Pac-Van, Inc.

Bulk Liquid Storage Tanks – What’s the difference?


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Bulk liquid storage tanks are able to handle various types of liquids in most any situation.  We’ve covered it here and we’ve also covered which industries utilize our liquid storage tanks (beyond the oil and gas industry).  Now let’s look at some differences in our tanks.  There are two major differences in our standard 21,000 gallon storage tanks based on the design of the bottom of the tank and also the placement of the manifold.  This blog focuses mainly on “v bottom tanks” vs. “round bottom tanks” and external manifold vs. internal manifold.  It is important to remember that we offer a wide variety of tanks to accommodate any liquid storage need you may have.  All of our bulk liquid storage tanks are quality engineered to perform to the highest standards and to your specific requirements.

V Bottom Tank

Our 21,000 gallon (500 bbl) v bottom tanks are great for liquid storage.  They are easy to drain and include stairs with fixed handrails and landings.  To be able to hold 21,000 gallons of liquid, it obviously has to be big!  Dimensions for a v bottom tank are:

Length: 45’
Width: 8’6”
Height: 11’1”

These are heavy duty tanks, equipped with .25” plates.  We have both smooth walled tanks and corrugated walled tanks.  Every tank has durable epoxy interior coating and a polyurethane external paint.

Round Bottom Tank

Our round bottom tanks are very similar to the v bottom tanks, besides a few (and one obvious) differences.  The dimensions are comparable:

Length: 45’
Width: 8’6”
Height: 11’

But the clear difference is the bottom.  These liquid storage tanks are built with the same .25” plates, but have a rounded bottom.  If you are storing a thicker liquid or a high viscosity fluid that needs to be turned, rolled, or mixed, the round bottom allows for easier movement.  All of these round bottom tanks have smooth walls, which make for easier cleaning because there are no corners.  Like the v bottom tank, these round bottom tanks are easy to drain and have the epoxy interior coating and polyurethane external paint.  Instead of a staircase and landing, these tanks have a small ladder and landing.

External Manifold

The manifold is the “chamber” that provides several outlets to remove liquid from the tanks.  In the comparison of external vs. internal, it is exactly as it sounds.  The external manifold is literally on the outside of the tank.  It is easier to access because it is on the front of the liquid storage tank, it is elevated, and it is positioned away from the tank.  You can attach hoses to the external manifold making it easier to connect to multiple tanks.  However, in cold climates, the external manifold is susceptible to freezing any fluid left in the manifold, rendering it useless until thawed.

Internal Manifold

An internal manifold is located inside the tank, with the ports and openings positioned on the front wall of the unit.  While this positioning may make it more difficult to maneuver than the external manifold, the biggest benefit to the internal manifold is that they are less susceptible to freezing and therefore perform best for use in cold climates.

The “v bottom” vs. “round bottom tank” and the external manifold vs. internal manifold discussion is always a good one to have.  It is also important to remember that these are just few of the types of bulk liquid storage tanks that Pac-Van can offer. If you have liquid storage needs, please contact one of our tank experts today and we will get you the right equipment for your job.

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