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Fuel Flow Meter

08/30/2016 11:11 AM

Hey Guy's

I need to purchase a TOOL to verify fuel consumption of Cat diesel engines. The newer engines are electronically controlled and fuel consumption is available on the ECM. But, if there is a problem with how the ECM sees the input from some of the sensors and injectors, The ECM may calculate the fuel consumption incorrectly.

I work for a Cat dealer and Cat supplies a tool, but the price is very high.

I need a stand alone, supply and return meter that has a hand held display with function buttons.

The only thing I can find, is panel mounted meters that would be very cumbersome and I fear not very shock resistant.

This tool would be used on our dyno and in the field also.

The sensors would need to be able to handle fuel flow in the 1200 gal. per hour range. The sensors would need to be able to compensate for fuel temperature to calculate fuel density.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks for the help I hope

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#1

Re: Fuel Flow Meter

08/30/2016 12:26 PM

a TOOL to verify fuel consumption of Cat diesel engines

The sensors would need to be able to handle fuel flow in the 1200 gal. per hour range.

Let me see.....that is on the range of 20 gallons per second. Are you sure about that? Me thinks you have your numbers out of wack by a factor or two.

I don't think jumbo jets consume 20 gallons per second.

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Fuel Flow Meter

08/30/2016 12:50 PM

It's 20 gallons a minute.

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#21
In reply to #2

Re: Fuel Flow Meter

08/30/2016 10:29 PM

And which engine do you have being the Caterpillar 797 is their largest unit at 4000 brake HP of which I know damn well it does not burn 20 GPM and I rather even doubt its fuel systems recirculate that much fuel a minute.

At ~4000 HP the fuel burn should fall between 150 and 200 GPH depending on fuel quality fuel grade and emissions compliance or not.

Non emissions with quality high grade fuel would be well under 175 GPH but with emissions well over 175 and with low quality low grade possibly 200 plus.

I'm basing that rough estimate from what I recall of the large 100 - 2500 HP cat diesel I was around when I worked in the oil fields and extrapolating for their largest unit rated HP.

BTW from personal experience I can say that if your have a fuel consumption readout on yours and it's an emission compliant engine you have good reason to question its accuracy.

Where I worked the two pump units that has the big Cat engines always said they used at least 10%% less fuel then the fuel jockeys numbers said based on fueling their tanks. What was also interesting was the one older pump unit that had the early non emissions setup its numbers were always near dead on with the fuel guys numbers. Hmm...

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#22
In reply to #21

Re: Fuel Flow Meter

08/31/2016 1:12 AM

1000kw fully loaded burns about 71 gallons per hour....so 4000kw about 284gph...3/4 load about 200gph...1/2 load ~ 146gph...

http://www.dieselserviceandsupply.com/temp/Fuel_Consumption_Chart.pdf

http://www.pon-cat.com/~/media/poncat/power/nl/files/whitepaper%20fuel%20systems.ashx?ext=.pdf

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#23
In reply to #21

Re: Fuel Flow Meter

08/31/2016 8:01 AM

Caterpillar makes more than just dirt moving equipment.

this application in particular is a 3616 DITA, rated at 8046 hp.

it's a generator for oil field applications.

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#33
In reply to #23

Re: Fuel Flow Meter

08/31/2016 10:14 PM

Interesting and also odd being when I Googled, Caterpillar's largest diesel engine. it shows the 797 series to be it.

Is the 3616 DTA built by a different company and Caterpillar just puts their name on it?

Also was it so hard to post this engines specs now Vs at the begining so we had some idea of what type and size of engine you were working with?

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#3
In reply to #1

Re: Fuel Flow Meter

08/30/2016 1:46 PM

Methinks someone else is off by a factor of 60!

(1200 gal/h)/(60 min/h)=20 gal/min

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#12
In reply to #1

Re: Fuel Flow Meter

08/30/2016 4:01 PM

Joe - you missed it by a factor of 60. There are only 60 minutes in an hour, and that is 3600 seconds. 1200 gph = 20 gpm = 0.333 gps, OK?

