Anyone working within the industry will know that the tank storage sector is hugely diverse: petrochemical companies and refineries, chemical plants, utilities, beverage & distilleries, cargo and water treatment companies all have a need for long term tank storage.
All tanks need to be cleaned but they also need to be maintained regularly: the intervals between both of these process will primarily depend on how aggressive the substance within is and how quickly it deteriorates the internal coating or lining of the tank.
Should a tank lining be showing signs of being at the end of its working life, the tank will need to be emptied, cleaned, shot blasted, repainted and cured, all of which can take a considerable amount of time – particularly if undertaken during colder winter months. Companies operating in any of the above industries will want to reduce downtime and return to business as usual, so many are choosing to use heating and dehumidification equipment to assist in maintaining temperatures and removing moisture during each stage of the tank cleaning and recoating process.
Heaters and dehumidifiers tend to be combined to maximise effectiveness: reduced humidity air from a dehumidifier is delivered into the intake of an in-direct fired or electrical heater, fed through the heating system, and then into the access point of the empty storage tank (via ducting). Electric-fired units are usually selected as they are most suited to applications with limited ventilation as they will deliver huge volumes of clean, dry, fume-free heat safely and economically.
Heaters and dehumidifiers may also be used for drying out purposes during tank installation, commissioning and prior to their employment. For example, a heater and dehumidifier leasing specialist could be asked to provide a scheme for maintaining humidity and temperature levels during a critical period when coatings are being applied to newly-built concrete tanks at a water treatment plant.
Generally a desiccant dehumidifier would be used in these applications. These type of units use moisture-absorbing materials like silica gel and are employed when very low relative humidity is needed, work is being carried out at extremely low temperatures, a low dew point is essential, or for when the unit has to be ducted into the area that needs drying. Desiccant materials have a high affinity for adsorbing water vapour.
Prolonging the life of vessels and avoiding the huge cost of paying for replacements is vital for the tank storage industry. And hiring rather than buying in the required equipment is both an attractive and cost-efficient option as units are only on site when in use, there is no capital outlay to purchase them and a hire specialist will ensure that the client is supplied with the most effective solution for each individual case.