How to select your diesel fuel transfer pump
What is a fuel transfer pump?
As its name suggests, a fuel transfer pump is the component in a refuelling system that transfers the fluid from one place to another. Designed for the refuelling of a variety of diesel powered vehicles including cars, lorries, buses, coaches, trucks, agricultural machinery and plant equipment, generally speaking diesel transfer pumps are very flexible in their application and used across a range of industries.
In order to be used in a resale environment like at a petrol station, a diesel refuelling pump must be weights and measures approved. The Weights and Measures Act of 1985 and the latter Measuring Equipment (Liquid Fuel and Lubricants) Regulations state that in order to resell fuel, the fuel dispenser used must be deemed accurate enough to ensure that you receive a full litre of diesel when you pay for it.
Our range of fuel dispensing pumps are designed for non-retail applications, whereby the fuel being used is for that company’s own, private use. For both convenience and the cost savings associated with buying diesel in bulk, a haulage company or a farmer for example have a fuel storage tank on site for refuelling their lorry or tractor as and when they need to.
Selecting the right diesel transfer pump
The choice of diesel refuelling pumps available to the user can be quite confusing unless you know exactly what you are looking for. Whilst generally speaking most options can be used for a number of applications, each diesel fuel transfer pump tends to have different features or specifications that make it more suitable for a particular use.
There are a number of factors that may determine the choice of fuel dispensing pump including the flow rate required, whether a complete fuel dispenser or pump only is required, the power available and the environment in which it is being used.
One of the easiest factors to initially consider is whether it is a replacement, individual diesel fuel transfer pump or a fuel dispensing unit complete with nozzle, hose and flow meter is required. For users with an existing refuelling system that just want to replace the pump, then a retrofit pump only option is the most cost effective. However, if a user is buying their first unit or wants to replace the entire system, then a complete fuel dispenser would be the more suitable option.
Flow rate refers to how quickly the fuel is being dispensed and is usually measured in litres per minute. Flow rate is generally associated with the type of vehicle being refuelled; the larger the tank on the vehicle, the quicker the pump required to fill it. If you imagine that the flow rate at the petrol forecourt when we are refuelling our car is about 40-45lpm, for a standard fleet of lorries, fuel transfer pumps with a standard flow rate of around 50-70lpm is adequate. Other vehicles however may require a faster or high flow fuel dispensing pump because of the size of the tank being filled, for example large plant equipment or agricultural machinery.
Both individual pumps and fuel dispensing units are available for connection to 230v, 110v and 400v AC mains electricity supply and also for the low voltage, DC inputs of 12v and 24v. Therefore, another factor to be considered in the pump selection is the power that is obtainable.
Refuelling stations where there is a static fuel tank in a fixed location usually have mains power running to them, and consequently an electric fuel transfer pump would be the most sensible solution. It is important to check the voltage of this mains supply as whilst the standard electric power supply is 230v, 110v is common on construction sites due to safety and 400v (three phase) is common for industrial purposes where heavy duty machinery is powered.
When mains power supply is inaccessible, for example mobile refuelling is required to be undertaken in a remote location away from the bulk tank, a DC 24v or 12v fuel transfer pump is usually selected. Low voltage diesel refuelling pumps come complete with cables and crocodile clips for connection to the vehicles battery. For large plant and agricultural equipment, the power required is likely to be 24v, whereas for smaller machinery and vehicles a 12 volt diesel transfer pump will be sufficient.
The environment in which the refuelling occurs will also impact upon which fuel dispensing pump is chosen. Due to the need for in the field, portable refuelling, the agricultural market has a very clear requirement for 24v and 12v diesel transfer pumps. Likewise with other off-road applications such as quarries and construction sites where plant equipment needs refuelling there is a similar demand for low voltage pumps. There are several diesel refuelling pumps even more suitable for this market, which are categorised by their larger flow rates and heavy duty construction.
When a small vehicle is being refuelled, or diesel is being transferred from drum to drum for example, the user may find it more cost effective to select a manual fuel hand pump, due to the small quantity that needs to be dispensed.
Fuel dispensing units also often differ in the way in which they are mounted and installed. For example, when refuelling occurs from a static tank in a company’s yard as is common for fleets, a plated or boxed pumping kit is popular for mounting to a wall or tank as these are designed to be permanently fixed. Whereas for applications where the fuel is stored in a drum rather than a tank, there are diesel fuel transfer pump kits specifically designed for drum mounting that come with drum connectors and telescopic down tubes.