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Old 04-18-2013, 07:41 PM   #1
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Diesel Fuel Flow Monitoring

Am planning a NMEA2000 upgrade and first job is to get some basic tank and fuel flow monitoring.

I've looked at Floscan and Maretron but with twin diesels (mine are CAT 3306TA 315HP) you need 4 flow transducers (1 in and 1 out) and with Floscan you have bulky pulse flow regulators as well. Sheesh thats a lot of new hardware in the engine room.

I prefer this neater approach:
250 L/H Differential Fuel Flow Meter [Wired] FUEL-VIEW [DFM-250D] - $532.00 Both inlet and outlet are in the same sensor.

I was thinking to hook it directly up to a:
NoLand Engineering

Any experience of others in the fuel monitoring of legacy (non electronic) diesel engines will be welcome.
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Old 04-18-2013, 11:10 PM   #2
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Subscribed- you have a very interesting solution....
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Old 04-19-2013, 11:07 AM   #3
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Why do you need gauges/meters? Never understood why boaters would want need them. Once you know the boat average usage you can pretty well guess how much fuel you have burned. Besides if you start with an unknown of how much fuel is in the tanks, they will only tell you how much used, so you are still left with an unknown in the tank. Much better to actual check the fuel gauge and/or site tube.

Besides you have a stand up engine room, so its not that difficult to check. The Eagle has a stand up/walk around engine room, when under way I check every hour to feel/hear the engine, look for fluids, check the Racor filter vacumm gauges. They thing I need/rely are the engine alarms to let me know something unexpected has happened.
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Old 04-19-2013, 11:24 AM   #4
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Why do you need gauges/meters? Never understood why boaters would want need them. Once you know the boat average usage you can pretty well guess how much fuel you have burned. Besides if you start with an unknown of how much fuel is in the tanks, they will only tell you how much used, so you are still left with an unknown in the tank. Much better to actual check the fuel gauge and/or site tube.

Besides you have a stand up engine room, so its not that difficult to check. The Eagle has a stand up/walk around engine room, when under way I check every hour to feel/hear the engine, look for fluids, check the Racor filter vacumm gauges. They thing I need/rely are the engine alarms to let me know something unexpected has happened.
Conditions change, and the flow meters can indicate more than just the burn rate. Besides, I don't like to "guess" - I want to know my fuel usage rate. Besides, not all of us have a stand up engine room, after all.

Why not just do away with the rest of the helm gauges and nav gear? We could guess as to the depth beneath the keel and to the temps and pressures of the engines. Why not use the technology available to supplement the visual and audible checks?
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Old 04-19-2013, 11:33 AM   #5
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I would also like to find a simple and less expensive way of measuring fuel use because my gauges (like most boat and vehicle fuel gauges) are not reliably accurate. Knowing to the nearest couple gallons or so could allow me greater range and sometimes the ability to purchase fuel from more reliable and/or less expensive sources. If I could interface it with my Garmin 5208, I could find the most economical speed to run at. That would not only save me money, it would reduce pollution and dependence on foreign oil.

I am not a proponent of technology for technology's sake, but when it fills a need or improves the experience, I think it's a good thing.
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Old 04-19-2013, 01:09 PM   #6
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Conditions change, and the flow meters can indicate more than just the burn rate. Besides, I don't like to "guess" - I want to know my fuel usage rate.
Peter:

Although you're absolutely correct, (IMO) this has been my result over the past 12 years of trying to make the same point.=====> I'm
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Old 04-19-2013, 01:45 PM   #7
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I like your reset setup!

On many long runs from San Diego to the lower 500 (about 115 mile SW of San Diego) on my 26' SportCraft, my Floscan proved itself over and over again to be mandatory instrumentation. On that small of a boat, it was reassuring to know the best combination of drive trim, tab trim, and RPM for a given load to maximize fuel economy.