I still think also that we need more information from OP as to why people think the fuel consumption is off? Could it not be that the fuel consumption meter is right, and the Cat engines (especially the big ones) suck (fuel)? Maybe the test conditions were not correctly logged, and so, of course the engine is going to consume more fuel doing the same work.

The fuel does not expand more than about 6 ppm per degree. That should be nearly negligible over the "normal" test conditions. He needs one channel of flow for incoming, one channel for return, and one temperature, and one algorithm to calculate fuel density, and one more conversion from volume flow to mass flow.

Why not just buy a G.D. mass-flow meter to start with? How long is the test duration? A whole hour? Can't you run the test just a few minutes and compare to the on board flow meter? Install a tank, install load cells under it, and go to town.

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#14
In reply to #12

Re: Fuel Flow Meter

08/30/2016 4:12 PM

Generally speaking, the engine is supplied with enough fuel to burn 1/3 and the other 2/3 returned to a fuel cooler to cool the injectors. Two flow meters would be needed to calculate how much the engine uses. The temperature rise on the fuel returned is about 60 degrees F higher than supplied. Depending on the load, it could be more.

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#15
In reply to #14

Re: Fuel Flow Meter

08/30/2016 4:49 PM

OK, use a second receiver tank for the hot return fuel, and install load cells under it also. Check with your local weighing company supplier for a weighing set-up that is OK for rolling, even bouncing use. That might be beyond their scope. The tanks would have to be pretty well sealed with liquid separator on the vents to keep from sloshing it out on the ground if mobile.

There are also instruments that can measure density directly. Then you can use something simple, even a G.F. Signet flow-meter with stainless steel probe parts. Get the paddle wheel type, since these would work just fine on a clean fluid, with no magnetic debris included. The probes have to be set up in the instrument for the pipe size they are inserted into. Read the flow and density, and you have mass flow, very simply, no need to measure temperature, unless you just feel that you need it.

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#16
In reply to #15

Re: Fuel Flow Meter

08/30/2016 4:57 PM

That would a bit difficult in a ship or supply boat.

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#17
In reply to #16

Re: Fuel Flow Meter

08/30/2016 5:03 PM

Not as hard as you think. Think small tanks, on a hydraulic suspension. These are supposed to be auxiliary and for testing purposes only. Make them the same size, at about 100-200 gallons each, and removable when the tests are done.

Load cells for firmly mounted tanks like this are certainly within the ken of those in that business.

OR - time the removal from one aux. tank, then switch engine back to main tank at the end of the test interval. To get the return flow rate correct, put a cooler on it, and flow it to another (overflow) tank, and time it to overflow point back to main tank. That ain't rocket science.

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#25
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Re: Fuel Flow Meter

08/31/2016 8:28 AM

it all sounds a bit over complicated.

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#26
In reply to #25

Re: Fuel Flow Meter

08/31/2016 8:41 AM

OK then, go buy the expensive flow meter.

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#27
In reply to #26

Re: Fuel Flow Meter

08/31/2016 8:46 AM

I'm sorry, I just copied and pasted your first comment.

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#4

Re: Fuel Flow Meter

08/30/2016 1:57 PM

Since you're asking us to do your shopping, we deserve more information, because you already have a baseline against which you are evaluating, the baseline being the Cat factory tool.

What does the factory flowmeter look like? (how does it connect to the flow pipe?)

How does it provide a read-out?

Does it do volumetric flow AND density AND a correction to a normalized or standardized condition?

How is it powered?

Is it considered portable in use?

What else does it do? (that you haven't mentioned but in the absence of doing so, you'll discount suggestions because it doesn't do the unmentioned).

How much does it cost?

Since the factory model is too expensive, what is your upper limit price range?

