Clean diesel equals efficiency
Filtrating bulk diesel fuel and monitoring its cleanliness shouldn’t cost a fortune. If done correctly and with the right technical expertise, there are great benefits for the user. That’s the view of German company HYDAC International.
HYDAC provides products that achieve optimal fuel cleanliness, including filtration, dewatering and fuel condition monitoring products for the production-to-consumption process. The emergence of high-tier engines in Australia’s coal mining industry requires clean and dry diesel fuel.
Higher injector pressures used in high-tier rated engines place new demands on fuel cleanliness. Haul trucks account for the largest trucksset at an open cut coal mine, which means it is the largest consumer of diesel fuel. Cost-conscious mining companies invariably monitor fuel consumption closely of haul trucks at their operations.
HYDAC International development manager for mining and filtration, Mark LeRoux, said this has resulted in companies investing in diesel fuel filtration on bulk fuel installs. “No longer can they solely rely on the installed ‘on-board diesel engine’ fuel filter,” he said. “ They must also rely on additional filtration before the fuel is dispensed into the diesel tank on the haul truck.” Additional filtration on bulk diesel takes place in the form of either particulate filtration or coalescing filtration – where free water is removed from diesel fuel.
These bulk diesel fuel filtration solutions are supposed to provide mining companies with clean, dry, diesel fuel to be dispensed into the vehicle. Although LeRoux said “occasionally some of these installs do not deliver results, some water absorbing elements are often used in diesel fuel in place of coalescing filters. “ This practice of using water absorbing elements does not work and they have limited capabilities in absorbing water in one pass filtration systems.
Incorrectly sized filter systems for the particulate area an occurrence is seen all too often on mine sites. Money spent on smaller-sized lter systems seems to override the long-term outlook on getting larger systems installed. “Filtering is also too often installed only on the on-loading side or dispensing side of the bulk fuel install.
Filtration should and has to be, installed on both the on-loading side and dispensing sides of bulk storage tanks. Apparently, this practice should be common in all installs but it isn’t. Additionally, incorrectly sized desiccant breathers systems on bulk diesel storage tanks are also “hopelessly” undersized. Diesel fuel cleanliness is traditionally measured with traditional bottle sampling techniques.
Although the advent of online particle counters has enabled the process of measuring diesel fuel cleanliness more accurately, and information regarding its cleanliness is instant.