders e.g. road or rail and parcel sizes.
Number of cylinders to be washed, repainted, tested etc. e.g. as a percentage of
throughput.
How is bulk product received? Is there bulk filling required? If so throughputs for five
years by product.
What stock of empty and full cylinders is to be held?

Layout
(a)

General
The layout of cylinder filling and storage facilities should be such that:
-

Good access is available for cylinder carrying vehicles.


Loading/unloading platforms are suitable for the number and size/type of
vehicles involved and with sufficient space for cylinders if movement is not
directly from vehicle to conveyor and vice versa.
There is adequate space or time for pre and post cylinder filling
inspections/tests.
There is adequate space for the safe storage of both full and empty cylinders
and that this is segregated by space or screens etc. from filling and working
areas (testing, revalving etc.)
Maximum use is made of in-line facilities, i.e. location of equipment on the
conveyors, in order to minimise the movement of cylinders on and off
conveyors and minimise handling in general.
There is a sample/unimpeded flow of cylinders from unloading platform
through filling/working areas back to the loading area.
Filling facilities will be provided with a continuous supply of cylinders for
filling and that these will be quickly and effectively removed once filled.
Cylinder washing and painting facilities are sufficiently apart for air drying if
driers are not provided.
That quick evacuation is possible in emergencies.
That an opportunity exists for handling an expanded throughput.

(b)

Layout of Medium Sized Plant


Figure 05.02.01 illustrates a layout for a medium sized plant handling up to 600
domestic type cylinders/hr plus up to 20/30 large cylinders/hr i.e. approximately
10,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) on single shift which includes in-line cylinder
washing, painting and inspection and post filling checks. The conveyor is a
continuous circuit designed for direct movement of cylinders from vehicles onto
it and vice versa. Expansion has been provided for by allowing space for a
larger carousel and for additional large cylinder filling scales.
As and when the economics are favourable more sophisticated machines could
be added to the conveyor system to handle checkweighing e.g. Isotope and leak
testing e.g. electronic unit. Similarly the layout would not prevent the
introduction of palletisation.

(c)

Layout of Highly Mechanised Filling Plant


Figure 05.02.02 illustrates a layout of a highly mechanised/partly automated
plant as designed and used by URG in France, which can handle approximately
25,000 tpa on a single shift basis.
Cylinders arrive and leave the plant in pallets (35 x 13 kg/unit) and are virtually
untouched by hand throughout the plant. The use of machines and automation
has been taken just about as far as safety and maintenance will permit.

05.02.03

Safety Distances
The safety distances required for cylinder filling and storage areas/sheds and for cylinder
storage areas/shed is illustrated in Figure 05.02.03. The distances shown are minimum
and where deflection walls are used the required distances are the paths around the
ends of the wall between the facility and the site boundary etc.

FIGURE 05.02.01 : LAYOUT OF MEDIUM SIZED FILLING PLANT

FIGURE 05.02.02 : AUTOMATED LPG CYLINDER FILLING IN FRANCE

FIGURE 05.02.03 : SAFETY DISTANCES FOR CYLINDER FILLING AND CYLINDER STORAGE

05.03.00

BUILDINGS

05.03.01

Structure
Buildings, which should be of fire resistant material , should suit local climatic conditions
and when these are favourable either a roof structure alone or an open sided structure
with cladding finishing at least 2 metres above floor/platform level should be used.
Where climatic conditions require closed buildings special attention must be given to
ventilation, gas level in air monitoring and emergency evacuation as well as to the
normal building requirements.

