Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 07-22-2011, 03:32 AM   #21
FF
Guru
 
FF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 16,518
Help with design

The existing solution is a Murphy (or other) gauge that measures the differential pressure across the fuel filter.

This not,, suction* on tank feed* line is what needs to be monitored

OTS

Just two lines ,and the gauge has an adjustable alarm operator sets at the gauge face..


-- Edited by FF on Friday 22nd of July 2011 03:33:49 AM
__________________
Advertisement

FF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2011, 10:09 AM   #22
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 10
Help with design

<q>I'm absolutely Ga Ga over your boat. She's got more class than anything I ever remember seeing on Trawler Forum. More pics please.</q>

Thank you, I am in year three of a complete reconstruction. Finished rebuilding both 1948 6-71 detroit diesels, fired them off and started taking on water, ended up building two new stainless mufflers to replace the hand made mild steel ones in the boat hidden under the gangways and about 25' of fiberglass exhaust tube per side to replace the iron oxide tubing that was there. Rewired, replumbed, new steel under the 1.25" teak decks, strip and varnish everything, restore the lines of the wheelhouse to original (hardest part was hand making the trim around the windows, restored the roll down side glass, etc, etc, etc.







<q></q>





* But I don't like your device/idea. If one has dirty fuel or fuel tanks one needs to service their system and that does not mean polishing fuel. The tanks and fuel need to be properly dealt with and that could mean replacing both tanks and fuel. All these quick and dirty ways of dealing w contaminated fuel tanks is not proper maintenance.

*It is no more a substitute for maintenance than the indicator telling you that you need to change your break pads is a substitute. Or than having twin racors with a valve between them - why do you need two $500 filters side by side with a $900 manifold connecting them? Becasue WHEN you plug a filter underway you need only go to the engine bay, move the valve to select the other filter and you are under way again. My device does this automatically.

I grew up on commercial and pleasure boats in Seattle,*Seiners and offshore sport mostly. I*owned a dive center in Mexico and lived there for 9 years, we ran 11 boats daily and did S&R in our area becasue no one else could and outfitted film crews from Scripts and others. Began designing dive gear for film crews and was offered a job in Europe where I designed all the UW gear for 40 films and commercials and a couple dozen docos. I have been on boats and build gear for diving, filming, deployment and fuel systems in the Med, Red Sea, S.China Sea, Sea of Cortez, Pacific, Atlantic, Agean, Gulf of Mexico, Gulf of Thailand, Adaman Sea and I could go on. I built all the underwater gear for two Bond films and The Beach. Boats I have been on have lost engines, plugged filters, thrown rods, cought fire, several had manual bilge pumps, split planks sliding down a 30' wave in a hurricane, ran aground, cought crab pots and wrapped them, run out of fuel, hit other boats, one even had the transom fall off.

In many places fuel quality is not what it is here (1st world)*and in many places here fuel quality is not what it should be. Water collects in tanks, even if you monitor your tank while you are polishing your dipstick, you are still every day getting water in your fuel, many*pleasure boats*take a week or two week trip a year and other than that the boat sits - collecting water in the fuel. This is why we have clear bowls on the filters and have fuel polishing systems. Having dirty fuel is not a lack of maintenance, it is the nature of the beast, were it not we would have no need for filters at all, there is a filter in the fuel pump on the dock so the fuel you put in your boat was clean - right?

Well I want to thank you all for your input, I came here expecting exactly what I got and it will all be useful to me. If you want the find extreme opinions go to the zealots in a given field. You all spend time talking about your boats, workign on your boats or having work done on them, they are a hobby for you. Most people on the other hand are not the way you are and I have yet to speak to anyone on a work boat who does not have a story about plugging a filter.

(Condensation can be prevented by installing a desiccant filter on the tank vent line)


-- Edited by cgoodwin on Friday 22nd of July 2011 10:10:48 AM
__________________

cgoodwin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2011, 10:22 AM   #23
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 10
RE: Help with design

Quote:
FF wrote:
The existing solution is a Murphy (or other) gauge that measures the differential pressure across the fuel filter.

This not,, suction* on tank feed* line is what needs to be monitored

OTS

Just two lines ,and the gauge has an adjustable alarm operator sets at the gauge face..



