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Technical Bulletin

The purpose of this technical bulletin is to highlight common problems with dual fuel tanks and the effect of both static and dynamic fluid head on the operation of the quick-fill system.

Installation of Banlaw Refuelling Equipment onto Dual Tanks

Revision No: Issue Date:

1 03/00

Figure 1 below depicts the effect of dynamic head loss between 2 fuel tanks, linked by pipe or flexible hose. The magnitude of the loss is a factor of the length of pipe, the number and nature of fittings within that length, the flow-rate, and the internal diameter of the pipe. The greater the amount of dynamic head loss, the greater the differential between fluid level and internal pressure of each tank. Unlike static head, dynamic head – as the term suggests – occurs only when fluid is moving.

The difference in fluid level i.e. static head, between each tank is proportional to the amount of dynamic head loss between the tanks. The greater the loss, the greater the liquid level disparity.

Figure 1: Effect of Dynamic Head Loss

The problems associated with high levels of dynamic head loss between dual tanks causing preferential filling of the near-side tank are: 1. Reduced ullage gap in near-side tank during filling creating reduced ullage gap in both tanks once fluid levels have equalised at the completion of refuelling 2. Spillage from vent bleed hole in near-side tank during or after refuelling 3. Elimination of ullage gap in near-side tank during refuelling, creating risk of rapid pressurisation of tank and exhausting of fuel from vent emergency relief valve. 4. Risk of nozzle shut-off prior to far-side tank vent closing at tank full condition, and subsequent insufficient fuel quantity being added at completion of refuelling

Technical Bulletin – ‘Dual Tanks’ 03/00

‘The Refuelling Specialists’

Measures to reduce the magnitude of dynamic head loss include:

The quick-fill vent may be removed from the near-side tank, and replaced with a venting pipe linking the top regions of both tanks (see Figure 1b) thus eliminating spillage from the near-side tank. This can only be achieved provided the dynamic head loss is minimised between both tanks and there is no way which the two tanks can be hydraulically isolated from each other, thus preventing the overpressurisation of the near-side tank.

1. Increase internal diameter of pipe/hose 2. Reduce number of fittings i.e. low radius bends etc. contained within the pipe length 3. Reduce the length of pipework required, either by rerouting or reducing the distance between tanks 4. Ensure any valves contained within the pipework are maintained in the fully open position. Be aware of the inherently high dynamic head loss created by such fittings as check valves and some flow control valves

Figures 2 and 3 below depict the effect of static head with dual tanks. The magnitude of static head is a factor of the difference in height that exists between 2 points. Both applications shown require additional modifications outside those normally associated with quick-fill equipment, notably the vent pipe linking the ullage regions of both tanks and the absence of a quick-fill vent on the lower tank.

Figure 1b: Alternative dual tank set-up

Technical Bulletin – ‘Dual Tanks’ 03/00

‘The Refuelling Specialists’

The situation shown in Figure 2 occurs when positive static head exists between the near-side (lower) and far-side (upper) tanks. A vent pipe must be installed linking the top of the lower tank to the ullage gap in the upper tank. Neglecting dynamic losses in the pipework linking both tanks, the pressure in the lower tank will be greater than that contained in the upper tank - the difference being equal to the static head between each tank.

Figure 2: Effect of static head (1)

Figure 3 occurs when negative static head exists between the near-side (upper) and far-side (lower) tanks. As in Figure 2, a vent pipe must be installed linking the top of the lower tank with the ullage gap in the upper tank. Again, neglecting dynamic losses in the pipework linking both tanks, the pressure in the lower tank will be greater than that contained in the upper tank - the difference being equal to the static head between each tank.

Figure 3: Effect of static head (2)

Technical Bulletin – ‘Dual Tanks’ 03/00

‘The Refuelling Specialists’

Many dual tank installations are designed incorrectly for quick-fill equipment. Most of these faults are caused by little consideration being given to the effects of the static and dynamic head existing between the two tanks. In addition, some installations install a quick-fill vent onto the near-side or lower tank with no knowledge of the 1/16” bleed hole in the vent valve being open to the atmosphere. As mentioned earlier, provided a vent pipe is installed, the dynamic head loss is minimised and there is no way the tanks may be hydraulically isolated, a quick-fill vent is not required on the near-side or lower tank. Note: any additional fittings or pipework linked to either tank will be momentarily pressurised with the tank contents during the final stages of the refuelling process. Care must be taken to ensure all such additions are rated to the certified pressure of the tanks themselves. Note that due to the requirement of a receiver on each side of the locomotive and other unique details, rail installations will require specialist advice from Banlaw personnel. Further technical advice on the installation and operation of Banlaw equipment is available from Banlaw head office or an authorised Banlaw distributor.

BANLAW PIPELINE PTY LTD - CONTACTS
Telephone: +61 (0)2 49714888 Fax: +61 (0)2 49714910 SALES & MARKETING Nick FORAN sales@banlaw.com.au Mob: 0408 497212 PRODUCTION & QUALITY ASSURANCE Paul BUCKTON paul@banlaw.com.au Mob: 0409 663072

www.banlaw.com

FUELTRACK & ELECTRONICS John GREGORY hoppy@banlaw.com.au Mob: 0408 492408

ENGINEERING (MECHANICAL) Adam PEATTIE adam@banlaw.com.au

Technical Bulletin – ‘Dual Tanks’ 03/00

‘The Refuelling Specialists’

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