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Upgrading Cold Weather Capabilities

Cold Weather Capabilities

In 2019, an existing IEA customer desired to add extreme cold weather operational capability to the current equipment IEA has deployed at the customer.  The aim of these modifications was to prevent fuel gelling in extremely cold conditions like those observed on January 30, 2019 when actual temperatures reached <-30 °F in the upper Midwest.

An all-weather, insulated metal building with electrical heat (four separate independent heating units were installed to provide redundancy) was placed around the main fuel tanks; building temperatures are maintained > 70 °F.  The fuel transfer piping from the main fuel tanks to the individual engine day tanks were electrically heat traced and insulated; with the heat tracing setpoint at > 70 °F.  The excess fuel from the engine which formerly went to an external fuel cooler mounted on the radiators to cool the fuel during hot weather was fitted with a diverter valve to by-pass the coolers, increasing the temperature of the fuel returning to the day tank by ~20 °F.

An Ansul Inergen water-free fire suppression system was installed for the main fuel tank building to satisfy local building codes.

The existing main fuel storage area already had a concrete containment structure and a roof, which helped reduce construction time and expense.  The overall project took about 3 months of on-site construction and cost ~$350,000.