-- Edited by FF on Friday 22nd of July 2011 03:33:49 AM
*Actually a vacuum gauge needs only one line and Murphy makes some great gauges, in fact I have had several meetings with them about buying my device.

Suction on the tank line and water in fuel, remember you can run against a partially blocked filter but you cant run on water. Most injectors will be destroyed if a single droplet of water gets to them and modern HPCR systems can have the fuel rail blow off the motor...
cgoodwin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2011, 01:44 PM   #24
FF
Guru
 
FF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 16,518
RE: Help with design

Suction on the tank line and water in fuel, remember you can run against a partially blocked filter but you cant run on water.

Current cheap filters do a fine job of water removal.
Your DD with a Raycore 1000 and the DD stock unit will shut down before water gets to the injectors.

I think the most important part of your post is stressing the FACT that mere filtering (AKA "polishing" ) in no way gets an old dirty tank useful for active waters.

ONLY a good scrub with a stick will get loose the grunge.

Better living thru chemistry has been tried , with mixed results.

An old pot scraper never fails , although you may need extra tank holes to get behind proper baffles.
FF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2011, 04:14 PM   #25
Scraping Paint
 
City: Fort Lauderdale
Vessel Model: CHB 48 Zodiac YL 4.2
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,804
RE: Help with design

Quote:
cgoodwin wrote:Most injectors will be destroyed if a single droplet of water gets to them and modern HPCR systems can have the fuel rail blow off the motor...
*This just gets better and better. Or worse and worse depending on how you want to look at it.

Tell us just how a single drop of water is going to destroy most injectors and for sure tell us what makes the fuel rail "blow off the motor."

Mind you a "drop" is a huge chunk of water to make it through the industry standard 2 micron final filter used on common rail systems. It looks like you might benefit by spending some time looking at fuel filter specs and injection systems.
RickB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2011, 05:14 PM   #26
Member
 
cyril444's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 14
RE: Help with design

Rick,
Have you ever seen a high pressure water jet cut thru 6 in. of steel like it was butter! Water is one of the worst things you can run thru an injector. One drop however might not destroy an injector but it has the potential to screw up the spray pattern and cause irregular burning of the fuel.
cyril444 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2011, 08:34 PM   #27
Scraping Paint
 
City: Fort Lauderdale
Vessel Model: CHB 48 Zodiac YL 4.2
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,804
Help with design

Quote:
cyril444 wrote:Have you ever seen a high pressure water jet ...?
*Yes, and cutting steel of any thickness usually requires inclusion of an abrasive with the water stream.* I have also seen diesel engine fuel injectors that inject a homogenized mixture of water and fuel and others that inject a bit of fuel, a bit of water, then another bit of fuel.

Contaminated water such as the free water found in a diesel fuel tank will cause corrosion damage to fuel injection components. It is corrosion that does the damage, not the water itself. Fuel itself erodes injector tips and screws up the spray pattern.

Unit injectors which are blocked by a corroded and siezed pintle valve can mechanically create enough pressure to fracture the tip ... the famous "blow the tip off" story normally attributed to steam pressure by those who know little about fuel injection or steam.

FWIW, the standard of "free water" removal for most high pressure common rail injectin systems is a 1000 beta 4 micron standard. Getting a drop (app. 60 microliters) into a common rail fuel system takes considerable effort and the total failure of every filter and separator between the fuel tank and the injector. Not to mention that by the time it got there it would be homogenized with the fuel anyway.

The OP comes across as a scare mongering huckster trying to sell a useles piece of gear to those who don't know any better.


-- Edited by RickB on Friday 22nd of July 2011 08:35:16 PM
RickB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2011, 10:16 PM   #28
Guru
 
Nomad Willy's Avatar
 
City: Concrete Washington State
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Willy
Vessel Model: Willard Nomad 30'
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 13,707
RE: Help with design

cgoodwin,

The solution to this problem is to have a small sub tank (one quart or so) below the bottom of the fuel tank that is replaceable. This tank is connected to and plumed to the lowest spot of the tank and exits through the bottom of the tank. This way any water in the tank is immediately discharged through the hole in the bottom of the tank and into the sub tank. One drains the water out of the bottom of the sub tank from time to time. This way water never sits in the main tank. If a drain is installed on the side of the tank water will always be on the bottom of the tank. The usual way to remove water from a tank is to let it collect until it reaches the bottom of the sump tube and is pulled into the filter and is detected in the bowl there and drained out. From then on there will always be water in the bottom of the average fuel tank. But if the tank system is designed correctly water will never be in the tank and unless a batch of very bad fuel is ingested or the tank rusts or corrodes from the outside it should last the life of the boat. The solution is really quite simple and all this stress and gimmicks can be eliminated.
Nomad Willy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2011, 07:51 AM   #29
Scraping Paint
 