05.03.02

Platforms/Floors
Usually platforms at truck deck height are provided to facilitate loading/unloading of road
vehicles and rail box cars. Whether the whole cylinder filling and storage area is at
platform height, ground level or varies will be dependent upon the equipment used,
particularly the conveyor system. Space beneath floors which are raised to platform
height should preferably be filled in, if not they must be completely free to permit
circulation of air to prevent gas accumulation/ retention.
Platforms and floors should be constructed of or surfaced with materials suitable to
withstand the impact of LPG cylinders e.g. concrete, special finishes with non-sparking
characteristics are not considered essential.
Pits and channels in flooring should be avoided as far as possible, where necessary for
conveyors etc. they must be sloped and provided with low level passageways to the free
air for ventilation and removal of water.
Floors and channels should be sloped to facilitate water draining both for washing down
and testing of water spray systems.

05.03.03

Ventilation
Adequate ventilation at floor and eaves level is essential. If natural ventilation is
insufficient forced draught ventilation should be applied. The capacity should be based
on the requirement that under normal operating conditions the air will never contain more
than 0.5% gas.
In large throughput plants in which filling capacity may be concentrated in small areas,
e.g. carousels, extractor systems in such areas should be considered even when opensided structures are used.

05.04.00

CYLINDER STORAGE

05.04.01

Segregation
Incoming cylinders must be checked for satisfactory condition before despatch to the
filling equipment and if this operation is not carried out on the conveyor system then
sufficient space must be provided in the platform/storage area.
Where practicable incoming cylinders should move directly to the conveyor system, and
be checked on it, in order to minimise manhandling. When conveyor systems are full
offloading into the storage area is necessary.

05.04.02

Empty and Full Cylinders


(a)

General
Storage space must be adequate for the numbers to be handled and will be
effected by the types/sizes involved. Allowing for gangways between stacks the
108 litre water capacity type large cylinder requires approximately 1 m floor
area per 4 cylinders whereas the small cylinder e.g. 26.2 litre water capacity
requires approximately 1 m/11 cylinders for stacks of reasonable height.
Full and empty cylinders should be stored separately, preferably in clearly
delineated areas if this is not obvious from the design layout of the facilities.
Within these areas cylinders should also be separated into different products
and type/size.
For safety reasons the number of filled cylinders held in storage should be kept
to a minimum to suit operating conditions.

(b)

Stacks
Large cylinders should be stacked vertically in rows of four with gangways
between stacks.
Small cylinders, provided they are not fitted with pressure relief valves may be
stacked horizontally or vertically. If they are fitted with PRV's they must always
be stacked vertically.
Small cylinders stacked horizontally should be in single or double rows, with the
valves adjacent to the gangways if in double rows. Between stacks (single or
double rows) or between stacks and the wall or fence of the storage area there
must be a gangway. Stacks should not be higher than is convenient for
manhandling (four or five maximum) and must be securely wedged.
Small cylinders stacked vertically, which must include all those fitted with
PRV'S, should be in rows up to 4 with a gangway between each stack of 4 rows
and between any stack and the wall or fence of the area. Cylinders should not
be stacked higher than is convenient for manhandling (three or four high).
Cylinders can be stored horizontally or vertically on pallets to suit the pallet
design (except cylinders with pressure relief valves which must be vertical).
Loaded pallets should be stacked in single or double rows with gangways
between double rows, and between stacks and walls or fences of storage area.
Pallets should be stacked no higher than is suitable for the mechanical handling
equipment in use.
Gangways between cylinder stacks must be wide enough for manhandling
cylinders and for easy manoeuvring of mechanical handling equipment and
pallets.
If trailers or semi-trailers are used for cylinder transport, these can be used as
storage units.

05.05.00

MOVEMENT OF CYLINDERS

05.05.01

General
Cylinders should not be rolled on their sides but on their footrings or carried bodily or by
correctly designed mechanical handling equipment.
In small plants cylinders may be moved by hand barrows/trolleys, jack-lift trucks etc. but
in large plants powered conveyors are usual. Fork-lift trucks handling pallets can also be
usefully employed.

05.05.02

Simple Handling Equipment


(a)

Hand Barrows/Flat Trolleys


Double wheeled barrows with curved rails on which cylinders rest may be used,
especially for tall cylinders. Flat trolleys with railings can also be used.

