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How To Save Operating and Filtration Costs In A Tough Economy
Category: Aviation Fuel Filters | 24/02/2009 - 16:14:09
Filter manufacturers must consult these important publications, regulations and specifications to ensure their products comply with the recognized industry standards, while also bearing in mind the economics of each customer’s situation. In light of the current economy, Velcon proposes products that offer fuel handlers the highest quality of fuel as well as aviation fuel cost savings and value.
Specifically, American Petroleum Institute (API) and the Energy Institute (EI) (formerly the Institute of Petroleum – or “IP”) publish several joint specifications and recommended practice documents, among them are API/EI 1590 for prefilter or micronic filter vessels, API/EI 1581, for filter/separator vessels, and EI 1583 for water absorbing monitor vessels. Other industry associations include ATA (Air Transport Association), Joint Inspection Group (JIG), International Air Transport Association (IATA), and American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), to name a few.
The following Velcon Filters, Inc. products offer several ways to save operating costs:
- Micronics vessels (prefilters) with Velcon’s FOH Series high capacity filters, and clay treaters
- Velcon’s VCA® (Velcon Contaminant Analyzer) and VCA-CV electronic monitoring products
- Velcon’s Sump Recovery System (SRS)
- Velcon’s Flow Differential Pressure Module (FDPM)
How to Save Operating and Filtration Costs
FOH Series Micronic Filter Vessels
One of the first ways to stretch your filtration dollar is with micronic filter vessels (also called prefilters). Micronic vessels with Velcon’s FOH Series filters will go a long way toward making more expensive coalescers in the filter/separator vessels last a long time. The high capacity prefilters eliminate the vast majority of solid particles in the fuel stream before it reaches the coalescers Solid particles are the only thing that really creates a permanent differential pressure in coalescers, therefore filtering out the solid particles before the filter/separator vessels helps to extend the life of the coalescers.
The coalescers will also be able to remove water more effectively, since the concentration of solid particles will be greatly reduced. FOH Series filters provide three times the capacity of regular filters, thereby lasting three times as long as regular filters. Labor costs are also reduced because prefilter vessels will not need to be changed out as often.
Another way to extend the life of expensive coalescers is to make sure they are not exposed to surfactants. A clay treater is just another way to make sure that coalescers are not disarmed by surfactants thus giving the coalescers a longer service life.
Velcon Contaminant Analyzer (VCA®)
The Velcon Contaminant Analyzer (VCA®) was developed in conjunction with Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) which had supplied a laser particle analyzer to the US Navy for monitoring fuel on aircraft carriers.
The VCA laser passes through the fuel stream and reacts to different particles so that the sensors are able to differentiate between water and solids even in the presence of different color fuels and entrained air bubbles. The VCA uses the scatter pattern of the contaminants to determine water concentration in parts per million (ppm) and particulate solids concentration in milligrams per liter (mg/l). Since these sensors are acting simultaneously, they can detect water and/or solids at the same time. Figure 2 shows the internal VCA as the laser detects an incoming stream consisting of a fine mist of water.
The VCA can also be integrated into the outlet of the Cla-Val flow control valve body in order to reduce installation costs and facilitate ease of use within an existing pipe or fuel line. The Cla-Val control valve is an industry standard. The combination of these two products (VCA-CV) will extend the versatility and customability of the VCA and will provide quality control and reliability to any type of fuel system.
The VCA-CV (shown in Figure 3) has the ability to automatically shut off flow at the control valve when either the water and/or solid contaminant concentration increases over a preset threshold. A signal can be sent via satellite transmission or telephone to a central quality control office notifying the proper personnel of the situation. On-line monitoring of fuel saves money by alerting operators of fuel that is out of specification before they receive it. Also it minimizes the cost of expensive clean-up and reduces time that an aircraft may be out of service due to poor fuel quality.
The Velcon Sump Recovery System (SRS)
The Velcon Sump Recovery System (SRS) is a self-contained, closed circuit system that allows you to sample and visually examine fuel removed from filter, monitor, or filter/separator housing sumps for dirt and/or water contamination, per ATA-103. Fuel removed from the sumps is displaced by clean, filtered fuel from the SRS system.
After inspection, tested sump samples are re-circulated through filters on the SRS for removal of contaminants and free water. Fuel formerly discarded as waste is filtered by the SRS and re-introduced back into the fuel system during the next sump sampling process. With optional auxiliary storage, the SRS can also be used to re-claim fuel drained from filter, monitor, or filter/separator housings during routine filter change-outs.
Reduced Filtration Costs
Finally, Velcon offers the FDPM (shown in Figure 5) – a product that automatically calculates the corrected or normalized differential pressure across the cartridges in systems being operated at less than maximum flow rate. This eliminates the need to train personnel to do complicated calculations, and thereby reduces the possibility of human error in the process.
Since pressure differential is an extremely important indication of the condition of the filters within the vessel, the FDPM provides an operator with assurance of the state of the filters. Automatic cutoff will stop flow as soon as filters have exceeded their life cycle, with no need to continuously monitor their condition.