City: Fort Lauderdale
Vessel Model: CHB 48 Zodiac YL 4.2
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,804
RE: Help with design

You don't have to build special sumps for each tank. A common solution to this (more percieved than real) problem is to install a water trap before the primary filter. Picture a device that looks exactly like one of those cartridge water filters but without the filter inside. Or just install an empty Racor 500 before the first filter inlet.

Many of these units have an alarm to indicate the presence of free water, some don't. Most have a drain valve to sample the contents and remove sediment. For the fuel flow and volume most trawler yachts use, one of these made from pipe with about a liter capacity would work just fine. Put one of those Racor water detectors in it and you have the same first line of defense as the world cruising superyachts.

If you have a little spare cash and are looking for bragging rights, install one of these.
RickB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2011, 08:30 AM   #30
Guru
 
Nomad Willy's Avatar
 
City: Concrete Washington State
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Willy
Vessel Model: Willard Nomad 30'
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 13,707
RE: Help with design

The problem as I see it is that I think most or nearly all tanks have the drain through the side of the tank so when one drains the tank 1/8 to 1/4" of water remains in the tank. This water never ever gets out unless it's sucked up through the sump tube and into the filter but still ALL of it will never get out. I see the only solution to be able to drain 100% of the water is to have the drain hole go through the bottom (not the side) and have it in the lowest corner of the tank. With the system I described (a thread ago) there would never be any water sitting in the bottom of the tank. All other tank installations I suspect will always have water in the bottom of the tank.

Question:**** How many tanks out there drain off the bottom? I suspect most all (or even all) drain off the side. Tank builders probably do that thinking that clearance underneath the tank may not be present where the tank is installed and so must be attached to the side. That situation seals the fate of boat fuel tanks***** ....I think. And keeping tanks full will not come close to eliminating condensing water on the surfaces inside the tank exposed to air as much of the tank is the flat top surface. You can't fill a tank full enough to submerge that surface. The top surface is always exposed to air. Of interest is cgoodwin's* "desiccant filter" in the vent line*** .....at what expense I wonder.
Nomad Willy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2011, 09:23 AM   #31
Guru
 
Codger2's Avatar
 
City: San Diego
Country: US
Vessel Name: "Sandpiper"
Vessel Model: 2006 42' Ocean Alexander Sedan
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 5,420
RE: Help with design

Quote:
RickB wrote:
If you have a little spare cash and are looking for bragging rights, install one of these.
****** Interesting!* When I added a fuel polishing system I chose the Algae X (not for their claims but rather for their filter and pump set up) & plumbed it in to the fuel line that comes off the bottom of the tank(s). I may not get 100% of the water at the bottom of the tank(s) but I'm getting most of it.The flow rate on this system is 130 gals/hr...not enough to really scour the bottom of the tank but then I believe no system creates enough turbulence to really clean the bottom of the tank. It must be done mechanically. My goal was to simply remove particulate & water contamination from the fuel, before it gets to the primary filter.

In the photo below you can just barely see the supply line (blue) to the fuel polisher (bottom left of pic) running under the tank. (Part of the clean out, white ring, is visible behind the black hoses.)
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	algae x.jpg
Views:	55
Size:	61.4 KB
ID:	6760  
Codger2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2011, 04:12 AM   #32
FF
Guru
 
FF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 16,518
RE: Help with design

...not enough to really scour the bottom of the tank but then I believe no system creates enough turbulence to really clean the bottom of the tank.

Most of the deposits are on the side walls and baffles inside the tank.

That is why motion causes fuel surge that strips the gunk increases so much.