(b)

Skid Platforms/and Jack-lift Trucks


For handling six or eight large cylinders or a greater number of small cylinders
this is a practical combination. The skid platform or pallet, has a flat top and a
light shaped hood to drop over the tops of the cylinders to keep them stable.
The jack-lift truck raises the skid platform just clear of the floor with one stroke of
the operating lever.

05.05.03

Fork-lift Trucks
When large numbers of cylinders are involved, particularly if palletisation has been
introduced, fork-lift trucks may be considered both as the cylinder conveyance or as a
feed to conveyor systems as in the highly mechanised/automated URG type plants refer 05.02.02 (c).
Fork-lift trucks must not be used in the filling area but may be used in storage areas
provided that:
-

05.05.04

they are water cooled diesel engine driven.


they are not fitted with an electric battery, generator or other electrical equipment
which is not flame/explosion proof.
they are of the type for hand, inertia or compressed air starting.
they have the air intake protected by a filter and flame trap.
they have the engine fitted with a positive stopping device which can be operated
from the normal driving position e.g. butterfly valve in the air inlet.
they have the exhaust outlet manifold insulated or water cooled and fitted with a
water quench box and an efficient and well maintained spark arrestor.

Conveyors
(a)

General
The choice of conveyor will depend on the layout of the plant, the throughput
and the operating procedures.
All parts of conveyors should be easily accessible for maintenance/repair.
Various types of conveyors are available but the most commonly used for
cylinder handling are roller conveyors and powered chain conveyors.
Overhead monorail conveyors have been used in the past particularly with
capped cylinders but the switch to shrouded cylinders. the advantages of the
powered chain conveyor, and their high maintenance cost has resulted in their
almost total replacement.

(b)

Gravity Roller Conveyors


These conveyors are provided with seamless steel rollers, having ball bearings
and with a roller pitch to suit the diameter of the cylinders. The slope of them
varies with the conditions, but as a general rule for straight sections a slope of
3-4% for empty and 2-3% for full cylinders can be assumed which should be
increased by up to approximately 50% for bends.
Adjustable supports are recommended to allow for adjustment of slope of the
various sections in a gravity roller conveyor installation.
If different types of cylinders have to be handled on the same conveyor it is
recommended to choose slopes matching the cylinders with the major offtake.
Small sections f horizontal roller conveyors are normally used in mechanised
plants at the filling points.

(c)

Portable Conveyors
Portable roller conveyors can be used and are particularly useful for
loading/unloading trucks/rail cars.

(d)

Powered Roller Conveyors


These conveyors are of similar design to the gravity roller conveyors but are
equipped with a driving mechanism which may consist of a rotating flat roller
belt mounted under the rollers or, a chain transmission between the individual
rollers. Powered roller conveyors are normally used in combination with gravity
roller conveyors in order to avoid steep slopes which can cause cylinder
instability problems.

(e)

Powered Chain Conveyors


Powered chain conveyors are illustrated in Figure 05.05.01 and consist of
chains running in U sections located between outer guides. The chains may
slide on the steel U section in which case they are noisy and lubrication is
necessary (soap solution) or the chain may slide on a friction plate e.g.
hostalene which rests on the bottom of the U section.
The chains themselves are made up by interlocking a number of individual links,
1, 2 or 3 chains are used depending on the range of cylinder footring diameters
which have to be accommodated.
Driving units fitted with tensioning units draw the chain by sections. The number
of driving units is determined by the layout required and the load to be carried.
Chain conveyors are frequently assembled in channels in the floor thus
minimising the effort of loading and unloading them, they are also used on the
floor and in structures at convenient height above the floor.
Powered chain conveyors are advantageous because they cope with changes
in elevation and because cylinders on them may be stopped/held at any point in
the circuit without stopping the conveyor itself and thus without stopping the
movement of other cylinders in other parts of the circuit.
The use of powered chain conveyor facilitates the direct movement of cylinders
from transport vehicle to filling and handling facilities and vice versa and also
facilitates the use of in-line equipment such as washer/brushing units, painting
booths and testing machines, thus minimising cylinder handling on and off the
conveyors and assisting in a smooth flow through the plant.

