Prevent Cold Weather Diesel Fuel Issues

Prevent Cold Weather Diesel Fuel Issues

Winter wind, ice storms, and blizzards are all extreme weather conditions, which may cause power outages. If your facility has a backup generator you feel secure, right? Well, what happens if the frigid temperatures create diesel fuel issues in the winter? An emergency energy interruption is quite possibly the worst time to experience a generator failure due to a problem with your stored fuel. The good news is that you can prevent cold weather diesel fuel issues in winter.

How to Avoid Gelling

Gelling is a significant concern when storing diesel fuel, especially in the winter. Diesel fuel contains wax. This wax has a high cetane value, which is a crucial diesel component. During mild temps, the wax exists in a liquid form and blends undetected in the fuel. However, as the mercury drops, the wax will gel together and solidify. These gloppy mess blocks fuel lines and filters and clogs storage tanks, causing a backup system failure.

You can avoid this problem by switching your tanks to a winter diesel blend. Winter blend is good for all seasons whereas a Summer blend is not good for colder temperatures. If this is too cost prohibitive, consider winter fuel and tank maintenance, which includes fuel filtering and polishing. Additionally, some additives can be added to the clean fuel making it more resistant to freezing temperatures. Storage tank insulation is yet another way to prevent gelling. Make sure to pay attention to transfer pipes as well.

Prevent Ice Formation

One of the worst contaminants in diesel fuel storage tanks is water. Water causes a myriad of issues and creates a breeding ground for bacteria and fungus. If water is present during winter it could freeze, blocking fuel lines, damage engines, and storage tanks, and disable in-line polishing systems. Therefore, ultimately compromising the viability of the fuel.

There are a few possible solutions to this problem. First, diesel fuel polishing can remove the emulsified water from the fuel. A fuel monitoring system is vital, essential, and worth the investment. It will alert you to the presence of water in the tanks so that you can address it right away, preventing a system failure. Fuel tank cleaning will also be useful, plus the containers will be inspected for any leaks. Lastly, keep tanks insulated, or build a heated enclosure, which prevents the fuel from freezing.

Winter Maintenance is Crucial

Making sure your generator is in the best shape possible ensures that your facility is prepared for the worst emergency situation. Being ready for anything is especially significant concerning mission critical and data centers, where downtime not only means loss of thousands of dollars but lives. Contact Clean Fuels Associates to schedule a maintenance check-up. Let us help you be ready for whatever winter holds in store. We will make sure to prevent cold weather diesel fuel issues in winter, ensuring non-interruption of power all season long.