Pulling water from a SUMP will work better than just near the bottom, but its hard to refit.
FF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2011, 09:09 AM   #33
Grand Vizier
 
Delfin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,487
RE: Help with design

Quote:
SeaHorse II wrote:****** Interesting!* When I added a fuel polishing system I chose the Algae X (not for their claims but rather for their filter and pump set up) & plumbed it in to the fuel line that comes off the bottom of the tank(s). I may not get 100% of the water at the bottom of the tank(s) but I'm getting most of it.The flow rate on this system is 130 gals/hr...not enough to really scour the bottom of the tank but then I believe no system creates enough turbulence to really clean the bottom of the tank. It must be done mechanically. My goal was to simply remove particulate & water contamination from the fuel, before it gets to the primary filter.
In the photo below you can just barely see the supply line (blue) to the fuel polisher (bottom left of pic) running under the tank. (Part of the clean out, white ring, is visible behind the black hoses.)

*If you polish when the tanks are near empty while in a slop, whatever crud is in there is highly likely to end up in the filters.

Nice setup.
Delfin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2011, 10:40 AM   #34
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 10
Help with design

Mr. B,
*
My oh my are you predictable, you are one of those guys who has always followed the status quo, anything that is different is an enemy, a bad idea, wrong, communist or in some way evil. You are driven to rally against it, as though the idea itself is contrary to your entire way of life, right until one person you respect or admire tells you it is a good idea, then you will fight just a vehemently for that ideal or idea. Rather than looking at the merit or fault of the concept, you simply attempt to rally any information or speculation you have at your disposal against it and lacking substantial substance you resort to Ad hominem attacks, sad really and below your abilities, step it up a notch wont you, discussions can be educational while*watching a pit bull pull against its leash is just annoying. While this all makes you an annoying and rather tedious person to converse with,*it also makes you*an amusing challenge. *

Tell us just how a single drop of water is going to destroy most injectors and for sure tell us what makes the fuel rail "blow off the motor."
Mind you a "drop" is a huge chunk of water to make it through the industry standard 2 micron final filter used on common rail systems. It looks like you might benefit by spending some time looking at fuel filter specs and injection systems.
*
The Basics of diesel engines and diesel fuels
Jon Van Gerpen
University of Idaho
"Water damage is a leading cause of premature failure of fuel injection systems."
*
Filter Manufacturers Council
Technical Service Bulletin 95-1R2
"Water is the greatest concern because it is the most common form of contaminant water can cause damage to injector components and reduce the lubricity of the fuel which can cause seizure of close tolerance components such as those found in fuel pump assemblies."
*
Fleetguard Bulletin 10093
"fuel water separation is a critical requirement with High Pressure Common Rail (HPCR) fuel systems."
*
Chatham Fuel Injection Service
Tech Tips- Split Cummins Injector Cups
"Water in the fuel can cause a cup to split, although a more common result is that the tip section of the cup is broken off we have seen cases where a large portion of the cup actually breaks off and causes further damage to the engine."
*
I have in my shop seen Cummins HPCR engines with the rail itself split along the entire top of the rail, this was caused by running home made biodiesel (Diesel can absorb as much as 50ppm of water, biopdiesel can absorb as much as 1500ppm [10,000ppm = 1%]), this biodiesel had been water washed and not properly dried. The water separated and collected in the tank bottom, was picked up by the pump and compressed*to about 20,000 psi as the truck drove down the highway. The same mechanism that took place here also takes place in fuel injectors and injection components as the boiling point, saturation temperature and point of phase transition change in relation to both ambient temperature and pressure (as expressed by the Clausius-Clapeyron equation).
*
As this phase change occurs in tiny droplets of water the surrounding fluid under great pressure collapses inward to occupy the space that had been occupied by the liquid, which is now a vapor, this fluid forms a point, which, when it impacts with the metal the droplet was sitting on, causes a depression in the metal. In the fuel industry damage caused by this physiochemical change in the structure of water in the fuel is referred to as Cavitation Corrosion.
*
This has been the major stumbling block in the development of emulsified fuels such as Lubrinox and Purinox, both diesel fuels containing high percentages of emulsified water, both reducing NOX and increasing mileage by volume of distillate used. This same mechanism of failure is what causes damage to injection pumps and fuel injectors when water is present in the fuel.

"Getting a drop (app. 60 microliters) into a common rail fuel system takes considerable effort and the total failure of every filter and separator between the fuel tank and the injector. Not to mention that by the time it got there it would be homogenized with the fuel anyway."

