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Old 20 December 2013, 19:27   #1
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Diesel Polishing/Filtering

OK - not boat engines, but the same thing, kinda.

I look after a big diesel genny at work. She has a 450L day tank and a 1200l storage tank. She only runs in power outages and tests, so the fuel can be there for years. The installation is 20 years old and I know that the last batch of fuel was in poor enough condition before I used it up by running the genny and then changing the engine fuel filters...

Anyway - I'm looking for a better solution. I have a 50L/min transfer pump and it would be nice if I could incorporate it into some some of fuel filtering system, but it's not essential. Ideally I want to remove and filter the diesel from the tanks and return it to them, stirring up the gunk and refiltering it until it's is pure. There are some VERY pricey polishing trolleys on the market, but I'm not sure that I can justify that kinda of money for a single installation. Any ideas?
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Old 20 December 2013, 19:57   #2
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Not sure what you get there, but if it's the same biodiesel added crap we have in red diesel opver here, you'd be better off cleaning the green diesel out then turning the 1200L storage tank into a bunker tank for your cars with white diesel in, but adding a takeoff so you can run the genny on it as well and the fuel gets cycled.
It's common on site gennys that the genny's day tank doesn't actually empty if it's hooked up to the storage tank, so you could have some really rotten crap in the day tank.
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Old 20 December 2013, 20:39   #3
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Rather than buy a polisher have you checked the costs to have someone come in and do it for you? It might be a cheaper option to hire the service if it's only going to be a couple of times per year.
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Old 20 December 2013, 20:58   #4
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I'm asking around for a polishing service, but I'm not coming up with much - I'm out in the sticks. If they're going to charge me a mint every year, I'd be as well spend the money and actually have something on site. I had some daft ideas involving banks of RACOR filters and a pump but it's not my special subject.

We burn Green Diesel (marked gas oil) NOS, it can be as much as 9% biodiesel so potentially very buggy. I'd be reluctant to pay for white diesel on an ongoing basis and the security issue is a PITA - road fuel just calls to pikeys.
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Old 21 December 2013, 00:44   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willk View Post
I'm asking around for a polishing service, but I'm not coming up with much - I'm out in the sticks. If they're going to charge me a mint every year, I'd be as well spend the money and actually have something on site. I had some daft ideas involving banks of RACOR filters and a pump but it's not my special subject.

We burn Green Diesel (marked gas oil) NOS, it can be as much as 9% biodiesel so potentially very buggy. I'd be reluctant to pay for white diesel on an ongoing basis and the security issue is a PITA - road fuel just calls to pikeys.
Willk, have you tested your diesel for biological contamination?

If you don't want to order a full kit, Pm me a delivery address and I'll send a couple dip slides.

If the slides come back clear then just order a transfer pump and filter unit and recirc the fuel (should be available for about 150) drawing from the lowest point possible on the tank.

Simon

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Old 21 December 2013, 01:07   #6
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How much fuel is in the tanks now?

Do they have a gravity drain plug & what size is it?

What's the height of the drain if fitted from the floor ?

What pressure is the transfer pump giving you 50L, do you have a pump curve

How clean do you want it ?

Jim
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Old 21 December 2013, 01:23   #7
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Willk, have you tested your diesel for biological contamination?

If you don't want to order a full kit, Pm me a delivery address and I'll send a couple dip slides.

If the slides come back clear then just order a transfer pump and filter unit and recirc the fuel (should be available for about 150) drawing from the lowest point possible on the tank.
Morning A-H,

No, I haven't had it tested for biologicals. I suspect that it may not be bad on that front at the moment as the genny actually runs well I've just refilled the tanks recently so your very kind offer of a test might be wasted?

The previous batch of fuel was probably over five years old and had discoloured to a pale brown colour, a touch cloudy. I guess I was worried about long term deposits of crud and water that might be conducive to bug growth. The motor is a very old school Volvo 120AG so she's relatively relaxed about fuel quality.

The transfer pumps I'm seeing have massive volumes, and the filters that remove water and bits down to 30 micron have much lower flow rates. Was there a specific combo that you had in mind? My current pump shifts a reasonable 50l/min that is well beyond the ability of a triple RACOR install. Well, maybe it is beyond it - the pumps shifts 3000L/hr, the filter bank can handle 2000L/hr. Maybe there is some "loss" of pumping capacity through that system....
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Old 21 December 2013, 01:31   #8
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Originally Posted by bedajim View Post
How much fuel is in the tanks now? 450L and 600L

Do they have a gravity drain plug & what size is it? neither tank has a drain plug in the base, both have a near bottom outlet

What's the height of the drain if fitted from the floor ? Such outlets as there are are high - 4' and 6' perhaps?

What pressure is the transfer pump giving you 50L, do you have a pump curve Pump info attached

How clean do you want it ? Clean enough that any diesel engine can use it and it doesn't create it's own problems, i.e. water in it or whatever. I'm not bothered by metallic or dust contamination or anything funky like that

Jim
And good morning Jim!

Answers in red. Excuse the rush, I'm just in from a late shift and the head is a bit muzzy.
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Old 21 December 2013, 02:06   #9
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Originally Posted by willk View Post

Morning A-H,

No, I haven't had it tested for biologicals. I suspect that it may not be bad on that front at the moment as the genny actually runs well I've just refilled the tanks recently so your very kind offer of a test might be wasted?

The previous batch of fuel was probably over five years old and had discoloured to a pale brown colour, a touch cloudy. I guess I was worried about long term deposits of crud and water that might be conducive to bug growth. The motor is a very old school Volvo 120AG so she's relatively relaxed about fuel quality.

The transfer pumps I'm seeing have massive volumes, and the filters that remove water and bits down to 30 micron have much lower flow rates. Was there a specific combo that you had in mind? My current pump shifts a reasonable 50l/min that is well beyond the ability of a triple RACOR install. Well, maybe it is beyond it - the pumps shifts 3000L/hr, the filter bank can handle 2000L/hr. Maybe there is some "loss" of pumping capacity through that system....

Willk, I think you might be reading too much into your capacities that you've quoted... ;-)

Fuel filter capacities are quoted for the benefit of the prime mover that Is drawing fuel through them. For example, if I'm spec'ing a filtration system for an engine that draws 800lts per hour at maximum load then I can base my choice of filters accordingly.
Virtually any positive displacement pump (gear pump) will suck fuel from a tank and transfer it through a filter, especially if your just recirculating back to the tank. it doesn't matter if you maximum pump flow exceeds the filter maxim u m throughput, especially not in your case.
For a very cheap pump, search machine mart for "transfer pump" then call a local hydraulic supply company and ask for a "parker" spin-on assembly and order the micron rating of the filters you want (tell them it's for diesel).
450ltrs is actually a very small amount to filter so no point buying anything fancy.

Simon

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Old 21 December 2013, 02:16   #10
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Btw, if anyone is interested, I may consider selling an Alfa Laval "Emmie" portable centrifugal fluid filtration system.
It's about 10 years old but has never been used.
The discs fitted are for fluids with an sg of between 0.8 and 0.9 so suitable for diesel and hydraulic oils.

It's complete with its heater pack.

Three phase electric supply. 380-440

Pm me for more info.

Simon

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