No mains power? How to select a battery powered fuel transfer pump

In static diesel transfer and refuelling applications, the installation will usually have access to power from the electricity mains.

BP3000 Portable Fuel Pump

No mains power? How to select the right battery powered fuel transfer pump.

In static diesel transfer and refuelling applications, the installation will usually have access to power from the electricity mains. Whilst in the UK that is typically a 230v socket, it maybe also be 110v or 400v depending on the individual site. In just as many instances installation are not static; perhaps the refuelling point is needed to be moved around, perhaps it’s an off road vehicle being fuelled in the middle of the site or field or any other remote location. When this is the case, such as in the agricultural and construction industry, mains power is likely to be unavailable and a portable fuel transfer pump solution is required.

Industry montage

In fuel transfer applications where mains power is not an option, the pump could be air operated, engine driven, hand operated or battery powered. A hand fuel pump is a popular solution due to its cost effectiveness, but given the manual operation, it is usually for less frequent use and when only small volumes of fuel are being transferred. As refilling vehicles concerns 10s to 100s of litres of diesel depending on the size of the tank being filled, a hand pump is often neglected in favour of a battery powered diesel transfer pump.

So what points need to be considered when choosing a portable diesel fuel transfer pump…

1. What voltage battery do you have access to: 12v or 24v?

12v diesel pump cable clips

First thing’s first we need to consider voltage of the pump which needs to be compatible with the voltage of a battery on site that the pump can be powered from. In terms of mobile fuel transfer pumps, by “battery operated”, we don’t mean there is a battery within the pump that needs charging up before use. Battery operated fuel transfer pumps use cables and clips, just like jump leads, that you connect to a battery – usually that of the vehicle or machinery that is being refilled.

A vehicle’s battery will be either 12 volt or 24 volt and you will need to know this before selecting a portable diesel transfer pump. 12v fuel transfer pumps are the more popular as most small to medium off-road vehicles such as tractors and diggers have a 12v battery, whereas it is usually larger machinery and HGVs that are 24v.

Whilst most battery powered fuel transfer pumps are either 12 or 24v, some models such as the Panther DC are dual voltage, which may be the solution you require if you have a fleet with vehicles with 12 and 24v batteries and you only want one pump.

2. What are you refilling, as this will impact the required flow rate?

Battery powered diesel pumps are available in a range of flow rates (the speed at which it transfers the fuel). How quickly you want to dispense fuel will ultimately depend upon the size of the vehicle tank you are refilling, as the larger the volume you need to transfer, the longer it will take.

To help put flow rate into perspective, the speed at the forecourt on the pumps used to fill cars is approximately 30-40 litres per minute, which is why our 50lpm BP3000 is typically the most popular model for off road machinery. However, some large plant machinery and trucks have considerably larger tanks to fill and therefore one of our high flow rate portable fuel transfer pump options is more suitable such as the 85lpm Bi-Pump. The range however goes up considerably to 185lpm if you are looking for an even quicker transfer.

3. Do you want a complete refilling solution or just the pump?


The answer to this question tends to come down to whether you are looking for a ready to dispense portable diesel transfer pump kit including nozzle and hose, or whether you are replacing a pump in an existing system. Alternatively, you may be an OEM fitting the pump as part of an installation or on a tank/bowser and will buy all the other equipment separately to install as you like.

All of our battery powered diesel pumps are available as a kit, so if it’s a kit you’re looking for, once you’ve decided on the voltage and flow rate required we will be able to narrow down which one you will need. Taking a typical example, if you need a 12v pump and standard flow rate is sufficient for the vehicles you are refilling then a BP3000 pump is the way to go. The BP3000 is the pump within the BP3000 battery kit and the Piusibox, so these are the options of portable fuel transfer pump you would compare. The main difference here being that the Piusibox has the additional benefit of a handy carry box to keep the kit tidy and protected against contamination.

4. What type of container are you dispensing from?

Wall mounted pump kit

If you’ve decided a kit is what you want but need to narrow down further what the ideal solution is, considering what you’re refilling from can help. The type of mobile fuel transfer pump kits mentioned above can be used to dispense from most containers whether it’s a tank, IBC, drum or bowser, as you simply drop the suction hose into it and begin dispensing. Other options however are more specific.

For example if it’s a tank on a construction site where there is no power, but the refuelling point will remain the same and not move around then the 12v versions of the wall/tank mounted kits such as the Cube or ST plates could be the answer. On the other hand, if you’re dispensing from a drum all the time it may be worth choosing a drum mounted kit that fits directly onto the barrel sturdily.

By taking into account all of the above points in this guide, you should be able to select the battery operated fuel transfer pump most suited to your individual application. Our sales team are always available to help guide you through this process – call +44(0)121 351 4445 if you need some advice.

Want to learn more about our battery powered pumps?

View our full range of battery-powered diesel transfer pumps that are perfect solutions for mobile applications.