Simply and patently not true. Many fuel water separators rely on the centrifugal force of the fuel as it passes through a vortex inducing deflector placed above the fuel bowl and below the filter element, the idea is that as the fuel spins out of this deflector, the heavier water droplets will fall into the bowl and not be drawn up through the filter media. If the droplet is large enough to have a significant difference in weight as offset by flow, then it drops, if it is small, it simply gets drawn into the filter. Filters employ several methods to prevent the passage of water. Some are treated with a chemical that repels water droplets, similar to Scotchguard or Gore Tex, others are treated so that the fibers of the filter swell when exposed to water and prevent the passage of water and fuel and still others have a water trap employing Teflon coated stainless steel which uses the surface tension of water to prevent it from passing through.

The Bosch HPCR system is one of the most common in use today, it is used on the Cummins and Mercedes engines, lets look at the Cummins. Fuel is drawn through a simple paper media filter with a bowl in the bottom, it is drawn into the CP3 high pressure fuel pump where it is pressurized and sent into the HPCR which is a tube to which each injector is attached. This tube had a pressure relief valve through which fuel is returned to the tank.

If significant water builds up in the filter on the engine, it will pass into the CP3 pump, then into the HPCR and injectors, it will not be Homogenized with the fuel, in fact the use of the word Homogenized really has absolutely no application here. Homogenization is a process used to make mutually related substances mixed equally throughout or to form an equal emulsion. Now this is an interesting topic because the ability to make an emulsion of oil and water is very difficult and even you may be familiar with the phrase oil and water dont mix, well they can be mixed but with great difficulty, mechanically and usually in the presence of an acid.

So back to the impossibility of getting water into a HPCR system; Well since the on engine filter has no ability to prevent the passage of water we much be relying on whatever filter the boat builder put between the tank and the engine. In the US this would likely be a Racor marine filter with a clear bowl and as discussed this filter relies on the assumption that the fuel is being moved at high volume (to achieve enough speed through the vortex inducing rings to impart centrifugal force) and that the agglomerated Free water will collect in the bowl and be noticed before it gets to the top of the filter or will cause the filter media to swell or become completely blocked and starve the engine for fuel. So rather than requiring Considerable effort and the total failure of every filter and separator between the fuel tank and the injector we see that it only requires that water be present in the fuel system and that the presence of agglomerated water is not noticed until the filter can contain no more.

All this is why water is the number one cause of damage to diesel fuel systems and historically has been so. It is an issue in trucks, generators, aviation and particularly on boats where the tanks are often in the hull where there is a temperature differential between the tank temperature and the ambient air temp and where the air often has very high humidity. This coupled with a fuel system which returns heated fuel to the tank is a perfect formula for the formation of condensation in the fuel tank. Condensation collects, bacteria forms in the water, the waste product of the bacteria is an acid, the acid causes the breakdown of the tank and while all this is going on, the unstable nature of diesel fuel is causing asphaltines and other compounds to form as the fuel breaks down.

It is also worth remembering that these same processes go on in the tank farm, transport trucks and tanks at the pumping facility where leaking fills allow ground water into the fuel, condensation, temperature changes while rail cars sit in the Arizona sun, then on a siding in the mountains of Colorado. The unfortunate fact is that diesel fuel is not stable and is prone to contamination and breakdown, this is why truckers change their fuel filters with every oil change and diesel fuel filters are large and contain water traps and even water sensors, this is not because the issue does not exist, it is because it does. So you can convince yourself that water in diesel fuel does not exist, that it is a spectre, a phantom and a figment of my imagination I am trying to use to frighten you into buying something. But the fact remains that it is the single most common issue with diesel engines today and always has been due to the nature of the fuel and the design of the fuel systems.

The tank is built with a draw straw that does not go to the bottom of the tank to allow a space for water to accumulate, yet no provision is made to remove it. The filters have water separators in them and some even have alarms which will alert the operator that water is now in the filter, and some savvy operators may even have a vacuum gauge and or alarm, they may also have redundant filters and a manifold allowing them to change from one filter to the other while the engine is running. They have all this because diesel is prone to contamination and water collection and they are hoping to be alerted in time to get to the filters and manually switch them before the engine stops or is damaged, this is a fact, it is why fuel vacuum gauges, water in fuel detectors and multi filter manifolds exist, because the problem exists.

