Coal Storage Domes

Coal Storage Domes

Geometrica designs and builds geodesic domes for storing coal. Often transported long distances and stocked at various points between the mine and the end-user, coal stockpiles come in many shapes.  These shapes can range from the huge multiline longitudinal piles frequently found at ports, to ring blending beds at power plants, to simple conical or irregular piles common at industrial plants.

Twin coal storage domes in Chile

In Chile, a 2nd record-breaking freestyle dome (179m x 182m) is ready to begin the cladding phase


Although many of the same issues that apply to most other bulk materials are encountered when storing coal, combustibility makes it a special case and deserves careful treatment. The following comments also apply to other combustible materials such as petroleum coke, wood chips, grains and sulfur.  

Coal Storage Dome

Longitudinal coal storage dome, 60m x 200m, Tunisia

The National Fire Protection Association (standards NFPA 120 and 850) identifies the hazards associated with storage and handling of coal, and gives the following recommendations for protection and safety.

  • Storage structures are made of non-combustible materials
  • The surface area upon which dust can settle is minimized or, even more desirable, cladding is installed underneath a building's structural elements
  • Coal should be kept as dry as possible (sprinklers are not recommended)
  • A sufficient ventilation system should be provided to reduce the chance of methane (and, in case of fire, smoke) build-up and for explosion venting requirements. Ventilation should be provided at the apex to take advantage of the chimney effect. 


Pet cokeStorage Dome with Internal Cladding

122m petroleum coke storage domes with internal cladding (Florida, USA)

Geometrica offers solutions to meet all the NFPA safety recommendations.

A dome protects the pile from rain and wind, which foster spontaneous combustion in open-air piles, and cause air and runoff pollution. Internal cladding prevents dust accumulation on the structure. A breakaway panel may provide for accidental overloading and ventilation at the base, and exhaust fans or ventilation openings insure against methane or smoke buildup.

 Dome Cladding Systems for Coal Storage Domes


Remarkable Long Span Applications

Geometrica has built the largest coal storage domes in the world, as well as domes for every coal pile shape (ring, conical, longitudinal and free-form).

Typical coal dome sizes range from a 66m diameter dome over a 15m wall to store 35,000t, to a 125m dome over an 18m wall for 180,000t. Capacity for domes on the ground varies with the shape of the pile. For instance, a 35,000t Freedome® required 3500 m2 of area, while for 139,000t, 135m diameter piles have been covered with 144m diameter domes.

Coal storage for Therma Visayas (Philippines)

For Therma Visayas (Philippines), this dome will cover 180,000 tons of coal

Additional information about our coal storage domes can be found via the following links;