Low Pressure Thermal Fluid Plants

Prior to March 2010, the Power Engineers, Boiler, Pressure Vessel and Refrigeration Safety Regulation prescribed staffing requirements for low pressure thermal fluid plants with boiler capacities over 150 m², regardless of the amount of modern automated technology and safety control systems that the plant utilized.

As of March 1, 2010 the regulation prescribing staffing levels in these types of plants was eliminated, provided that the plant has an approved automated control system that:

  • monitors the plant and its systems - including all systems related to automated operation - and automatically alters the operation of the plant, including during start up and shut down, to ensure it is operating safely;
  • is designed so that any failure of the automated control system itself will cause the plant to go to a predetermined safe state; and
  • has been registered by Technical Safety BC's provincial safety manager in accordance with section 84.1 of the boiler regulation.

All of the above -- plus the design, commissioning programs, functional testing programs and maintenance programs -- must be approved by a professional engineer.

This change provides a choice to owners of low pressure thermal fluid plants as to how they will control their risks. Owners can choose the traditional approach of designing and installing systems that will be staffed in accordance with the boiler regulation, or mitigate future operating costs by investing in modern control technology.

Please refer to the following Technical Safety BC Directives for additional information: