The diesel engines used within today’s Power Generation systems must maintain peak power and load while burning fuel at economic levels, once thought to be impossible. The latest advanced High-Pressure Common Rail (HPCR) injection system and exhaust gas recirculation and purification technologies have certainly assisted in these advancements, but require the same premium quality from their fuel to match their extreme performance.
Diesel fuel is often the forgotten commodity, with regards to diesel engines, and the fuel is typically purchased, stored, and used with little concern for fuel quality until something eventually goes wrong. It is a well-known fact that poorly maintained diesel fuel is directly responsible for greater than 80% of fuel system failures and the figure is even higher in new advanced HPCR fuel injection systems coming to market. As such, the diesel fuel must be maintained in a pristine condition and as close to an “as refined” condition as possible to ensure ultimate reliability.
Diesel fuels by their very nature are composed of unstable organic hydrocarbons, which degrade over time depending on a multitude of factors. As a fuel breaks down, gums and insoluble contaminants develop within the fuel stock. Natural fuel degradation, along with inorganic particulate and water contamination, make up the majority of fuel system component wear and failures.
Diesel fuel that is not maintained properly at as close to “as refined” as possible can cause the following common problems:
- Poor starting or failure to start
- Low power from the engine
- Poor or rough idle
- Increased fuel consumption
- Excessive Smoke
- Increased emissions
Diesel fuel that is maintained in a condition as close to “as refined” as possible will out perform a diesel fuel that is under, or poorly, maintained. In order to achieve optimal fuel quality, the contaminants in fuel must be filtered out, water must be separated from the fuel, and the fuel must be conditioned. This process of filtration, separation, and conditioning is the foundation for achieving the quality of fuel necessary for ultimate reliability.