A Beginner’s Guide To Fuel Transfer Pumps
A fuel transfer pump is the part of a refuelling system that moves fuel from one place to another; often from a storage tank to a vehicle, via a dispensing nozzle. Within that general description, however, there is a huge amount of variety, so it is important to understand what you are looking for & what all of the options are.
What does a fuel transfer pump do?
A fuel transfer pump simply transfers fuel either from one tank to another, or from a container to a nozzle so it can be dispensed into a vehicle. A pump can also be used to transfer fuel from one car to another, or even to extract fuel from a vehicle & back into a storage container. Smaller hand pumps are often particularly suitable for this purpose.
What kind of fuels does a fuel transfer pump work with?
As the majority of fuel transfer pumps are intended for commercial use, there is an especially wide range designed for diesel. However, pumps are also available for use with all kinds of fuels & other liquids, including petrol, AdBlue®, & even food products.
How do I choose a fuel transfer pump?
Choosing the best fuel transfer pump for you depends on a number of different factors about the kind of refuelling you need to do, the refuelling set up you have, the locations you will use, & the vehicles you need to refuel. Some of the factors you may want to consider when choosing a pump are:
The flow rate measures how quickly fuel can be dispensed, in litres per minute (lpm). Depending on the size of the vehicles that are likely to be filled, & the capacity of their tanks, you will need to select a fuel transfer pump with a suitable flow rate. Having a rate that is too low means that tanks can take a long time to fill, but having one that is too high can cause spillage or frothing, so it is important to select carefully. Hytek’s pumps are available in a variety of flow rates designed to be appropriate for different types of vehicles.
For smaller vehicles such as cars, vans, forklifts & small plant vehicles, a rate of 50lpm is recommended.
For vehicles with bigger tanks such as lorries, large vans, rigid trucks & agricultural vehicles, a rate of 70lpm is advised.
Vehicles with high capacity tanks, such as buses & coaches, articulated vehicles, & heavy plant or agricultural vehicles, a rate of 90lpm is recommended.
Mains, battery or manual
Fuel transfer pumps are available for a variety of power sources, & so it makes sense to consider the type of circumstances & location in which it will be used.
At a refuelling station with a static fuel tank & a regular power supply, a 110v or 230v AC fuel transfer pump suitable for connection to a high voltage AC mains power supply makes sense.
If you are likely to need to refuel away from a fixed refuelling station, however, then a low voltage 12v or 24v DC fuel transfer pump can be connected to a vehicle battery, & comes as a package with cables & crocodile clips to allow you to do so.
For small vehicles or to transfer relatively small quantities of fuels from one container to another, a manual fuel pump can be more cost effective.
Set up & fuelling mechanism
You will also need to consider where you are likely to be conducting refuelling, & what the set up will be. If you have a static fuel tank at a refuelling station, then a permanent pump can be set up; either fixed to the wall or tank, or in a floor-mounted cabinet.
On the other hand, if you are pumping from a portable container then Hytek provides kits specifically designed to mount securely to Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBCs) or drums.
Weights & Measures Approved
If the pump will be used to transfer fuel for sale, then it must be capable of measuring the amount provided to a high degree of accuracy, to ensure that customers receive what they pay for. It is therefore a legal requirement under the Weights & Measures Act (1985) & subsequent EU regulations that any pump used for resale of fuel be weights & measures approved.
For the majority of commercial applications, however, where the pumps are simply used to provide fuel to the organisation’s own fleet & the fuel is not resold, this is not a requirement.
European law requires that equipment complies with strict criteria in order to operate in areas where there is the potential for an explosion due to the presence of explosive gasses. In general, any electrical pump that will be used in Europe for diesel, petrol or kerosene must comply with the directives. Hytek sells a range of pumps that are ATEX certified, meaning that they meet the criteria.