(f)

Telescopic Conveyors
These powered conveyors are used to facilitate the movement of cylinders on
and off trucks and when used are usually in conjunction with powered conveyor
circuits.

05.05.05

Conveyor Safety
Powered conveyor start buttons should be located to ensure safe operation, stop buttons
should be duplicated to facilitate emergency stoppage.
Additionally powered conveyors should be protected with automatic self stoppage
devices to limit excessive damage in cases of overloading, breakdown, etc.

FIGURE 05.05.01 : CHAIN CONVEYOR JUNCTION STOPPERS

05.06.00

SPECIAL HANDLING EQUIPMENT

05.06.01

Counters
Counters can be used just for counting, but also to operate stoppers and shifters. See
Figure 05.05.01.

05.06.02

Stoppers
In conveyor plants the flow of cylinders can be stopped by installing pneumatic/hydraulic
stoppers, see Figure 05.05.01. With chain conveyors such stoppages at one point do not
hold up cylinders elsewhere in the circuit.

05.06.03

Shifters
If cylinders need to be sent to other parts of the plant off the main track or if more than
one filling line is installed, manual handling can be avoided by installing
pneumatic/hydraulic shifters.

05.06.04

Lifting Tables
Lifting devices are intended for incorporation in conveyor plants equipped with in-line
stationary filling scales. The lifting device is mounted direct on the weighing plate of the
filling machine and when in place the cylinders are lifted free from the conveyor.

05.06.05

Palletisation
If large amounts of similar cylinders have to be handled/filled consideration should be
given to the use of palletisation.
It should be noted however that palletisation at the cylinder filling and storage point is of
little advantage if it is not also used in the rest of the distribution system.
At the filling plant a palletisation system consists, as indicated in Figures 05.02.02 and
05.06.01, of a pallet conveyor and pallet emptying and filling units. Pallets are placed on
the pallet conveyor, normally by fork-lift truck, and are moved to the unloading position
when the pallet is opened either manually or mechanically and a pusher moves cylinders
from the pallet to the main cylinder conveyor one row at a time. When the pallet is empty
it is moved to the loading position where another pusher reverses the sequence of
pushing filled cylinders from the conveyor into the pallet one row at a time. The filled
pallet is removed by fork-lift truck either to the storage/stacking area or direct to the
purpose designed transport vehicle.

FIGURE 05.06.01 : PALLESTISATION

05.07.00

IN-LINE HANDLING AND FILLING EQUIPMENT

05.07.01

General
The space and equipment required for handling and filling depends on the throughput
and the cylinder mix.
In the design of a filling plant it is important to size/equip all parts of the cylinder
filling/handling system with machines of appropriate capacities - e.g. filling capacities of
1000 cylinders per hour are inappropriate if the conveyor or loading/unloading system
cannot work at equal speed.
The consecutive operations and the equipment involved are stated below.

05.07.02

Washing/Drying
Modern practice is to wash all cylinders on arrival at the plant, as this not only improves
their appearance also assists the subsequent sorting of cylinders into various categories.
Existing washing machines fitted over the conveyor system utilise either hot/cold water
jets or a combination of these with brushes.
Such washing machines can only handle the routine cleaning of normal cylinders. Small
numbers may require additional manual treatment off the conveyor.
Washing machines are normally placed in-line (over the conveyor) close to the unloading
platform and before the point where cylinders are checked and segregated.
Depending on climatic conditions and also the position of the washing machine with
respect to the repainting machine, drying may be required. Hot air is normally used.

