Data Center Generator Base Tank Testing and Repair

Data Center Generator Base Tank Testing and Repair

CommTank tank tested, identified a leak location and performed field leak repair on a 5,000-gallon UL142 generator sub-base tank at a data center in Lenoir, North Carolina. The work was completed in 5 days, and enabled applications of this technology customer’s mission-critical business to continue uninterrupted.

Watch this video to see the generator base tank repair work.

The customer contacted us seeking a tank repair to the inner tank of the sub-base fuel tank located under the generator.  The generator provides backup power for the data center. One half of the tank’s fuel capacity had leaked into the secondary containment and our customer had a general idea of the leak location.  An engineer from the product equipment manufacturer met with CommTank’s project manager on site to discuss choice areas of a weld failure and the tank testing process. The generator set had to be moved in order to remove the base tank, due to the base tank design. The area and size range of the leak was not visible using a video scope that was placed into the fill port or the sensor ports because support baffles blocked access to the leak area. Sonic leak detector technology was brought to the site to aid in the tracking of the leak.

Crew removing diamond plating on generator bas tank

CommTank technician cutting the diamond plating to gain access to the base tank top.

Use of CommTank’s large temporary tanks provided storage for the remaining fuel. A 400-gallon tank that the generator could run on in the event of a power outage during the repair was also provided and installed by our CommTank team. The maintenance staff in charge of testing/priming the generator tested the genset operation to make sure it would run on the 400-gallon temporary tank. The crew removed a section of the diamond plate in the suspected area of the leak to get access to the top of the base tank. Crews drilled a 2” opening into the primary, inserted a borescope and pressurized the secondary tank to 1.5 psi. After scanning the inner walls of the primary tank, evidence of a leak was observed in the stub-up area. The stub-up is an opening in the middle of a base tank that allows electrical connections to be made from underground power lines. The remaining fuel was transferred from the primary and interstitial space to the temporary tanks and an opening was cut into the primary tank to access the leak location.

Generator Base Tank Leak Repaired

The area of the leak was prepared for welding by grinding off the damaged weld. A new weld was added to the plates around the stub-up and metal filings and weld debris was vacuumed out.  The plate above the area was reinstalled and the primary tank as pressurized to 1.75 psi to confirm tank integrity. The remaining fuel was filtered and returned to the primary base tank after the primary tank maintained pressure for 3 hours.

CommTank crew heading home with temporary tanks

CommTank crews leaving the data center with temporary tanks loaded on a flatbed truck.

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