Best Practices for Winter Fuel Handling

Gary Kluthe CVA Energy Sales

Gary Kluthe
CVA Energy Sales

 

CHANGE YOUR FILTER! An often overlooked item, and the most crucial, is to start the Winter with a new fuel filter on both your tank and your equipment. Water collects in filters over time and easily freezes inside the filter as the temperatures dip below freezing. Our most common cold weather issue is related to water frozen in a fuel filter that could have easily been avoided.

CLOUD POINT – THE MOST IMPORTANT ITEM TO MANAGE WITH WINTER DIESEL FUEL

  • Why are cloud points so important? The “cloud point” refers to the temperature when the wax crystals begin to form in your Diesel Fuel. Once the temperature dips below the cloud point, these wax crystals begin to attach to filters and plugging of the filters will occur, resulting initially in a loss of power, and fuel starvation to the engine possible as temperatures drop.
  • COLD FILTER PLUG POINT (CFPP) is the temperature where a filter will begin to plug.

THERE ARE TWO PRIMARY WAYS TO LOWER YOUR DIESEL FUEL CLOUD POINT AND CFPP

1. BLEND WITH #1 DIESEL FUEL

  • #1 DIESEL FUEL does not contain large amounts of wax, and therefore does not have a noticeable cloud point. -40 degrees in south and -60 degrees in north is typical.
  • Overtreating with #1 Diesel Fuel adds additional winter protection, but lowers the BTU content of the diesel fuel, resulting in possible power loss.

2. TREAT WITH AN ADDITIVE

Anti-gels or Cold Flow Improvers surround wax particles and prevent them from forming larger wax crystals by attaching to each other.

  • This surrounded wax will stay in suspension as long as the fuel has not reached its saturation points.
  • Treated wax is very fine or “dust like” and typically goes back into suspension with some agitation and/or added heat.

 

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At CVA, all of our diesel products are treated with a Cold Flow Improvement additive throughout the cold winter months. In addition, we blend our fuel with #1 Diesel at our retail fueling facilities, and can also bring blended fuel to your farm or business to make sure your equipment is ready to go when Mother Nature sends us a cold blast.

In addition to Winter Blending and Cold Weather additives, don’t forget that all of our dyed diesel is treated with the Ruby Fieldmaster additive, providing additional protection for all other issues that can be compounded in cold weather such as moisture, oxidation, cleanliness, etc that result from storing diesel fuel in the outside elements. It also offers a Cetane improver that provides quicker startups that can be even more important in the Winter months.

In order to make sure you are not left out in the cold dealing with Winter diesel issues, contact me at 402.719.1665 or gary.kluthe@cvacoop.com to learn more!