Proactive Storage-Tank Equipment Selection Can Be Beneficial
By Ed Kammerer
Welcome to the final installment of our “Proactive Equipment Selection” series of articles. In the first article, we laid out the three principal reasons–technological advances, expanded motor-fuel menu and evolving regulations–why being proactive in outfitting a fueling site’s underground fuel-storage system is the best way to go. That was followed by Part II, in which we took a close look at the major technological advances that are now available to site operators in the area of containment equipment and systems.
We will wrap up this series with a deep dive into the latest and greatest technologies that can help make a retail-fueling site’s storage-tank system as safe, efficient, durable and reliable as possible. Keep in mind that in the 20-plus years that have passed since much of today’s storage-tank equipment was installed, the developers of that equipment have continued working diligently to improve it, while also creating entirely new solutions.
Given the decades that have passed since installation, we favor a proactive approach in outfitting a fueling site’s storage-tank system: turning to improved or advanced new technologies (or even a like-for-like replacement) will support a safer, more reliable fueling operation and help lead to happier customers, a cleaner environment and improved peace of mind for the site operator.
Don’t Break The Bank
As noted in the previous articles, if a retail-fueling site has been in operation for a number of years, it may have been one or two decades since the components in the site’s storage-tank system were last seen by human eyes. If there was a performance issue during that time, human eyes have probably viewed the equipment, but it has likely come at the significant cost of breaking forecourt concrete in order to inspect, remove and replace the offending piece of equipment.
OPW Retail Fueling, Smithfield, NC, USA, has a well-established reputation as a trendsetter in the design and creation of storage-tank systems and components by being proactive in investigating and developing new solutions. Specifically, OPW has made notable advances in the development of storage-tank components that can be reached, repaired and replaced without the need for expensive and time-consuming breaking of forecourt concrete.
OPW’s storage-tank equipment has been designed to help fuel-site operators avoid costly breakdowns that result in excessive repair and replacement costs, along with the downtime that affects the site’s bottom line. Additionally, this equipment helps protect the environmental around storage tanks while simultaneously allowing fuel-site operators to avoid costly and time-consuming compliance issues.
Let’s take a closer look at some specific equipment advances that can be proactively installed in order to support a safer, more reliable, more efficient and cost-effective storage-tank system:
- 71SO-T Testable Overfill Prevention Valve: Just like OPW’s highly regarded 71SO Vapor-Tight Overfill Prevention Valve, the new 71SO-T Testable Overfill Prevention Valve is designed to help prevent the overfill of underground storage tanks by providing a positive shutoff of product delivery should an overfill condition be detected. What further differentiates the 71SO-T from the competition is its standing as the industry’s only overfill-prevention valve that is testable from the forecourt surface with no need to remove the valve from the fuel tank. This design feature gives fuel-site operators the ability to test the valve in 60 seconds, rather than 60 minutes. These features make the 71SO-T the easiest, quickest and most cost-efficient overfill-prevention valve available to the market today.
- 10 Plus Series Emergency Shut-Off Valves: The 10 Plus Series is the latest in a long line of OPW shut-off valve innovations, stretching back to 1989 and the creation of the industry’s first double-poppet shut-off valve. Today, the 10 Plus is the only emergency shut-off valve in the world that has been designed to help protect the fueling site and the environment against the potential hazards inherent in undetected shear-groove leaks that can potentially be caused by low-impact pullover or dislodged-dispenser incidents, while continuing to provide industry-leading safety to customers. The 10 Plus features a patented SmartGuard designed to contain shear-groove leaks, helping prevent fuel from leaking into sumps and reducing the risk of fire, explosion, personal injury, property damage, environmental contamination, product loss and cleanup costs.
- FlexWorks Flexible Piping Systems: FlexWorks flexible piping is the industry’s only fully integrated solution that offers end-to-end double containment and complete access for testing, monitoring or replacement from the forecourt surface. It has also been designed to provide advanced operational capabilities that offer a higher level of protection, meet compliance statutes and control costs. At the heart of FlexWorks pipe is KYNAR PVDF resin, which has a 50-year history of performing reliably in the world’s most demanding petroleum-handling applications and has been the foundation of OPW’s flex-pipe offering for more than 20 years. OPW also offers FlexWorks Dual-Layer Access Pipe, which is a 4” corrugated flexible conduit that provides quick access to the flex piping for inspection or replacement.
Retail fuel-site operators who are aware of these innovations have additional ammunition in their arsenal when it comes to optimizing the performance, safety and reliability of their storage-tank systems. Upgrading to these components will help them build a fueling business that not only appeals to drivers, but achieves the highest level of operational optimization.
That concludes our multi-article look at the benefits that can be realized when fuel-site operators choose to be proactive with their selection and implementation of next-generation fueling-site systems and equipment. As always, OPW will continue to survey the market and create new or better components, all of which will be designed to help ensure a safe and successful retail-fueling operation. Who knows? Maybe in the not-too-distant future we’ll need a Part IV for this topic.
Ed Kammerer is the director of global product management for OPW, based in Cincinnati, OH, USA. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on OPW, go to opwglobal.com