Preventing cold weather issues with diesel fuel.
Before diesel fuel enters an engine, it passes through a filter to strain out impurities. This filter is an incredibly important part of your equipment, but it's also a prime target for cold weather to wreak havoc. This is because there's a naturally occurring substance in #2 diesel fuel called paraffin wax. Under normal conditions, this wax remains in liquid form, so it's harmless to your equipment.
The problem occurs when cold temperatures cause paraffin wax to solidify and bind together into larger crystals that can't flow through the filter. So when diesel users talk about gelling, this is the issue they're referring to............
Welcome to another podcast from, Aurora Generators. Why cold weather causes diesel problems. Before diesel fuel enters an engine, it passes through a filter to strain out impurities. This filter is an incredibly important part of your equipment, but it's also a prime target for cold weather to wreak havoc. This is because, there's a naturally occurring substance in number two diesel-fuel, called paraffin wax. Under normal conditions, this wax remains in liquid form, so it's harmless to your equipment. The problem occurs when cold temperatures cause paraffin wax to solidify and bind together into larger crystals that can't flow through the filter. When diesel users talk about gelling, this is the issue they're referring to. Gelling starts to occur at a specific temperature known as the cloud point. It is coined after the white haze, or"cloud" that appears as paraffin wax crystalizes. Number two diesel fuel has a cloud point of 14 degrees Fahrenheit. or-10 Celsius. If the temperature continues dropping, it will eventually reach a point where wax crystals collect rapidly on the fuel filter, starving the engine of fuel. This threshold is known as the cold filter plugging point or C F P P(CFPP). This CFPP indicates the lowest possible temperature at which a given diesel fuel can still pass through a 45-micron filter. For most number 2 diesel fuels, the CFPP is typically within a few degrees of the cloud point. While CFPP is an industry-wide measurement, it can be less accurate for some modern equipment. Today's high-performance diesel engines require finer filters than those used in measuring CFPP, meaning a new diesel engine can potentially plug at a warmer temperature than its fuel's documented CFPP. While CFPP can be a helpful measurement in some instances, keep in mind its limitations. It should be noted that both cloud point and CFPP are natural properties of a fuel and thus impossible to change. Paraffin wax will always crystalize when the temperature gets cold enough. So, how then, do you stop wintertime gelling and filter plugging? Even though you can't change cloud point or CFPP, there's a third factor you CAN change. The solution to cold-weather gelling and filter plugging lies in one key metric: operability. Operability is defined as the lowest possible temperature a piece of equipment can function at without a loss of power, operability is the variable diesel equipment owners have power over. But if you can't stop paraffin wax from crystallizing, how is it possible to lower equipment minimum operating temperature? Well, even though you can't get rid of the wax crystals in a#2 diesel, you can change their shape. Therein lies the secret to improving your engines cold weather operability. There's a special fuel additive called a cold flow improver or C.F.I. that dissolves the bonds in paraffin wax. It does this by breaking up larger crystals into many smaller parts, a CFI enables paraffin wax to pass smoothly through the filter. Typically, a CFI is effective down to about zero degrees Fahrenheit or-18 Celsius. The good news is, most fuel companies add C.F.I to diesel fuel in the winter time. So, you don't need to do anything, but not all companies do this. In the past we have seen customers in southern Texas not have this winterized diesl fuel. You may have summer fuel in your tank that does not contain any CFI's. There are many cold fuel additives on the market. You may already heard of, Diesel 911, Lucas, Kleen-Flo, Hot-Shot and others. If you own any diesel powered equipment, consider having one of these additives and use it in the winter time. Remember, diesel-powered transport trucks operate at extremely cold temperatures in Northern Canada and Alaska during the winter without issues. They do this by adding CFI's to diesel fuel. So, using a diesel powered generator in the cold should be no different. Thanks for listening to another Aurora Generator Podcast. You can find more information on our website at, AuroraGenerators.com