WINTER IS COMING: CAN YOUR DIESEL FUEL WITHSTAND THE COLD WEATHER?

NEWS

– Electrical grid power interruptions, possible at any time, can be catastrophic.

People receiving automated residential medical care can suffer compounding injuries or die, exposing operators to severe legal and public relations consequences.

As data’s role in driving public safety and the economy increases, any degradation in its flow can leave emergency managers/first responders without critical tools and threaten business continuity.

Operators install emergency diesel generators to provide continuous power and avoid these impacts, complying with law and best practice. However, fuel contamination, typically in the forms of water, microbial growth products, and corrosion particles, is emergency power reliability’s enemy.

These can plug generators’ fuel filters, damage engines, and harm fuel systems, causing engine shutdowns at the worst times.

Fortunately, AXI International (AXI) has developed, produced, and deployed intelligent fuel management systems to minimize these events’ likelihood.

Concurrently, increasing real-estate costs and advances in data storage technology have made facility space more valuable.

Accordingly, designers seek to optimize usage in favor of revenue potential.

Specifically on the generator side, commodity-like sales for fast “plug-and-play” installations are also required to keep pace with data center demand.

One tactic used by generator manufacturers to remain competitive in this market is placing tanks and engines within the same footprint.

These belly/base tanks occupy the bottom of the generator enclosure.

Tanks often include perforated baffles to support engines’ mass and allow flow.

WINTER IS COMING: CAN YOUR DIESEL FUEL WITHSTAND THE COLD WEATHER?

Posted November, 07, 2017 by Michelle Anderson

As cold weather approaches, it’s important to be aware of seasonal changes in diesel fuel production and how these changes affect your engine, potential fuel efficiency, and wallet.

It Starts at the Top

Long before the winter season begins, fuel manufacturers are preparing their product for cold weather. Manufacturers create custom blends of fuel, depending on distribution locations and regional winter climate projections.

The Whole Ball of Wax

The components within diesel fuel that create issues during winter months are waxes. All diesel fuel contains paraffin wax, and it’s an important part of the fuel, as it has a high cetane value. However, cold weather can have negative effects on the wax contained in diesel fuel. Within the industry, there are two properties used to quantify and manage these effects: cloud point and pour point. Cloud point refers to the temperature below which waxes in diesel form a cloudy appearance by falling out of solution. Pour point refers to the temperature at which a liquid becomes semi-solid, losing its normal flow properties.

When exposed to cold weather, wax leaves its liquid state and begins to crystallize and solidify, or “gel.” While waxes can clog filters, they are not damaging to the engine since they melt at higher temperatures. However, as you can imagine, this crystallized wax wreaks havoc on your system by clogging fuel filters and fuel plumbing. Due to fuel starvation, engines will struggle to start or possibly not start at all. An engine that won’t start is the last thing you want in the middle of harsh winter weather.

Mix It Up: Blended Diesel Fuel

In order to prevent and combat cold weather diesel problems, fuel manufacturers create different blends of fuel at the refinery level. Considering that many different petroleum products can come from crude oil, there are several additives that can be mixed into diesel fuel to make it less susceptible to gelling. The most common diesel fuels are Number 1 (1D) and Number 2 (2D). 2D is a summer-grade diesel fuel for warmer climates. For winter months, 1D and 2D are mixed to create a winter blend that is less susceptible to gelling.

However, even though the addition of 1D prevents cold weather problems, it creates separate, often overlooked, issues. Because 1D is from higher distillates (smaller molecules), it is more volatile but less energy dense. When it is added to 2D in the winter, customers trade total fuel energy density for gelling resistance. The addition of 1D in the winter creates a fuel that has less energy and lower potential fuel efficiency. Summer blend, 2D, contains roughly 140,000 Btu/gal (39 MJ/L), while 1D contains around 130,000 Btu/gal (36 MJ/L). The more 1D added to winter blended fuel, the lower the fuel’s energy density.

Biodiesel: An Entirely Different Ball of Wax

In some parts of the United States, a petrodiesel/biodiesel blend is offered. Biodiesel will gel at a higher temperature than normal petrodiesel, making it more susceptible to gelling and wax precipitation. The temperature at which biodiesel gels depends on the source from which it’s made. Common sources include peanut, corn, soy, coconut, olive, or canola oils. It’s important to know if your fuel contains biodiesel so that preventative measures can be taken in cold weather.

The Cold Weather Diesel Solution: AFC-805

There is no way of truly knowing what blend of diesel fuel you are getting at the pump. For this reason, it is best to use a cold weather anti-gelling fuel additive as preventative maintenance. In some instances, drivers may fill up in the southern United States, where they offer summer blends, and drive to a colder climate that requires a winter blend. Using a cold weather fuel additive takes away the guesswork and allows drivers to have peace of mind about their fuel in cold climates, while adding some additional power and efficiency back into their tank.

AXI International’s AFC-805 is an anti-gelling broad spectrum fuel additive that is specifically formulated for use in diesel, biofuels, gasoline, kerosene, and HFO. Not only will this additive prevent your fuel from gelling, it aids in fuel combustion, enhances the breakdown and removal of sludge, and cleans an engine’s entire fuel and injection system. To find out more information about AFC-805, click here or call AXI International today.

2018-09-10T12:30:06+00:00