How to Effectively Clean Diesel with Fuel Polishing?

When your diesel generator is installed by a generator expert in Brisbane, one of the most common concerns that people ask about is the storage of fuel and its maintenance. There are times when the generator is not actually in regular use. It means that the fuel stays in the machinery for extended periods. It can lead to a situation called the contamination of the fuel. Eventually, the generator creates operational difficulties which lead to power breakdown in situations when you need it the most.

However, if you want to store the diesel in your generator for long periods, you can use fuel polishing to save the diesel from getting contaminated. By definition, fuel polishing means removing impurities from diesel to reduce the chances of contamination by dirt or microbes. If you’re worried about where to begin, give us a call for advice or let’s discuss a schedule for all your generator servicing in Brisbane.

How is Diesel Contaminated?

The most common contaminants in the fuel are sediments, water, and diesel bugs. The contamination through water can happen by dissolved water, free water, and emulsified water. Microbial growth such as bacteria, moulds, yeast, and biofilms can also contaminate the diesel. Additionally, sediments such as dirt, wax, rust, soot, and other organic compounds are also some common contaminants of diesel. Any of these contaminants in diesel for a long time can lead to engine failures and generator breakdown.

How Do You Know if Diesel is Contaminated?

It is safe to store diesel for at least 6-12 months if the generator is kept in appropriate conditions. These include storing the diesel in temperatures around 70 degrees F and keeping it away from any possible contaminants such as water, air, and dust. However, if the fuel tank is in areas where it can easily be contaminated, cleaning is necessary. So, how does one identify if the fuel has been contaminated?

Well, here are some things you can check for:

  1. Blockage in the filters
  2. Corrosion in the tanks 
  3. Failures the engine
  4. Fault in the fuel system
  5. The cloudiness of the oil shows that the water has emulsified.
  6. The water starts showing separately from the oil.
  7. The fuel appears as a sludge mixture which usually looks like dirt, but it is microbial growth.

It is important to note that water in fuel is one of the biggest reasons for microbial growth. Microbes need water and food to survive and fuel is good food for them. Hence, it is important to regularly filter or polish the fuel to avoid such contamination from happening.

How To Use Fuel Polishing To Clean Diesel?

Fuel polishing is an important part of maintaining diesel generators where the fuel is stored in them for long periods. Fuel management and fuel maintenance are important to consider to keep the energy source in top condition. So that it can be used when required, it is a necessary step in generator repair and servicing. The fuel polishing systems are usually automatic and include many phases of filtration.

The steps included in fuel polishing are as follows:

  1. Fuel and water separation is the first stage of filtration where water is removed from the diesel with the help of a fuel polishing system. A filter element and centrifugal force are used to achieve this task. Since water is heavier than diesel, it is easy to remove the majority of it. To do this, the fuel is spun at high velocities so that the majority of the water gets separated and is filtered out. Additionally, the separator also has a filter element that captures particles that are bigger than 30 microns.
  2. Once the fuel has been cleaned of water, the second filtration step commences. In the second step, all the elements that are smaller than three microns in size are filtered out. This step also allows the fuel polishing system to filter out any remaining water from the diesel.
  3. In case microbes are present in the fuel, certain bio sites are used to kill off any living Organism. This process is done before the fuel polishing starts.

The fuel polishing process can clean small and big tanks ranging from a capacity of 20 gallons to 10,000 gallons.

Other Fuel Polishing Facts

Fuel polishing of diesel should be done at least once a year along with generator servicing. However, the frequency of fuel polishing also depends on a variety of factors. If the fuel tank is located in an area where it is safe from external factors such as water, humidity, and excess microbial contamination, then annual cleaning is preferable. In addition to this, you should also have an existing filtration system that cleans the fuel every once in a while. If the fuel tank of the generator is placed in an area where it is susceptible to contamination, then it is important to consult an expert and create a schedule for fuel tank maintenance.

Fuel polishing can be done in two ways. One is by installing an automated fuel polishing system in the generator itself so that you do not have to constantly worry about the diesel getting contaminated. This will require the help of an experienced technician that is well versed in common types of generator repairs. The technique is perfect in case you have smaller storage of diesel. However, if you are storing larger quantities of diesel then you might have to do an agreement with a third-party vendor. Well-trained professionals will clean the diesel tank every once in a while as per the generator servicing schedule.

The time required for fuel polishing also depends on a variety of factors. Some machines can clean up to 400 litres of fuel per minute, whereas some can only clean 8 litres per minute. The speed is determined by the flow rate and the quality of fuel. If the diesel you are cleaning is extremely contaminated, it will take more time for fuel polishing than diesel which is less contaminated.

Fuel polishing it’s a great way to maintain and improve the life span of the diesel that you are using in generators. It is especially helpful for the people who do not use generators regularly, and the fuel is stored in the tank for longer periods. Fuel polishing is effective if you want the generators to work efficiently and for many years. Fuel polishing should be an important part of the generator servicing and maintenance schedule, and you should only appoint trained professionals to do it. Fuel polishing would form part of any average generator servicing in Brisbane.