YQA Hot Weather Diesel Issues

20.01 When is high fuel temperature a problem?

High temperatures for generator fuel occur because the engine returns 65-95% of the withdrawn fuel back to the day tank. This return fuel flow is at a temperature that is well over 100 degrees F, without cooling measures, and this can cause the temperature in the tank to rise to dangerous levels. The engines often require relatively cool fuel, usually less than 110 degrees F, as a means of cooling certain engine components. And heated fuel can become a safety concern if it is heated above its flash point temperature.

20.02 How is fuel cooled to avoid problems?

High temperature is not a common problem because most generatos include a fuel cooling radiator to treat the return fuel before it is received by the day tank. The fuel cooling radiator is mounted as a slave to the generator engine coolant radiator, and utilizes the same engine fan.

The fuel cooling radiator on the engine may not be practical where the engine utilizes a remote radiator for its coolant system. In this case several methods of fuel cooling may be used:

  • (a) a dedicated fuel oil radiator and fan are installed at the day tank for return flow fuel from the engine.

  • (b) fuel return from the engine is directed to a gravity return flow pipe to a bulk storage tank. Since the engine consumption is only 1 / 3 of the engine fuel pump flow, the fule supply to the day tank should be increased by about 3 times to accommodate the higher flow.

  • (c) A temperature sensor in the day tank activates a return flow pump to pump fuel back to the bulk storage tank, allowing the day tank to be re-filled with fuel at a lower temperature.