The LA 400 Bottom Loading Station is the most efficient and ergonomic method for ground level tanker filling. Generally described as an LPG station, the system comprises of a liquid LPG loading arm and a vapour LPG arm, mounted on a single standpost.
The method of operation is that the LPG tanker will pull into the allocated space, next to the LPG loading station. The operator removes any caps or bars shielding the tanker connections and moves the vapour arm into position. Usually for LPG the connection is a rotating coupler, generally described as a “hammer union”. These are different sizes for liquid (larger) and vapour (smaller) to avoid errors.
Once the vapour arm is connected the liquid arm can be moved into position and connected. The arms contain isolation valves as well as drain valves to empty the pipe annulus at the end of loading and prevent open discharge of pressurised LPG to atmosphere.
In many cases these stations are made in carbon steel, but for some customers we are asked to build them in stainless steel. Generally speaking, they have a life of 25 years. To help achieve that and also prevent catastrophic failure if the tanker makes an unplanned departure, we fit emergency release couplings to both the liquid and vapour arms. These are designed to de-couple the loading arm from the tanker before the arm is stretched to its maximum length. Thus avoiding stress on the swivel joints and failure of peripheral components. The alternative is the breakaway coupler which utilises breakstuds which cause the coupler to part when a predetermined lateral load is placed on the coupler.
The LPG loading arms are each balanced by a spring cylinder which provides even and smooth counterbalance for the outboard sections of arm. Furthermore, the end (tanker connection arm) is also counterbalanced by a gas spring which holds that arm horizontal +/- 15o .
When parked, the arms fold neatly against the standpost into secure parking latches. The loading arms cannot be dropped or driven over. They are tested to 60 bar and have low maintenance, high capacity swivel joints for long life and reliability.