On this boat, I'd rather go with a networked setup, but I may have to just go with the Cruisemaster setup and save $1500.
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Old 04-19-2013, 02:11 PM   #8
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Of the things I like having a FloScan is to remind me that fuel consumption doubles from one knot below hull-speed (6.3 knots) to hull-speed (7.3 knots). Nevertheless, the engine RPM meter is my favorite.
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Old 04-19-2013, 06:26 PM   #9
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Of the things I like having a FloScan is to remind me that fuel consumption doubles from one knot below hull-speed (6.3 knots) to hull-speed (7.3 knots). Nevertheless, the engine RPM meter is my favorite.
My first "wake up" call, as to fuel consumption, was on my 54' sport fisher which had 2X 8V92 DDECS. On her sea trial, we took her up to 25 knots and I noticed what we were burning. (forgot the actual numbers but my response is still very clear in my mind.) I just calmly reached up, pulled the throttles back to a 10 knot speed and that is where the rest of the trial was run at. (After confirming that the engines would achieve full rated power at WOT) On all boats, the fuel consumption, as Mark indicated, goes up at an alarming rate with just the smallest increase in speed. This is instantly noticeable with a flow monitoring device, as opposed to averaging out the miles run between fill ups.

This is a chart I've posted several times before. It relates to my present boat. (IG 32' Gourmet Cruiser) Again, as Mark pointed out, look at the increase in fuel flow needed to achieve just one more knot of speed. Also, notice at sail boat speed, (5.8 knots) I can almost go a thousand statute miles. Not bad for a "stink potter" with a 315 hp engine & 180 gallons of diesel. Depending on how big your wallet is, pick your speed!
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Old 04-20-2013, 09:04 AM   #10
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lelievre12 don't listen to some of these guys, you are doing the right thing. They are the ones that are burning twice the fuel to get an additional knot or two. The only problem I have with this particular unit is the min flow requirement is 6.6gph, that won't work for most on here.
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Old 04-20-2013, 09:39 AM   #11
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The only problem I have with this particular unit is the min flow requirement is 6.6gph, that won't work for most on here.
Are you referring to the FloScan unit as having a 6.6 gph as its minimum requirement?
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Old 04-20-2013, 09:51 AM   #12
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Are you referring to the FloScan unit as having a 6.6 gph as its minimum requirement?
No, the one he had in the link above, I believe it is called Fuel View.
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Old 04-20-2013, 10:45 AM   #13
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What a let down, thanks for noticing that 6.6gph limitation. Seemed like a great inexpensive solution and I just about had my wallet out, unfortunately as you pointed out, it will not work for many boats. Personally I want to graph consumption down to an idle like Walt has done. Considering the wide ranging market for these devices, it is really surprising that there are not a wider selection available.
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Old 04-20-2013, 12:25 PM   #14
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My FlowScan meter has a range of 0.0 to 10.0 GPM. I use less than the lower half of that scale.
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Old 04-20-2013, 02:10 PM   #15
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My FlowScan meter has a range of 0.0 to 10.0 GPM. I use less than the lower half of that scale.
Mark: How many knots are there in your "rubber band" before you consider it to be at WOT?
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Old 04-20-2013, 02:30 PM   #16
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My FlowScan meter has a range of 0.0 to 10.0 GPM.
My engine has a fuel flow @2800 rpm of 17.4 gph. I considered a FloScan with a 0-20 gph scale but that left little room on the gauge to spot a serious leak at WOT. (IMO)
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Old 04-20-2013, 03:37 PM   #17
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Mark: How many knots are there in your "rubber band" before you consider it to be at WOT?
Maybe 7.5 knots, a tad above hull-speed. But don't want to duplicate Robert Shaw's engine break-down on Orca, however.
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Old 04-20-2013, 03:40 PM   #18
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But don't want to duplicate Robert Shaw's engine break-down on Orca, however.
Please enlighten me as I'm not aware of that break-down.
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Old 04-20-2013, 03:44 PM   #19
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Please enlighten me as I'm not aware of that break-down.
Shaw (Captain Quint) burned up the engine after running at excessive RPM, allowing the shark Jaws to catch up and eat both boat and him.
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Old 04-20-2013, 06:50 PM   #20
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