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Tent cooling system reduce refinery's risks

Client: Refinery

Location: USA

Sectors: Petrochemical and refining

The challenge

Risk-free conditions for lead paint removal

A major overhaul of a refinery is not an exercise to take lightly. Unexpected delays and safety hazards cost time, money and sometimes lives. Our customer was aiming for an incident-free overhaul, with zero environmental or safety reports. This meant they needed an unpleasant and potentially risky job done before they could even start. They wanted lead-based paint removed from one of their larger vessels so they could complete a welding project. 

Others had tried dealing with this problem in the past but with only minimal success. The refinery asked if we could do a better job, and do it during normal operational hours.

Project fact file

Vessel surface temperature 150°f
Working temperature maintained 90°F-85°F
Safety and environmental incidents 0

The solution

Sealing the vessel in giant cooled tent

We worked closely with the refinery’s maintenance team to co-ordinate the project so the start date of the turnaround didn’t fall behind schedule. We rapidly sealed the vessel in a large tent and then ducted 70 tonnes of cooling with the required power. An industrial air conditioning unit supplied chilled air through ducts, which were hooked up to perforated ducting inside the tent to distribute the air efficiently. The system was balanced with air vented through high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters. This allowed the tent to remain sealed but with a slight positive pressure to optimise working conditions.

“Our customer was so impressed they turned to us for solutions again and again."

The impact

Right on schedule and 100% incident free

The system maintained a temperature range of 85–90°F, typical for working conditions at the refinery. Our cooling allowed for the removal of the paint and the welding project to go ahead without a single environmental or safety incident. We estimated our customer saved eight to ten times the cost of the rental unit by stripping the paint during normal operating hours. It also allowed them to stay right on schedule with their turnaround.