Fuel polishing is a cleaning process that removes any harmful sediment in your generator fuel tank, which if not eliminated, can have a detrimental impact on your backup power system. A fuel polish involves removing the diesel from the storage tank, filtering it, removing the redundant fuel, and then feeding the remaining clean fuel back into the tank.

Diesel stored in fuel tanks for long periods can begin to deteriorate and become contaminated which will have a negative impact on a diesel generator, and in worst-case scenarios can cause system failures which could be disastrous, especially for an emergency backup generator. 

Fuel polishing also helps your generators to run more efficiently, as with the cleaner fuel you will use less, therefore, saving you money and fewer break downs.

How a Fuel Polishing System Works

At the bottom of an unchecked fuel tank, there is likely to be a build-up of damaging sludge, which can cause issues for different parts of your generator as it runs through the system. Water and bacteria build up over time because of natural processes, contaminating your fuel and rendering it unfit for use. The solution to prevent this is to filter the diesel using a fuel polishing system. 

Some generators are fitted with their own fuel polisher and gauge, the benefit of this is the fuel is cycled and cleaned automatically. This means you do not need to wait for an engineer to come out, you save money on your maintenance plan and you further decrease the chances of contaminated fuel. Some of our clients find this option very useful. We can fit fuel polishers to new and existing generators, subject to conditions on site.

For those that don’t have a fitted fuel polisher, Shenton Group provides a professional fuel polishing service that comes to you and ensures your fuel is cleaned safely and without damaging the environment.

Shenton Group’s Fuel Polishing Process

  1. Carefully the fuel is extracted and filtered via a series of processes removing any contamination
  2. The tank is also cleaned and any solids or debris are taken out
  3. Before the clean fuel goes back into the tank it is tested to ensure it meets industry standards 
  4. The clean fuel is then treated with a chemical biocide to slow future bacterial growth 
  5. The remaining contaminated fuel is ethically disposed of

How Important Is Diesel Polishing for the Upkeep of a Generator?

Backup generators are vital and expensive pieces of equipment. It is certainly in the best interest of your operation to keep on top of regular maintenance and servicing in order to prolong the life of the generator and to keep your power supply secure. 

Fuel polishing can prevent engine breakdown, fuel starvation, blocked filters, and water or any other contamination entering your generator. Contaminated fuel will cause your generator to fail and the cost of replacing parts can be expensive. Fuel polishing also prevents the need to replace the entire fuel supply in the tank, an expensive and unnecessary outlay. 

Key Benefits of Fuel Polishing

When fuel becomes contaminated and is left too long without polishing, the whole fuel supply in the tank might need to be removed and disposed of at great cost. This is hugely wasteful and environmentally damaging. 

A more responsible and cost-effective approach would be to make use of a maintenance contract and regularly schedule in fuel polishing, which is less expensive and far better for the environment. 

  • Fuel polishing will help prevent the build-up of sludge in your generator and will prevent water from entering the generator. 
  • Depending on your generator set up fuel polishing systems can be connected up to your fuel supply and can run causing no disruption to your day to day operations, and so your contingency power supply can continue to be called upon at any given moment. 

Does My Diesel Supply Need Polishing?

Every backup generator will need to have its fuel polished at some stage. To establish if the fuel needs polishing, a sample is taken. If the fuel is in good condition and meets required legislation then nothing other than continued monitoring will be required, while if there are unwanted elements in the fuel then intensive fuel polishing will have to be conducted to prevent any damage to your generator. 

How Often Should Fuel Be Polished?

This depends on each individual generator set up, but in the main, for a backup power system, the stored fuel should be tested at least once a year. The results of the sampling will dictate whether the fuel needs to be polished or not.

A maintenance plan with a professional supplier will ensure your equipment and fuel will be monitored by experts who will also schedule visits to take care of the upkeep of your generator and quality of your fuel. 

Shenton Group gives you the option of including the cost of fuel polishing as part of your maintenance contract. We routinely check the generator fuel every 12 months and run a detailed report to establish if fuel polishing is required. This is critical for the protection of your asset and the reliability of your backup power system. 

With the involvement of specialist equipment, it is understandable that some clients may initially feel the process of fuel polishing to be pricey, however; it is a far more cost-effective route than replacing an entire batch of fuel and disposing of the old contaminated batch.

Most importantly, you will increase the life span of your generator and avoid break downs which again can be costly for you and your operation. For example, if you run a food chilling warehouse and the chillers lose power, that could cost thousands of pounds and hurt the businesses reputation. Nobody needs that headache!

Shenton Group Fuel Polishing and Maintenance Services

Concerned about the quality of fuel in your generator system? Unsure of when the fuel was last polished? Give our team a call. 

We are an industry-leading organisation, providing support contracts to help our clients maintain their backup power systems all over the country. We give our clients confidence that their generators are primed and ready support at any given moment.

For more information on our services or the cost of our fuel polishing service, get in contact today to speak to one of our technical experts.

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