05.07.03

Painting
Painting is normally done by semi- or fully automated equipment. Semi-automated
painting units are typically a ventilated cabin incorporating a rotating table. Cylinders are
fed to this cabin by means of conveyors and using a manually operated spray gun, the
operator applies paint to the rotating cylinders.
Fully automated painting units are continuously fed via conveyors and cylinders painted
automatically on a rotating table by means of spray guns. The cabin is either forced
ventilated and/or provided with a water curtain to remove the excess paint. See Figure
05.07.01.

05.07.04

Marking
Trade Marks and such like information can be applied manually with the aid of silk
screens but such an approach is only practicable for small throughputs.
Automatically/mechanically operated machines are also available but they are sensitive
to varying cylinder dimensions, and they may have to be duplicated when the cocktail
mix is very varied.

05.07.05

Capping/De-capping
Apart from pneumatic operated hand tools, for removal of valve protecting caps,
automatic de-capping/re-capping machines are available. These machines basically
consist of a clamp to immobilise the cylinders temporarily, and a revolving head which is
lowered to unscrew or fit the cap.

05.07.06

Removal of Security Nuts/Plugs


Before filling can start the valve security nuts have to be removed. This operation is
normally carried out in small plants with a pneumatic operated hand tool but for
sophisticated plants automatic machines are available.

05.07.07

Evacuating, Purging and Draining


Evacuating/purging may need to be carried out as a pre-requisite to the filling of
new/reconditioned cylinders or cylinders returned to the plant with their valves open.
Evacuation is normally carried out with a vacuum pump, refer 05.08.05; for purging
equipment, refer 05.08.06.
Facilities for draining cylinders before filling are normally only required (to avoid
overfilling) if cylinders are filled with a specific weight or volume of product, refer to
05.08.03 and Figure 05.07.02.

05.07.08

Filling Equipment
(a)

Filling Scales
Manually operated filling scales are available but those fitted with automatic cutoffs, preferably air or LPG vapour operated, are preferred for both safety and
efficiency See Figure 05.07.03. Depending on the filling method used one or two
tare-outs are required on the scale.
The accuracy of the filling scales should be in accordance with the tolerances
permitted by the local Weights and Measures Authorities. Filling tolerances
should be within 50 g. for the 26.2 1 type cylinders and 100 g. for the 108 1
type.
Figure 05.07.04 indicates capacities/filling times of stationary and carousel
mounted filling scales.
Filling scales may be equipped with single filling hoses/valves or with two filling
hoses/valves, the latter to cope either with prefilling by with cylinders equipped
with different valves.
For a review of filling methods used reference should be made to the SIPC
Plant Operating Manual Vol. 3. LPG operations 03.05.04. or SIPM Operating
Manual for LPG, facilities in Refineries Section 3: 03.05.04.

(b)

Filling Valves/Heads
Filling valves/heads are available in many variations to match the different
cylinder valves in use. They may be manual or of the mechanical/pneumatically
operated type, see Figure 05.07.05.
Automatic/mechanical/pneumatic filling valves should be of the fail safe type, so
that in the event of failure of the actuating medium, e.g. loss of air pressure, the
filling valve remains connected and prevents escape of product from the
cylinders and the filling system.

(c)

Filling and Air Hoses


Filling and air hoses shall be in accordance with MESC 73.12.30 and 73.01.30
respectively.

(d)

Carousels
The use of a carousel enables large filling capacities to be handled by a
minimum number of operators.
As indicated in Figure 05.07.03 carousels consist of a circular steel frame, with
filling scales positioned around its periphery, having supporting wheels, a driving
unit and a central control column for the supply of LPG and air.
The speed of rotation is variable as is the number of scales to be mounted on
the platform so that provided the latter is sized correctly initially a wide variation
of filling capacities (increasing throughputs) can be coped with.
Carousels are normally fitted with automatic units for moving cylinders from the
supplying conveyor onto the filling scale as it reaches the appropriate position
and for moving the filled cylinder back onto the conveyor system.
In normal operation an operator positioned close to the inlet connects the filling
valve, opens the cylinder valve as necessary and sets the automatic cut off for
the correct weight of filled cylinder whilst a second operator positioned close to
the outlet, disconnects the filling valve etc. As indicated in 05.02.02 (c) it is
possible to fully automate the carousel operation.
Carousels enable filling capacities of 1000/1200 cylinders/hour to be coped with
provided all other associated units in the plant can handle the same rate.

