Coalescer/separator systems have two types of elements, creating the 2-stage filtration process. Coalescing occurs when water droplets collect on media & then fall to the sump for removal. As contaminated fuel enters a vessel, particulates such as dirt, scale, rust, and other contaminants are removed. Water is then coalesced through its first stage filter, and any other free water afterwards is separated through its second stage filter, to provide clean and dry diesel for your equipment or engine.
Filter/separator systems are comprised of cartridges, a vessel, and accessory equipment. These systems are intended for various uses & specifications. Good quality systems undergo the finest workmanship, and are designed specifically to remove water and/or solid contaminants from the filtered product. The filter/separator system accomplishes this with two types of filtering cartridges.
The coalescer cartridges perform two functions: they coalesce water to droplets and filter out solid contaminants from the product. Any other water that is present is emulsified to tiny particles through the action of pumps that handle the product. First stage cartridges coalesce the particles into water droplets at a size that lets gravity rapidly settle out from the product to the vessel’s sump.
The purpose of the separator cartridges is for repelling any coalesced water droplets which have not settled downstream together with the product. This water must be manually drained daily. Automatic drain valves may be provided, but these drain valves often malfunction, resulting in the complete draining of fuel to the ground. This results in an expensive environmental cleanup and subsequent environmental problems, not to mention high fuel replacement costs.
Properly providing for drainage of the accumulated water constitutes an important part in the filter/separator’s operation. If the level of the water becomes too high, it will either be carried downstream or cause a system shutdown.
Systems may either be the typical Vertical Model or a Horizontal Model having separator cartridges mounted on top or opposite coalescer cartridges. Both models have similar operating principles.
Elements must be replaced if it reaches a pressure drop of 8 to 10 PSID (or 55.2 to 69.0 kPa), or if it reaches the maximum tolerable pressure differential (as long as the pressure differential is less than or equal to 8-10 PSID (55.2-69.0 kPa).
If you do not use a pressure gauge, then the elements must be replaced every 6 months or as the engine performance declines. This indicates that fuel supply in the engine is insufficient. It is thus strongly recommended to use a differential or vacuum pressure gauge.
Change-out frequency of elements depends on the amount of semi-solid and solid contaminants that are present in the fluid. Water level in the fuel is not a factor in change-out frequency. As long as no contamination occurs, the coalescer will indefinitely coalesce & separate the water from the fuel. Excessive amount of asphaltines and gums would be shown by frequent change-out cycles.
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