Carl

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#8
In reply to #4

Re: Fuel Flow Meter

08/30/2016 3:16 PM

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#9
In reply to #4

Re: Fuel Flow Meter

08/30/2016 3:22 PM

The flow meter is a turbine style flow meter.

Ultrasonic meters will not work because they count particles and the filtering system has 2 micron filters installed.

It connects inline with the fuel supply and return.

The current Cat flow meter cost $ 35,000.00, no kidding!

I can tell your not a salesman.

But, I'm happy you responded.

Thank You

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#19
In reply to #9

Re: Fuel Flow Meter

08/30/2016 8:39 PM

You said to Carl_E, that you could see that he isn't a salesman.

What's your background?

Are you in sales, or some other position?

Is Cat no help?

What is your price point?

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#24
In reply to #19

Re: Fuel Flow Meter

08/31/2016 8:16 AM

I was joking about the salesman thing, because they are so bubbly and don't want to consider facts.

I am in technical services at a Cat dealer in Texas.

I was a technician for 20 years, in management for 10 and technical services most of my life, but with a title for last 10 years.

Started in 1977 and still chugging.

Cat only sells the tool. You can't get them to deviate much off of that.

I think ten grand should be able to get a good set-up.

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#28
In reply to #24

Re: Fuel Flow Meter

08/31/2016 11:40 AM

OK, I see we agree about sales and marketing guys.

If there's a potential for sales of more than a few, I'd consider contacting some flow meter guys.

Flow Meter Manufacturers - IQSDirectory.com‎

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#30
In reply to #28

Re: Fuel Flow Meter

08/31/2016 2:01 PM

Very good info

Thanks Lyn!!

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#29
In reply to #9

Re: Fuel Flow Meter

08/31/2016 1:25 PM

Ultrasonic does not count particles, necessarily. It counts targets, which can be disturbances in the fluid such a microscopic bubbles due to a velocity change.

Take a look at Keyence,

https://www.keyence.com/landing/sensor/lp_tss_fd.jsp?aw=google-kaenFD110124ee&gclid=Cj0KEQjwgJq-BRCFqcLW8_DU9agBEiQAz8Koh--Hh3wUQ-jEYWbDtaxYOXNMZVnIp206kBZ3z2Uzh8oaAqrz8P8HAQ

Just installed one of these on a lube oil line a few months ago, in a nasty paper mill, working fine, just after an elbow is ideal. Check your accuracy with a few volumetric checks,

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#13
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Re: Fuel Flow Meter

08/30/2016 4:04 PM

it all sounds a bit over complicated.

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#5

Re: Fuel Flow Meter

08/30/2016 2:34 PM
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#11
In reply to #5

Re: Fuel Flow Meter

08/30/2016 3:29 PM

Thanks for the links, but that's what I have already found. The chart is nice, but I want find a meter that does the corrections.

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#6

Re: Fuel Flow Meter

08/30/2016 2:53 PM

Go to IEEE Globalspec (where you already are) and enter "fuel meter" as a product search term. You can probably add some specs as well.

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#10
In reply to #6

Re: Fuel Flow Meter

08/30/2016 3:27 PM

I tried searching there, but didn't find anything.

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#34
In reply to #10

Re: Fuel Flow Meter

09/01/2016 4:41 AM

Why is that Tornado's problem?

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#7

Re: Fuel Flow Meter

08/30/2016 3:00 PM

"I need a stand alone, supply and return meter "

This sounds like you will need two clamp-on flow meters.

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#18

Re: Fuel Flow Meter

08/30/2016 8:16 PM

It seems to me you could just have a fuel tank that measured weight and volume that supplied your engine and could hold enough fuel to run the test and still be portable....perhaps having an auxiliary pump that could refill the tank from the existing tank on site...that way all the measurements could be made on the tank itself with whatever smart phone or laptop you have that has a software program that would fit the bill...you could even make it wireless...

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#20
In reply to #18

Re: Fuel Flow Meter

08/30/2016 10:24 PM