05.07.09

Automatic Inlet and Outlet Devices


(a)

Inlet Devices
The inlet device is mounted at the end of the conveyor at the entrance to the
filling carousel. This device is provided with stoppers and arms which push a
cylinder onto the platform of a filling scale as it reaches the correct position. If
the platform is occupied the cylinder is held on the conveyor.

(b)

Outlet Devices
The outlet device pushes cylinders from the carousel to the conveyor as the
filling scale reaches the appropriate position. Unless the cylinder is correctly
filled and disconnected the ejection system is designed not to operate.
The outlet device consists of a bearing bracket with an outlet arm which is
erected on each filling machine and a revolvable curved rail attached to the
floor. Filled cylinders cause the curved rail and outlet device to match and the
outlet arm pushes the filled cylinder on the conveyor or check scale. An outlet
device can be seen in Figure 05.07.03.

05.07.10

Check on Filling Accuracy


Filling accuracies can be checked by re-weighing or by determining the liquid level in the
cylinder by means of isotopes, acoustic signals, etc. Refer Figure 5.07.06. If every
cylinder is to be checked the latter types are preferred for large throughput plants. In
addition to any routine check on all filled cylinders an additional random check may be
carried out for which purpose the check weighing scale is particularly suitable.

05.07.11

Leak Testing
(a)

General
Dependent on the type of cylinder valve employed and the operating procedures
followed leak testing of the following may be appropriate:
(i)
(ii)
(iii)
(iv)

(b)

(v)

Valve/cylinder joint
Valve seat
Spindle seals
Seals, e.g. 0-rings in valves outlets (which match with regulator
connectors)
Cylinder shell

(vi)

for which the following methods can be used:

Water Test Bath


Immersion of cylinders in water allow all items mentioned above to be checked,
though to cover both (ii) and (iii) would require the cylinder valve to be opened
and closed and sealed as appropriate.
This test is generally practical only for small cylinders, such as the 26.2 litre or
the 67 lb. water capacity type. Equipment is available for automatic and batch
handling, refer to Figure 05.07.07.

(c)

Soap Solution Test


With this manual test, using a brush and soap solution all items mentioned under
(a) other than the cylinder shell can be checked.
This method is only suitable for small throughputs.

(d)

Bubble - Cap Test


A bubble test cap consists of a hood, provided with a sealing sleeve, which is
placed over the cylinder valve/bung. Leakage from the valve or its joint with the
cylinder displaces the air in the hood. which then bubbles through the water in a
transparent cylinder connected to the hood and is visible. See Figure 05.07.08.
This method is only suitable for small throughputs.

(e)

Sophisticated Leak Testing Instruments


In mechanised filling plants, sophisticated instruments are essential for leak
detection and are commonly of the hood type, refer Figure 05.07.09 Detection of
leakage may be by sensitive pressure measurement or by electrical
conductance/capacitance measurement. Testing is normally confined to the
valve seat or seal and the valve/cylinder joint.

05.07.12

Refitting of Security Nuts/Plugs


This operation is the reverse of the one described under 05.07.06.

05.07.13

Capping
This operation is carried out with the same type of equipment as described under
05.07.05 in reversed direction.

