FEA Enabled design analysis of an Energy Storage Tank

Background

A Process Equipment engineering company based in Germany had designed a tank that was to be installed in an area prone to seismic loads. A design analysis of Energy Storage Tank was to be carried out using Finite Element Analysis (FEA) to check the stresses in the tank and to design the anchor bolts to sustain full and empty tank loads under seismic loading condition.

Problem Definition and Technical Approach

A 3D Model of the tank was provided to us as a input.

FE analysis was carried out for 3 different load cases to predict the behaviour of the Tank in these cases:

  • Full tank condition
  • Full tank and seismic condition
  • Empty tank and seismic condition

FEA analysis and post-processing for this project was performed using ANSYS Professional NLS 17.0.

The tank was modelled as shell body (excluding base layer) and the base plate was modelled as solid body.

The geometry was sliced in different regions using ANSYS Design Modeller 17.0 to assign the correct thickness and the boundary conditions to the FE model. The individual sliced bodies were assembled as a multi-body part to get a continuous mesh between connecting faces/edges. Suitable contact elements (bonded contacts) were used where continuous mesh is not possible.

The model was constructed and analyzed in metric units of mm, N and sec.

Conclusions

FEA analysis and post-processing for this project was performed.

During the analysis, it was observed that the input geometry provided did not satisfy the allowable stress criteria as per certain design standards. The necessary design changes were done and a total of 12 M45 anchor bolts equally spaced along the circumference were proposed. The concrete foundation designer designed the length of the anchor bolts to give sufficient bond strength which can carry the loads.

After the necessary design modifications were incorporated, the FE analysis were performed to arrive at an optimal design that would sustain different load conditions.