Commercial fuel pumps and fuel dispensers come in many different forms with varying specifications and functionality. Choosing the right specification can be a tough decision for the unprepared customer. Whilst a few lines here will never be enough to provide details of all of the different options available, we hope to give you an insight into the complexities involved in the hope that you will be able to make more informed decisions in the future.
At West Fuel Systems Limited we will always try to understand our client’s requirements before making any firm recommendation and base our decisions on the needs of our client. When it comes to commercial fuel pumping equipment one of the primary drivers will always be to evaluate the demands that will be placed on the pump.
Fuel pumps have hard lives; especially in commercial fuelling applications. They are electro/mechanical units, that are normally located in an external and sometimes hostile environment. They can be expected to run for long periods of time and often provide a mission critical service.
Commercial fuel pumps come housed in a variety of different guises, many now use stainless steel, however Zintec Coated steel frames and panels are robust and suitable for most non corrosive atmospheres; we recommend avoiding plastic housings. There is a market for simple cube type pumps, however these units are rarely as robust as proper floor mounted heavy-duty commercial fuel pumps. If a fuel pump is to be installed within a marine environment, then you should consider upgrading to stainless steel pump fitted stainless steel internal pipework for additional corrosion protection.
Pumping or delivery flow rates are often a factor that drives decision making, however it is quite possible to make mistakes here. When deciding on the flow rate of a fuel pump you should remember that forecourt pumps; used for the refuelling of cars, rarely pump faster than 30 to 40 Litres Per Minute. Most commercial fuel pumps start at 50LPM with some running up to 120 LPM for ultra-fast delivery. Flow rates above 70LPM require the larger 1” nozzle that does not fit into the filler neck of cars or smaller vans. It is our opinion that high-speed pumps at 90LPM only really suits HGV’s or similar large vehicles. Generally we recommend clients use pumps with flow rates around 70LPM as this flow rate is suitable for both smaller and larger vehicles.
Accuracy is often very important but regularly overlooked. Most commercial fuel pumps have an accuracy to +/- 0.5%, this is in keeping with retail pumps. This degree of accuracy is achieved by using a positive displacement meter. Lower cost units; often referred to as flow meters, are often only accurate to +/- 3%, and due to the nature of the way that the fuel is measured, suffering from inertia which can mean that accuracy differs at different flow rates. If stock measurement and reconciliation are important capabilities, then a positive displacement meter is essential.
Commercial fuel pumps are regularly interfaced to other equipment such as Fuel Management Systems, and therefore it is important to consider this when defining a fuel pump specification. Fortunately, modern fuel pumps are capable of being connected to most types of Fuel Monitoring System. But it is important to check.
In some cases, commercial fuel pumps are
used to sell fuel to third parties. Where this is a requirement then it is important that equipment approved to MID (Measuring Instruments Directive) is selected, especially when the pump is to be interfaced to a Fuel Management System.
The majority of commercial fuel pumps have been designed to only pump Diesel and cannot be used with Petrol, however there are some models that are suitable for both products. Regardless of whether the pump is pumping Diesel or not, if it is located on an installation that also pumps Petrol, then it is extremely likely that the Diesel pump will need to have ATEX approval for use with Petrol.
More recently with changes in the regulations, Diesel has come under the control of DSEAR (Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations). These changes place a responsibility on Diesel installation operators to risk assess their equipment. As a consequence, operators are encouraged to select pumping equipment approved to ATEX for Diesel.
This is only a brief introduction to give you a hint of the possible choices that need to be made when selecting a Fuel Pump. At West Fuel Systems Limited we take our responsibility in helping our clients make the right choices very seriously. We have fully trained sales and engineering teams that are able to assess requirements and select the right equipment. As an independent supplier of fuelling equipment we can chose from different manufacturers and suppliers to get exactly what our client is looking for. The right fuel pumping equipment, regularly maintained by a qualified service provider should be suitable for many years’ reliable service.
If you would like to discuss your options regarding choosing the right fuel pump, please do not hesitate to contact us on the details below.
Call direct on: 01709 296767