FIGURE 05.07.01 : PAINTING BOOTH

FIGURE 05.07.02 : DRAINING SYSTEM

FIGURE 05.07.03 : FILLING CAROUSEL

FIGURE 05.07.04 : FILLING CAPACITY

FIGURE 05.07.05 : FILLING VALVES

FIGURE 05.07.06 : GAMMA RAY LEVEL DETECTOR

FIGURE 05.07.07 : WATER TEST BATH

FIGURE 05.07.08 : OPERATING PRINCIPLE OF BUBLE TEST CAP FOR LPG CYLINDER LEAK
TESTING

FIGURE 05.07.09 : ELECTRONIC LEAK TEST UNIT

05.08.00

WORKSHOP EQUIPMENT

05.08.01

General
Testing of cylinders and testing/minor repair of cylinder valves are normally carried out in
the filling plant. These special operations are generally carried out in an area close to but
separated from the cylinder filling and storage areas.
NOTE: Cylinder reconditioning which requires hot work is not covered here, as this
requires special facilities and is normally contracted out. Refer Section 06.03.04.

05.08.02

Cleaning
Depending on the number of cylinders involved manual or mechanical equipment can be
used for cleaning.

05.08.03

Draining
Cylinders are drained of liquid product by inverting them on a rack - See Figure 05.07.02.
They are preferably drained through a closed system into appropriate vessels. Draining
can also be performed by decanting the liquid product into another cylinder. If a cylinder
is drained to atmosphere (only done in exceptional cases), it must be ensured that the
area is safe (adequately ventilated, supervised and that no sources or ignition are
present). Complete draining of heavy-ends, water or other deposits may require valves
to be removed.
If cylinder valves are fitted with URG excess flow valves, refer 06.04.04, then a control
valve or orifice must be included in the system to restrict the flow to a level below that at
which the device closes.

05.08.04

De and Re-valving
This operation can be carried out manually with the aid of a clamp which holds the
cylinder, see Figure 05.08.01, and a manual or pneumatic hand tool.
Pneumatic/hydraulic cylinder clamps, are also available as are more mechanised valve
off-and-on screwing machines.

05.08.05

Evacuation
Vacuum pumps are frequently used for the removal of air and air/vapour mixtures from
cylinders. Any vacuum pump capable of drawing a vacuum of 700 mm of mercury may
be used for evacuating cylinders. The suction capacity of the pump in terms of free air
intake per hour should be about 15 to 20 times the total volumetric capacity of the
cylinders to be handled per hour. An intermediate receiver should be provided on the
suction of the pump as close to the evacuation point as possible. It shall be provided with
a vacuum gauge and a drain which discharges outside the building. The discharge from
the pump should be fitted with a liquid trap and a vertical riser of at least 3 m (10 ft).
If cylinder valves are fitted with URG excess flow valves, refer 06.04.04, then a control
valve or orifice must be included in the system to restrict the flow to a level below that at
which the device closes.

05.08.06

Purging
The simplest purging equipment consists of a small diameter pipe, complete with shut off
valve and connection to a butane supply, which is inserted through the bung hole. Liquid
LPG (approximately 1% of cylinders volume) is introduced to the bottom of the cylinder
and allowed to vaporise slowly and drive the air out. On completion the exercise is often
repeated the dip tube then withdrawn and the cylinder valve fitted.
Where cylinders are purged with valves still fitted the use of a fixed purging system is
recommended utilising a 3-way valve to introduce LPG to the cylinder, to vent it to a
venting system and to close the system down.
If purging/venting is not carried out in a closed system then a safe location and
supervision is essential.

05.08.07

Testing
Hydraulic testing equipment
Test headers as shown on Figures 05.08.02/03 can be used for the hydraulic test.
Where the frequency and extent of hydraulic testing does not justify maintaining a
permanent test header. a simple manual test pump may be connected to the cylinder by
means of a suitable hose/adaptor, screwed into the cylinder valve bung boss.
A non-return valve, with manual release, and a pressure gauge calibrated to about 50%
above maximum test pressure should be fitted in the connecting system.
The test header illustrated in 05.08.02 incorporates a water system for filling and draining
the cylinders, a separate hydraulic pump connection for the pressurisation and test, an
additionally a compressed air system for speeding the drainage on completion of the
test.
Such a system can be manually or mechanically operated.

