As an organic compound, diesel fuel is liable to deteriorate over the natural course of time. In doing so, it gradually leaves sediment in a diesel generator’s tank. Once the diesel stored in fuel tanks deteriorates and is left for long periods, it can become contaminated which will have a negative impact on a diesel generator. In worst-case scenarios, this can cause system failures which could be disastrous, especially for an emergency backup generator.

Fuel polishing is a cleaning process that removes any harmful sediment and bacterium 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.

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

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, as 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 without damaging the environment.

Shenton Group’s Fuel Polishing Process

  1. The fuel is carefully extracted and filtered via a series of processes to clean and remove any particle or bacterial contamination.
  2. The tank is also cleaned, and any solids or debris items are taken out.
  3. Before the clean fuel goes back into the tank, it is tested to ensure it conforms to EN590 regulations and ISO4406 levels.
  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 keep your power supply secure.

Fuel polishing can prevent engine breakdown, fuel starvation, blocked filtration systems, filters, and water or any other contaminant 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 a great cost. This is hugely wasteful and environmentally damaging. It is best to continuously maintain your fuel supply to avoid having to dispose of waste fuel.

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

  • Fuel polishing will help prevent the build-up of sludge in your generator and at the bottom of the tank, and will also prevent water from entering the generator.
  • Prevents clogged fuel filters and pistons and removes all traces of contamination present in the fuel, re-optimising it for your gas tank.
  • Depending on your generator set-up, diesel fuel polishing systems can be connected to your fuel supply and can run the filtration process while causing no disruption to your day-to-day operations, so your contingency power supply can continue to be called upon at any given moment.

Does My Diesel Supply Need Polishing?

Depending on your generator set-up, diesel fuel polishing systems can be connected to your fuel supply and can run the filtration process while causing no disruption to your day-to-day operations, so your contingency power supply can continue to be called upon at any given moment.

A fuel polishing control panel for a diesel power 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, diesel tank, and fuel quality.

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 the removal and replacement of an entire batch of fuel and disposal of the old contaminated batch.

Most importantly, you will increase the life span of your generator and avoid breakdowns, 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 damage the business’s reputation. Nobody needs that headache! A relatively quick fuel polishing and tank cleaning service can ensure your generator doesn’t break down and keeps your fuel high-quality.

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 or contact us on our website.

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 to 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.

Subscribe to our mailing list

    I accept that Shenton Group will use the information you provide on this form to keep in touch and to provide updates and marketing