Marine fuel coolers keep boat engine fuel from getting too hot while it travels between the tank and the engine. They are commonly used in the marine industry, as they can increase boat efficiency. What exactly do diesel fuel coolers do, though, and what purpose do they serve? Most importantly, will these devices offer a significant benefit to your marine operations?
How Do Inline Fuel Coolers Work?
Marine operators may add a fuel cooler to their boat for a variety of reasons, and many boats come with this device already installed. Boat fuel can heat up quickly while the engine is running. Fluid constantly moves between the fuel tank and the engine system as the engine consumes what it needs. Then, it sends the excess fluid back.
Marine engines can often operate at over 150 degrees Fahrenheit. This means the fuel flowing through the system can easily reach that temperature or higher on its way back to the tank, especially on hot days. Coolers transfer excess heat from the fuel into the coolant or water on one side of the device, which ensures that the fluid returning to the fuel tank maintains a lower temperature.
What Are the Benefits of a Marine Fuel Cooler?
Diesel fuel coolers sound useful, but are they truly necessary? The truth is that it depends on your individual fuel tank and engine. Most boat operation systems have a maximum temperature that’s safe to reach, and your tank may be able to manage just fine without a cooler. However, fuel that’s burning too hot can lead to safety issues and insufficient combustion. It’s up to you to decide what performance and safety measures your boat needs.
Many diesel fuel tanks can safely handle temperatures of well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. That said, normal operating fuel temperatures are typically much lower, between 80 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit. There are many reasons you may want to have a more effective fuel management system, including:
Engine performance: While the difference is hardly a staggering one, hot fuel lowers the maximum amount of power that your boat can deliver. Having cooler fluid in your tank equates to better power output. This ensures that the engine is operating at its full capacity every day — or at least can do so.
Marine safety: While your fuel needs to get pretty hot before it becomes a major safety risk, it may still be worth it to implement careful practices. Keeping a working inline fuel cooler at your disposal means that you’ll rarely have to worry about overheating unless a different type of issue arises.
Fuel lubrication: Part of the boat fuel’s job is to lubricate the fuel pump and other internal components as it travels through the system. This increases their functionality and may even extend the lifespan of your inner systems. Cool fluid lubricates much more effectively than hot fluid, so it makes sense to have a temperature management system in place if your fuel temperature is running too high.
Determine Your Boat’s Needs
To achieve better density, lubricity and system longevity, you may decide it’s worth it to keep your marine fuel cooler or invest in a new one. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or shop for pre-owned marine engine parts today.