FIGURE 05.08.01 : TYPICAL CYLINDER CLAMP

FIGURE 05.08.02 : TYPICAL TEST HEADER FOR CYLINDERS

FIGURE 05.08.03 : CYLINDER TEST HEADER SEMI AUTOMATIC

05.09.00

ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT

05.09.01

General
All electrical equipment used in cylinder filling and storage ants shall conform to
the IP Model Code of Safe Practice - Part 1 - Electrical.

05.09.02

Zone Classification
The following table indicates the zone classification to be applied for the various
facilities.

ZONE CLASSIFICATION
Location

Extent of Classified Area

Zone Classification

Within the building

Zone 1

Outside the building up to 1.5 m


above ground level and within
15 m in any direction

Zone 2

In the storage place up to a


height of 1.5 m above the top
any stack, or beneath anyroof
over the storage place

Zone 1

Outside the storage area or the


space covered by any roof up to
1.5 m above ground level within
15 metres in any direction

Zone 2

Within 1.5 m

Zone 1

Within 15 m

Zone 2

Pumps and Compressors


Outdoor in open air
(see Note 3)

Within 4.5 m in all directions

Zone 2

Indoors (with adequate


ventilation)

Entire room and any adjacent


room not separated by a
vapour-tight partition

Zone 1

Indoor cylinder filling, storage


and handling

Open-air cylinder storage or in


open-sided buildings

Open-air cylinder filling

NOTE:
1.

Where any area is classified under more than one factor, the more restrictive
classification should prevail.

2.

Any pit, or depression falling within a Zone 1 or Zone 2 area should be treated as a Zone
1 area throuhout.

3.

The term outdoors in open air includes pumps, compressors and vaporisers which are
covered by a canopy.

05.10.00

PIPELINE LAYOUTS

05.10.01

Design and Construction


Pipelines should be designed to accommodate the movement caused by thermal
expansion and contraction and the settlement of foundations. Long, sweeping
bends should be used in preference to sharp or right-angled bends.
Pipe sizes should be suited to the quantities of product to be handled and to
control pressure drops to within acceptable limits. The size of pipes on pump
sections is particularly important and the provision of additional tankage and
pumps should be allowed for.
Pipelines should slope continuously downwards from vessel outlet to pump inlet.
They should be designed and constructed to facilitate plant commissioning/gas
freeing and should slope to high and low points fitted with bleed and drain
valves; these should be blanked off when not in use.
The supply line to the filling building should incorporate a pressure differential
valve, located outside but close to the point of entry to the building, and a return
line to the supplying vessel or pump suction dependent on layout. The pressure
differential valve setting should be slightly lower than the by-pass relief valve
fitted to the pump.
Plants designed for propane, or for mixtures, should be provided with valves and
fittings to class ANS B 16.5.300 lb. standard, whereas plant designed for
handling butane only may be provided with valves and fittings to class ANS B
16.5 150 lb. standard.

05.10.02

Safety Precautions
An emergency shut-off valve which will close automatically in the event of a fire
should be fitted in the supply line close to the point of entry into the filling shed. A
pneumatic or hydraulically operated valve is suitable for this purpose provided
the pneumatic/hydraulic actuation lines are taken through the filling/working area
and fitted with fusible elements set to fuse at approximately 75C.
Hydrostatic pressure relief valves should be provided on all lengths of pipeline in
which liquid LPG may be trapped between closed valves.

05.10.03

Flow Diagram
A typical flow diagram for a filling/storage plant is shown in Figure 05.10.01.

FIGURE 05.10.01 : TYPICAL FLOW DIAGRAM