These devices alert the operator that there is water accumulating in the filter and it needs to be drained before damage occurs or the engine stops, they alert the operator that contaminants have plugged the filter to the point where the fuel system will no longer be capable of supplying the engine with enough fuel to run, and they provide a method of changing the filter to a clean one without shutting the motor down. My device does exactly the same things, in fact it does them all and it does them automatically without the need for manual intervention leaving the engine operator at the controls rather than crawling around in the engine room/bay.

So we have established that water in fuel is the leading cause of damage to diesel engines. We have established that not only does the problem exist but that the current methods of dealing with it require manual intervention and are therefore lacking and we have established that my device does exactly what a well appointed fuel system should do (warn of filter plugging and water) as well as having the benefit of switching automatically.

Through this process you should also have noted the benefits of the installation of a desiccant filter on the fuel tank vent, Ill let you have that one for free. You may have also come to understand why large vessels often have filters and centrifuges which clean the fuel from the bulk tank and fill a clean "Day tank", its not becasue the fuel was dirty when it was put in the bulk tank, it is becasue it became dirty while in the tank through accumulation of water via condensation and the natural breakdown of the fuel.



-- Edited by cgoodwin on Monday 25th of July 2011 10:48:21 AM


-- Edited by cgoodwin on Monday 25th of July 2011 10:51:11 AM
cgoodwin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2011, 11:41 PM   #35
Guru
 
Edelweiss's Avatar
 
City: PNW
Country: USA
Vessel Model: 1976 Californian Tricabin LRC
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 1,834
RE: Help with design

Hmmm!! *I'm glad I read this string, it explains a lot about the causes of tank water problems, sludge and filtration. *I've heard conflicting information about the harm caused by water vapor in the tanks.

I've also experienced moisture my diesel fuel and the information provided helps me to understand cause, effect and how to treat the problem.

Thanks for the Information.

Larry B*
Edelweiss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2011, 03:47 AM   #36
FF
Guru
 
FF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 16,518
RE: Help with design

"The tank is built with a draw straw that does not go to the bottom of the tank to allow a space for water to accumulate, yet no provision is made to remove it."

This may be a good description of a cheap setup in a production boat or TT , but it is not usually the standard of better built boats.

You only get what you ask for , and are willing to pay for , so most of the tank problems are caused by the lack of knowledge of the initial purchaser.
FF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2011, 05:49 PM   #37
Scraping Paint
 
City: -
Country: -
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 13,748
Help with design

Chris--- So let's go back to your original post, which asked for comments on whether or not we (the participants on this forum) would be interested in your fuel monitoring device. I can only speak for myself and a few other boaters I know particularly well, but I would say no, your proposed system is of no interest and I would not consider installing or having one installed on our boat. And I feel pretty safe in saying that the other boaters in our area I've come to know well would not have any interest either.

My reasoning with regards to our own boat is thus: We use the boat year round. We buy fuel from sources that have very clean fuel. Water in our fuel has never been an issue in the thirteen years we've owned the boat. We never get even a trace of water or dirt in the Racors. Our tanks feed from the bottom so accumulations of water and crud in the tanks is not a significant issue. Fuel does not sit that long on our boat. We've been in rough water (for here) for several hours at a time with fuel sloshing around in the tanks--- yesterday being a good example of this-- and our engines have never missed a beat. Our boat is not powered with modern engines that are super-picky about what they are fed. The boat is very old and adding fancy systems to it is generally a pain in the ass what with finding power, running wires, plumbing, finding space for gauges, etc. By the same token, the boat's age means it's very simple, which in turn makes it quite easy to troubleshoot, maintain and repair. Making the boat any more complicated defeats (in my eyes) the advantage of its simplicity.

I will not argue the pros or cons of the working of your system as it's not a subject I know much about. But based on our experience with our boat and the experience the boaters I know personally have had with their boats over the last 13 years we've been involved with this kind of boating, I would have to agree with Rick's initial assessment that, for the typical recreational, coastal, fair-weather boater, the system you propose does seem like a complex solution looking for a problem which, for the vast majority of recreational boaters, doesn't exist.* At least not in their minds.

No doubt there are plenty of examples of specific boats in specific situations that might have benefitted from a warning device such as you propose. But I assume that's not what you were asking. I assume you were asking if we (I) feel there is a market for a warning system as you describe, which to me means a market large enough to make developing, manufacturing, distributing, and supporting the product a profitable venture.

