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Bulk, Supply and Storage of LPG

Bulk Storage Vessels


Bulk storage vessels are available from 380 litre-3400 litre capacities. Storage vessels may be sited above ground, below ground or mounded. The average domestic vessel size is 2000 litres.

Primary Design Considerations

  • Availability and choice of suitable LPG appliances required.
  • Storage vessel size, type and location requirements.
  • Choice of LPG supplier.
  • Calculation of gas supply pipe sizes, route and requirements.
  • Gas supply should not be installed in electrical or drainage ducts.
  • Ensuring safe distances from drains and openings are adhered to.

Generally, the internal installation requirements of appliances are as for natural gas.

Consumer Bulk Storage for LPG

When the consumption of LPG is above that which can be effectively supplied by the use of manifolded large propane cylinders, a bulk storage vessel can be used.

Consumer vessels for the small domestic and commercial applications typically hold between 200 kg and 2,000 kg.

Consumer vessels are installed at the customer's premises and LPG is delivered to these vessels from a road tanker using its own engine-driven pump. An "on-board" meter records the amount of gas delivered, which is then charged to the consumer. This type of delivery is often described as split bulk, to differentiate it from the full tanker loads delivered to the large industrial consumers.

Bulk storage vessels are normally installed above ground but there is increasing interest for these vessels to be buried or semi-buried (mounded) below ground.

Technical details of design and installation are described in Codes of Practice published by UKLPG.

The rate at which vapour can be withdrawn from an LPG vessel, is determined primarily by the level of LPG in the vessel and the ambient conditions. LPG supply companies' give advice on the approximate rate at which it can be withdrawn, which will also be dependent on the nature of the consumption, i.e. whether it is intermittent or continuous. The vaporisation mechanism is the same for bulk storage vessels as it is for cylinders.

When it is impractical to obtain all the LPG vapour required by natural vaporisation, a heated external vaporiser can be used. Liquid phase LPG from the vessel is passed to an externally heated heat exchanger supplying the latent heat of vaporisation required. Vaporisers are available in a range of sizes heated by electricity, hot water, steam, or hot oil.


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