Fuel is the lifeblood of any generator. Whether used as a backup for power outages or for regular power supply in off-grid locations, generators rely heavily on the quality of the fuel to operate efficiently and reliably. But did you know that the quality of your fuel, particularly diesel, can deteriorate over time? This is where the crucial process of fuel polishing comes into play.
Fuel polishing is a comprehensive and systematic procedure of cleaning and restoring diesel fuel that has been stored for extended periods. The concept might not be something every generator owner is familiar with, but its importance is undeniable, particularly for those relying on stored fuel for their operations.
What Happens to Diesel Fuel Over Time?
The need for fuel polishing becomes apparent once we understand what happens to diesel fuel when it is stored for long durations. Diesel fuel is a complex mixture of hydrocarbons that, over time and under specific conditions, can suffer from several degradation processes.
Firstly, diesel fuel can oxidize. The exposure to oxygen can cause the fuel to form peroxides, acids, and gums that can adversely affect the performance of your generator, leading to engine deposits, filter plugging, and equipment wear.
Secondly, microorganisms, like bacteria and fungi, can proliferate in diesel fuel. This is especially true when water finds its way into the storage tanks, which often happens due to condensation or poorly sealed tanks. These microorganisms form colonies and produce a substance known as ‘biofilm’. This biofilm, along with the dead microorganisms, settles at the bottom of the tank, forming sludge. The sludge can clog filters, corrode the fuel system, and degrade the overall performance of the generator.
Lastly, diesel fuel can contain small amounts of water and particulates from the refinery process. Over time, these can lead to corrosion, gumming, and clogging of filters and injectors.
The Vital Role of Fuel Polishing
Fuel polishing effectively counteracts all these problems. It involves three main steps:
- Removal of Water and Solids: The fuel polishing process first involves removing any water, sediment, and particulates from the fuel. This step is crucial in preventing corrosion and maintaining the fuel system’s overall health.
- Killing and Removing Microorganisms: Fuel polishing also involves using biocides to kill any bacteria, fungi, or other microorganisms present. The dead microorganisms are then filtered out, preventing the formation of sludge. h
- Restoring Fuel Condition: Fuel polishing can involve adding stabilizers and conditioners to prevent oxidation and maintain the quality of the fuel. These additives help prolong the life of the diesel and keep it in optimal condition for use.
Investing in a Fixed Fuel Polishing System
Given these benefits, having a fixed fuel polishing system is an excellent investment, especially for businesses that rely on generators for their operations. Regularly polishing your fuel ensures it’s always ready to deliver peak performance when you need it the most.
A fixed fuel polishing system can automate this process, ensuring that your stored diesel is continually kept in the best possible condition. These systems are designed to monitor and maintain the quality of stored fuel, preventing the formation of sludge, the growth of microbes, and the oxidation of fuel.
By investing in a fixed fuel polishing system, businesses not only secure their power supply but also save on maintenance costs, improve the lifespan of their generators, and avoid the environmental impact of disposing of degraded fuel.
In conclusion, understanding the degradation processes that diesel fuel undergoes over time underscores the importance of fuel polishing. By investing in a fixed fuel polishing system, businesses can maintain the integrity of their diesel supply, ensuring reliability, performance, and cost-efficiency of their generators over the long term.