I do not believe this market exists in recreational boating. The boaters who participate in forums like this and get all anal about polishing fuel and discussing filter sizes ad nauseum are but a tiny fraction of the total number of boaters out there. Doesn't matter if it's a 25 foot cruiser or a 125' yacht, most owners simply turn the key and go. If it runs, great, if it doesn't they call someone to fix it. Or, like me, they want a boat that is very simple and so is very easy to troubleshoot and repair themselves. But I suspect the vast majority of boaters don't even know how the toilet in their boat works, let alone the fuel system in their engines. And I suspect most boaters don't care (about either the toilet or the fuel system).

We just had our boat out in the islands over the last four days. It was a rare (for here) nice weekend so there were a fair number of cruising boats about. The number one make represented was Bayliner by far. After that, there were plenty of "trawer-type" boats--- CHBs, GBs, etc. We also saw a number of Tollycrafts, which is a very popular brand up here for good reason. And there were plenty of other brands and one-offs and conversions out and about, too.

While I have no way of proving this, I suspect the majority of the boaters we saw are perfectly happy with the way their boats are now and would have little to no interest in the expense or effort of installing any sort of sophisticated fuel monitoring system outside of what their boats have now, if they have anything at all other than the usual lineup of filters.

Couple this with the fact that most boats spend most of the year just sitting. While that actually makes a case for some sort of fuel quality monitoring system, it says even more about the owners. Their boats are hobbies and they use them when they can or it's convenient, and the rest of the time they probably don't think much about them. These are not the kind of people who are going to get all wrapped around the axle about whether or not there are traces of water in their fuel.

Forums like this can give a very deceptive view of boating. Reading them, it's easy to think everyone is very conscientious about their fuel quality and the condition of every system on their boat.* Where in fact I believe reality is the exact opposite. There are 2,000 registered members of this particular forum. Of that only a fraction participate regularly and only a handful have commented one way or the other on your original post. There are over 2,000 boats in our marina alone, and ours is not the largest marina in the PNW by any means. Most of the privately owned boats in our marina are probably used just a few times a year if that. Their owners are not going to be cueing up to buy your (or anyone else's) fuel monitoring device.

This has nothing to do with the viability of your proposed device. I'll leave that debate to people like Rick and others who understand diesels and their fuel requirements, particularly modern diesels. But in terms of whether or not your proposed product--- good, bad, or indifferent--- has a viable market I would say no, particularly in the arena of recreational boating.

PS--- When we are up at our boat during the year, or out on it, we usually have the VHF on.* So we hear a lot of the distress calls, either both sides of the conversation or at least the US or Canadian coast guard side.* Distress calls could be a fairly accurate representation of the sorts of problems boaters in this area encounter.

While I've not kept any sort of numbers, the most common causes for distress calls in our waters are out of fuel or aground.* After that are mechanical problems, often with steering.* "Dead engine" is not uncommon but unfortunately we never hear why the engine died.* From our own experience and from the experiences of boaters we know, cooling issues are often to blame for the "dead engine" problem.

How many "dead engine" distress calls up*here*are the result of contaminated fuel?* Impossible to say based on what we hear on the radio.* But my guess is not that many.* So if you really want to make a dent in the number of boater-in-distress situations up here, figure out some sort of automatic gizmo that whacks a boater in the head or gives him an electric shock if he miscalculates the amount of fuel he needs for each trip :-)


-- Edited by Marin on Tuesday 26th of July 2011 07:19:09 PM
Marin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2011, 07:54 AM   #38
JD
Guru
 
JD's Avatar
 
City: New Bern NC
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Stella Di Mare
Vessel Model: Mainship 34t
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,702
RE: Help with design

Chris,

I pretty much agree with what Marin has said.*

For the most part the folks I know do not know anything about their fuel or their engines.* Some think they do but in reality they do not.

So I would say the system may be good but the cost and complications it would or could incur would out weigh it's value to the average boater.

But hey rumor has it that*the guy that came up with FedEx*got a C for his*Economics course with his plan for FedEX.* So who knows.
JD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2011, 09:42 AM   #39
Scraping Paint
 
City: Fort Lauderdale
Vessel Model: CHB 48 Zodiac YL 4.2
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,804
RE: Help with design

Just for grins I took some time off my campaign to prevent new ideas from reaching boat owners and did some rough calculations on what a fuel vent line dessicant filter would look like ...

