From The Editor | February 26, 2016

5 Storage Tank Innovations Worth A Look

Peter Chawaga - editor

By Peter Chawaga


At every treatment plant there loom still, silent colossi that are integral to the facility but never make a fuss. It may seem that a storage tank is doing its job well enough as long as it bars leaks and stays upright, but a lot more can go into it than that. So for all those who see the untapped potential in this noble receptacle, know that bells and whistles aren’t just reserved for flashy technology, and want to make the most out of these key plant players, below is a list of the most interesting things happening in the world of storage tanks.

  1. The Dual-Seam System, Lipp GmbH

Lipp GmbH, a German plant engineering system, has introduced the dual-seam system for stronger tank construction. By using a steel composite known as verinox, consisting of galvanized steel on the outside and stainless steel on the inside, the system emphasizes strength and corrosion resistance.

The construction process involves feeding a verinox band into an assembly device which rotates it into a single dual-seam cylinder. This eliminates the need to cobble multiple pieces together with nuts and bolts, a point of structural weakness on traditional tanks.

“Most importantly, without the need for cranes… and no requirement to work at height, the automated on-site production method itself is much safer, while at the same time being faster; which means reduced risk with lower assembly and installation costs,” reads a company statement.

  1. OptiDome, CST Industries

Capable of withstanding heavy snow loads and high-speed winds thanks to a double web I-beam, this aluminum, geodesic storage tank cover is like the cherry on top of a sundae: It might be a bit superfluous, but can make all the difference. Flush and battened, the cover is ideal for water-shedding and reduces the chance of rainwater ponding on the tank. Of course, it provides a water-tight cover over whatever is stored beneath it.

And who said a plant operator can’t appreciate aesthetics? The OptiDome is smooth and sleek, without external sealant necessary. But it’s not all flash with no substance.

“CST’s advanced OptiDome design complies with torsional buckling requirements which have been adopted by EuroCode, 2010 Alumunim Design Manual and International Building Code 2012,” according to the CST Industries website.

  1. 7-Foot Forming System, Phoenix Tank

The composite elevated tank design offers a small construction footprint while supporting tanks of up to 2 million gallons. With a reputation for minimal long-term maintenance needs and a raised, spherical tank that can be custom-painted to sport a customer’s coat of arms, this design has been a popular option for mascot-loving universities, logo-bearing industrial operations, and peacocking utility districts.

The stop motion videos of these behemoths being built by Phoenix Tank are mesmerizing. The company’s proprietary 7-foot forming system involves shimmying the massive tank up a concrete shaft with use of a self-raising platform. When it’s all done, an interior ladder is installed.

  1. HydroTec MB, CST Industries

A storage tank can be a big, stationary investment. For operations that require a temporary and movable storage tank, there’s the HydroTec MB. It’s got the structural integrity you need from a standard tank, thanks to epoxy coating with gaskets and a bolted-in liner, but it’s also got features that allow it to move along and adapt from job to job, like adjustable size and a pre-engineered cover dome.

Collapsing a dome and hauling it along might induce nerves about how it will hold up when it reaches a site. CST confirms its structural integrity with approved design standards. The tanks are built on grade and easily constructed by the customers if they can manage it, or CST professionals if not.

“HyrdroTec MB tanks feature minimal inventory needs and easy repair solutions due to their precision engineering and modular design,” per the company website.

  1. Sidewall Tank Insulation, Tarsco

If you need to keep your water at a certain temperature, even in extremely hot or cold climates, Tarsco offers a solution worth considering. Its vertical and horizontal sidewall insulation systems have been used to keep things comfortable for over 35 years.

They customize each insulation panel to the precise height of a given tank, maximizing its effectiveness, and they fabricate each deck panel to match diameter. They offer customers a choice of material, sheathing thickness, finish, and color. You wouldn’t leave home without a sweater on a windy day. Don’t ask your tank to do the equivalent.

Image credit: "A Couple Ways to Store Water," Glenn Pope © 2013, used under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license: