To run electricity during an emergency we need a fuel storage tank for our portable generators. Especially when there is a crucial need for an uninterruptible power supply. Nowadays, the cost of diesel is fluctuating. The sites which operate diesel generator prefer to buy diesel in bulk during low price to store it in their diesel storage tanks to get immense profit. Although fuel storage tanks for generators come with various types and need, many sites can store diesel in either above ground or underground storage tanks.
Now, the question arises, which diesel storage tank should be used? Taking a decision on diesel storage tanks is quite challenging. This is because there are many factors involved in this process. There are benefits from both the storage system, but before selecting anyone you must consider your location and the people near you. However, both methods of diesel storage tanks are beneficial. But, there are few sites that depend only on one storage system.
So, it’s better to discuss some major factors involved in the decision of fuel storage tanks for generators. Elaborating the pros and cons will help you to choose the better storage tank among the two.
But, before discussing the pros and cons we need to gain knowledge about the fuel storage tank for generators with backup and their different types.
Diesel storage tanks to backup generators
Everybody knows generator back-up needs fuel to operate. This is done when there is a lack of power supply. It’s difficult to identify the problem with the diesel storage tanks during the extended power outage. Moreover, there are some facts about diesel storage tanks which every manager should keep in his mind. In addition, states may announce the extra regulations.
Before going deeper, let’s know the types of storage tanks
1. Sub-Base Tanks
To store diesel or other fuel which is less than 1000 gallons, the sub-base tanks are the best. These tanks also known as belly tanks. These containers are fit above-ground levels and below the generator set. They are typically constructed of heavy gauge welded steel and mostly in square shape or in doubled walled.
2. Underground Storage Tanks
These storage tanks are quite expensive but it used for the long term. If you are storing fuel more than or equal to 1000 gallons for long term use then anyone can go for the underground storage tanks. Underground storage tanks are constructed from fiberglass reinforced plastic, such tanks usually provide the structural strength.
However, the risk of spotting error sooner will be difficult in these underground storage tanks. They also required cathodic protection for both the tanks and pipes against corrosion.
3. Above-ground Storage Tanks
These storage tanks are less expensive and easily portable. You can certainly use these tanks for a short period of time or for day to day work. The above-ground storage tanks make easy to identify any leakage problem in the tank and also it’s easy to monitor them. Moreover, these tanks posses fire hazards, therefore, it must be installed by following the regulation of states.
As we discuss the types of storage tanks we observe that people mostly use either the above storage tank or underground storage tank. Keeping this in mind now we will discuss the major factors, pros, and cons of both tanks.
Major Factors To Store Diesel In Fuel Tanks.
The cost is a major factor while deciding the diesel storage tanks for generators. This is observed that the underground diesel tanks are quite expensive than the above-ground tank. The underground tanks required pretty much expense in excavation work which may require specialized equipment and a variety of permits.
Moreover, the above-ground tanks are less expensive and faster in assembling and positioning. However, people do take care of their property that must be aesthetically appealing. Furthermore, the time to time maintenance is necessary which also faster and less expensive in case of an above-ground tank (AGT). Repairing of fuel tanks is the major concern for long term use.
Also, consider the secondary containment requirements that are different for the above-ground and underground tanks. Also, focus on the EPA rules in your area for the type of tank (and size of tank) according to your needs.
Above all, the use of the above-ground tank is quite less expensive than the underground tank.
2. Contamination And Leak Risk
The fuel storage tank for generators either underground or above ground can suffer from the problem of contamination and leakage risk. Moreover, this problem can lead the holder to come into trouble. And, the holder needs to pay financial penalties for perpetrators and damage soils, water supply, and the ecosystem.
Also, the cleanup operation with legal battles, insurance and a decrease in the property value makes the holder lose money in lakhs. Furthermore, the risk of recognizing this problem is challenging in the case of underground tanks. That’s why most sites that operate various types of diesel fuel prefer above-ground storage.
However, the well designed underground tank is less likely to suffer damage. Whereas the above-ground tank (AGT) is always around the people and vandals, as compared, the underground tank (UGT) is less accessible.
Determining the risk of leakage is easier in the above-ground tanks and also they are easier to monitor. Simply mean, spot the problem and rectify it before it converts into contamination risk. However, many people required a vapor recovery system.
The risk is not only about the contamination of storage diesel into the environment. The diesel itself runs the contamination risk. However, diesel is mostly get contaminated by elements like air, water, and heat which possess more threat to the above-ground tank. Although, the contamination by these elements takes months. But, this leads to ceasing buying of diesel in bulk also which affects the diesel storage in large quantities for the future.
3. Risk Of Fire And Explosion
The work of a diesel storage tank will make anyone worried about the fire and explosion. The risk of fire and explosion can occur in both methods of storing fuel. However, this is more likely to above-ground tanks (AGT) than underground tanks (UGT).
The risk of fire and explosion is more with above-ground tanks. This leads to stringent local regulations like the distance between tanks or buildings and demonstrates a higher fire resistance level. Also, to minimize these risk it is important to install the vapor recovery system.
Although, underground tanks have a lower risk of fire and explosion. Even, the limited amount of pressure reduces the risk of the explosion but backup and maintenance remain the vital factors.
4. Security From Vandals And Elements
Security is a major concern for different locations. Keeping the fuel tank protected is a big task especially in the above-ground system. There are many CCTV, alarms, lighting is also available to protect the fuel tank.
Moreover, weather conditions can also easily affect above-ground diesel storage tanks. The elements like air, water, and heat contaminate diesel which can be found easily in the weather. However, underground tanks are safe from weather conditions. Furthermore, the underground tanks are more protected because they are sheltered well.
While factoring in weather also, think about piping. when piping is done underground then due to freezing it may cause breakage and cracks. on the other hand, the above-ground storage tanks can easily be maintained which offers more temperature protection.
5. Mobility Concern
Focusing on the mobility concern, the above-ground tanks are more versatile than the underground tanks. The above-ground tanks can easily be shifted from one place to another for refueling. Underground tanks are difficult to locate anywhere for refueling for them underground piping is the solution.
The underground tanks are not at all good if you need to shuffle tanks from one location to another. Before, selecting the diesel storage tank it is important to determine the type of work you need for the long term. And also consider regulations, varying by state, to determine how close a storage tank should be from another.
Note: once the tank fixed underground then it’s pretty hard to uproot it to a new location.
6. Space Limitation
If someone is facing space limitation in his/her area for installing tanks then underground tanks will be the best option. It is obvious that above-ground tanks will take more space as every tank occupies enough room. It’s better to go for an underground tank as it takes less room from your property.
7. Aesthetic Needs
As many people surround the above-ground tanks there is a need for an aesthetic appealing. The aesthetic appealing is the need for above-ground tanks, but the underground tank is not concern about the aesthetic need. This may be because they need less maintenance to keep up the overall look of the tank.
8. Shelf Life
The fuel storage tank for generators can last for decades only if the maintenance is good. There are many factors behind the usage of tanks. However, if the use of tanks is day to day then the above-ground diesel storage tank will be best.
In other words, the underground tank can be useful for long term use and perform well throughout time. Moreover, the lack of weather and ventilation increases the lifespan of most underground tanks. At the same time, it is harder to inspect and spot the issue soon.
In this article, we discuss many factors regarding fuel storage tank for generators, also we discuss the major factors involved with the diesel storage tanks. Besides this, we gave a piece of information regarding the backup of a generator. We mention the pros and cons of both types of diesel storage tanks now you need to decide which will be best fitted for your type of work.
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