Assuming the boat lives in the middle latitudes, not the sub tropics or some semi-arid part of the country, has a pair of 200 gallon fuel tanks that sit half empty nearly all the time, you want the dew point to be below freezing, and you use silica gel as the dessicant of choice since it is easy to find, safe to use, can be regenerated at home or in the boat's own oven, the filter spec's out something like this:

Length = 8 inches* Diameter = 6 inches

Weight of dessicant = 6 lbs.

Price of dessicant fill = $40 to 60 dollars online plus shipping

Length of time before filter needs changing = ~90 days

Multiply the cost by 2 since each tank requires a filter, or if both tanks use the same filter then the duration of effective use is halved. Use the boat and the time will be greatly reduced. Make sure you never "burp" the tank. *

This is why in real life the few places you will find such vent filters*are on hydraulic systems or other sensitive systems such as wind turbine gearboxes with a fixed volume of hygroscopic*oil*that*are exposed to frequent and extreme environmental conditions.

Suggesting that using such a filter is another example of a solution looking for a problem.
RickB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2011, 11:01 AM   #40
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 10
RE: Help with design

JD and Marin - Thank you for taking the time to respond so concisely.

*

Desiccant filter If you take the time to do even a little research you will find that there are all sorts of reusable desiccants as well as other methods of preventing this particular source of water. Condensation is formed when moisture rich air enters a fuel tank with enough of a delta T to allow the formation of droplets on the surface of the tank, break any link in the chain and the process falls apart. You can stop the entrance of moist air via a desiccant filter to dry the air or you can adjust the temperature of the tank by installing a return fuel cooler, as simple as a $20 automotive automatic transmission cooler, this will reduce the temp of the heated fuel being returned to the tank no temperature differential, no condensation formation.

This has another effect on fuel stability as well The rate of chemical reactions doubles for every 14F/10C increase in T (Arrhenius Equation). Many older diesel engines moved as much as 60gph wile burning 2 to 8gph, they did this because they used the diesel fuel as a lubricant and coolant for the pump, injection pump and injectors, they needed such high flow rates because diesel is a piss poor lubricant and tolerances of mechanical injection systems are very tight. Diesel fuel suffers terribly from oxidation, it is the primary mechanism of the breakdown of the fuel and the rate of oxidation depends on the availability of 02, the availability of other accelerants and the temperature of the fuel reducing temperature removes or lessens one link in the chain.

The other accelerants (other than temperature and 02) are contact with Copper or Zinc (as little as 2ppm Cu can reduce oxidative stability by 25%), water, bacteria (which need water to survive). According to ASTM D2276 indicates the amount of gum and sediment forms after 16 hrs at 248F/120C which is said to correspond to one year storage at 77F/25C which should give you a good example of the Arrhenius Equation at work. These rates of degradation can be quadrupled in the presence of accelerants.

Ideally the fuel tank would be composed of non-reactive metals as would all fuel lines and fittings (ever wonder why copper is no longer used for fuel lines and many new fuel fittings are steel rather than brass?), the temp of the fuel would be kept low (reducing the formation of condensation and lowering the rate of chemical reactions) and availability of 02 would be reduced. As an example of the best practices for storage, I store fuel in Plastic HDPE 275 gallon IBC Totes in a cool place, filled nearly to the top and before closing them I fill the head space with C02.

Which this is more information than you likely need it does give you some food for thought. Anything you can do to mitigate any of the contributing factors to fuel breakdown will be of benefit not only to the stability of the fuel but the fuel tank as well.

Notes:

Automatic transmission coolers are inexpensive from sources like Summit Racing or Jegs be sure to look for aluminum rather than copper ones.

Small marine oil coolers can also be used for fuel assuming that you have a supply of cool flowing water Heat pump return lines are an example.

Google Reusable desiccant

*

Have fun.

*
__________________

cgoodwin is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Anchor design and performance Nomad Willy Anchors and Anchoring 30 11-03-2011 06:49 PM
Design Nomad Willy General Discussion 61 11-09-2010 10:53 PM
Design Nomad Willy General Discussion 1 12-30-2008 04:13 AM
Design, old and new Marin General Discussion 10 03-01-2008 12:51 PM
Design Nomad Willy General Discussion 29 12-08-2007 01:00 PM




All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:28 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012