What is a Fuel Transfer Pump? How Does Pump Work?
You might have poured fuel manually into your vehicle a thousand times and blamed your car for this. But your car is not guilty. You are the one who should be guilty, and you put this upon yourself because there are so many available options like fuel transfer pumps. A fuel transfer pump will reduce the hassle of pouring fuel inside the car; not only that, it will take down the possibility of spilling fuels, which feels more dangerous because nobody knows when it will make a fire. So, what is a fuel transfer pump? How does it work? Have you ever wondered about that? Well, in this article, we will cover that area. If you are someone who wants to go deeper and want to know the working mechanism of the best transfer pump, then you are at the right place. For the people who want an overview and looking for some tips before buying, I’m assuring you that I will cover that part in the last few portions of this article.
What is a Fuel Transfer Pump?
A fuel transfer pump is a part of your car refueling system that transfers fuel from one place from another, sometimes from a fuel tank to a car through a dispensing nozzle. This might be a very general overview of a fuel transfer pump, but there are so many types. So, it is essential to understand what options you have in your hand before buying one. In this article, we will discuss the core topics like what is a fuel transfer pump? How does it work? So, without any further ado, let’s begin.
Your car’s refueling assistant is a fuel transfer pump. When you are out of fuel in your vehicle, you might need to pour the fuel manually. But this process is a time-killing as well as risky. The fuel spilling might create a mess, or sometimes it can catch fire. The basic of a fuel transfer pump is a large tank where the fuel comes when the pump is started. A dispensing nozzle is used to control the flow rate. When your car tank is full of enough fuel, the pump is turned off to stop fuel flow. A fuel transfer pump is designed with proper materials to assist the flow of any fuel like diesel, octane, propane, etc.
How Does a Fuel Transfer Pump Work?
A fuel transfer pump is mainly a rotary vane pump. They can perform great with low viscosity liquids like propane, ammonia, alcohol, solvents, diesel, fuel oils, gasoline, etc. Generally, vain pumps have no internal metal to metal contact. They are self-compensated for wearing so that they can perform to the peak with these liquids. These pumps are efferent up to 500 cPs/2300 SSU. Let's discuss the working procedure of a fuel transfer pump.
A slotted rotor is placed inside of a cycloidal cam, which supports it eccentrically. This rotor is very close to the cam wall and creates a crescent shape cavity. Two side plates seal the rotor inside the cam. The blades, generally called vanes, perfectly fit in the slots of the impeller. When the rotor starts to rotate, fluids begin to enter the pump. Then centrifugal force, hydraulic pressure, and pushrods start to push the vanes to the housing walls. A good suction characteristic depends on the tight seals among rotor, vane, cam, side plates.
The cam and housing force the fluid to enter inside the pumping chamber through the cam's holes. Fuels enter rapidly and cover the empty places all over the vain, rotor, side plate, and cam.
As the rotor rotates, fuels feel a pull at an upward direction where the discharge hole is located. The vanes keep sweeping the fluid at the opposite side of the crescent, where the fuels squeeze out from the discharge hole.
The maximum vertical distance the pump covers from a fuel tank while pumping the fuel out is the maximum suction lift rating. This suction lift creates inside a rotary vane pump due to the offset of the rotor cavity. This increases the chamber's volume between the vanes by lowering the pressure in the pump's inlet. Now the atmospheric pressure becomes higher than the inlet pump's pressure. That is why fuel flows from a higher pressure area to a lower pressure area rapidly; to be precise, from the fuel tank to the pump cavity. We name this process as self-priming. The suction lift is specified in the product's description. This suction lift is measured in a standard atmosphere. This can change due to the type of fuel, viscosity, the volume of fluid, altitude, etc.
The system’s pressure, while discharging at the discharge end, is commonly known as the discharge pressure of a fuel transfer pump. The discharge pressure is heavily attached to the term flow rate. Commonly, the lower discharge pressure the fuel transfer pump can create, the more the flow rate you will get. There are some variables that may increase the discharge pressure and decrease the flow rate of a fuel transfer pump.
1. Adding some accessories like a filter, swivel, measuring devices, etc.
2. Changing the accessories or increasing the length of the hose pipe or decreasing its diameter.
3. Dispensing the fuel at a higher distance from the pump. If the pump is located at a lower surface than the discharge end, then you will get a lower flow rate.
4. If you are using a higher viscosity fluid to pump in, then possibly it will increase the discharge pressure and will decrease the flow rate and the discharge end.
Things You Need to Consider Before Buying
The pump requires a decent amount of power to operate seamlessly in any condition. This power unit is HP (horsepower). Make sure you take the pump with minimum horsepower to get things going smoothly.
2. Flow Rate:
This is the rate of fuel being transferred at a certain time. A higher flow rate means it will pump the fuel quickly. The flow rate is measured in volume per unit time, and its unit is GPM (gallons per minute). The more precise the flow rate is, the good output you will get from the pump.
3. Mode of Operation:
Commonly, there are two types of fuel pumps available. They are AC and DC. Also, it might be fixed or mobile. Generally, mobile fuel pumps run at DC and are used for transferring fuels from storage tanks to different places.
4. Power Source:
There are some varieties of power sources such as pneumatic, electrical, DC powered, etc. But in a mobile fuel transfer pump, you might see voltages around 110V or 220V. DC powered sources provide voltages in the range of 12V, 24V, 48V.
5. Pressure Requirement:
In an automobile engine, fuel pressure plays a vital role in operating the engine. You must choose a fuel pump that meets the required pressure to pressurize the fuel to operate the engine perfectly.
6. External Factors:
There are some vital external factors that you might consider before buying a fuel transfer pump. Such factors are the cord length, build material, supply lines, etc. Some fuel transfer pump manufacturer also provides warranties, so you better get a decent one with a warranty.
7. Environmental Condition:
You should consider environmental condition such as temperature, location, etc. before buying a fuel transfer pump. These conditions can be a vital factor while running the pump.
Advantages and Disadvantage of Fuel Transfer Pump
A fuel transfer pump can save your time easily with its amazing features, but you need to know what are the advantages and disadvantages it is offering under the hood. So, let's talk about it.
· It helps the engine operation greatly with the pressurized fuel transfer to the engine.
· It can provide a constant output at various input pressure ranges.
· It can produce a wide range of output flow of fuel. The flow rate can vary from 0.25GPM to several hundreds of GPM (Gallons per Minute).
· It has outstanding suction capabilities that are the core feature that allows the fuel pump to pump fuel at a great speed.
· It is a very low-cost product. It is cheap and reliable.
· Fuel transfer pumps are a bit noisy. It makes a vibration in the time of operation.
· One of the common problems you might see on a fuel transfer pump is the priming problem. It is always tough for self-priming.
· Sometimes your fuel transfer pump can create massive pressure at the discharge end. This might create problems. You need a regulator valve installed in order to control the pressure at the discharge end.
Technology itself is a blessing. It saves your time and hassle you need to go through without it. But before buying something like a fuel transfer pump, you should know about it very well. It's working mechanism is not that hard to understand. But this knowledge will help you to buy an efficient fuel transfer pump for yourself. I hope you have liked this topic and learned something about fuel transfer pumps. Good luck.