Multiple fuel tank draining query

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by cardboard, Feb 18, 2008.

  1. cardboard
    Joined: Nov 2007
    Posts: 6
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: loughborough

    cardboard Junior Member

    Hi guys,

    I am studing automotive engineering at loughborough university and to cut a long story short we have had to design an amphibious vehicle, this vehicle will have two tanks one on each side. they need to drain simultaneously but be independant of each other, i.e. fuel cannot flow betweem them but the level in each must remain the same.

    can anyone help, any ideas how this can be achieved?

    thanks
     
  2. Kay9
    Joined: Oct 2006
    Posts: 589
    Likes: 26, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 279
    Location: Central Coast Oregon US.

    Kay9 1600T Master

    Y connection with a check valve in each line just before the Y.

    K9
     
  3. cardboard
    Joined: Nov 2007
    Posts: 6
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: loughborough

    cardboard Junior Member

    apparently according to my lecturers this wont work effectively enough???
     
  4. Ratch
    Joined: Feb 2008
    Posts: 26
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Sydney

    Ratch Junior Member

    What about using the differential pressure of the fuel in each tank to control a valve on each line so the higher pressure line opens and/or the lower pressure side closes. You could do this proportionately so the greater the difference in tank levels the greater the differences in valve positions. This can be done mechanically or electronically using diaphragms measuring the hydraulic pressure directly or pneumatically through a tube in each tank.

    The other way could be to use strain gauges on the tank mounts to measure the weight of each tank. You could only measure while going straight and at a constant speed or you would need to measure acceleration and centrifugal force to compensate.
     
  5. Fanie
    Joined: Oct 2007
    Posts: 4,603
    Likes: 170, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 2484
    Location: Colonial "Sick Africa"

    Fanie Fanie

    A hose from the bottom of one tank out and to the bottom of the other tank will keep the level in both tanks the same. Once the air in the hose is forced out by lightly pressurising or vacuuming the one tank the level will stay the same for both tanks. The principle is called gravity.
     
  6. masalai
    Joined: Oct 2007
    Posts: 6,823
    Likes: 121, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 1882
    Location: cruising, Australia

    masalai masalai

    And, following on from Fanie, since flow is not allowed between tanks, use that potential flow to open and close the respective fuel lines so the "fuller" tank gets used.... A problem may arise when making a turn so placement of the measuring tube needs to be near the fore/aft centreline of each tank (assuming the tanks are symmetrical and adequately baffeled)...
     
  7. safewalrus
    Joined: Feb 2005
    Posts: 4,742
    Likes: 78, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 659
    Location: Cornwall, England

    safewalrus Ancient Marriner

    This is an amphibious vehicle right? you drain both tanks at the same time right? this gives rise to large areas of something known as "free surface"! As the vehicle rolls the liquid in the tanks sloshes from side to side and increases the roll (I don't intend to get too technical)! This effect has sunk many a vessel and caused loss of life!! During the rolling the liquid rushes from one tank to another thus increasing the roll effect! ONLY Kay9's check valves would stop this! What works on land doesn't always work afloat!!

    Why would you want to risk the stability of your amphibian and possibility the life of the crew? Check it out with the car mechanics who are supposedly teaching you (presuming they know about such things!)
     
  8. Fanie
    Joined: Oct 2007
    Posts: 4,603
    Likes: 170, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 2484
    Location: Colonial "Sick Africa"

    Fanie Fanie

    Solution is simple, really. Two fuel tanks, two fuel pumps, two fuel level sensors, one controller. When a tank has supplied X % fuel the controller switches over to the next tank. The user is not even aware that this is done. The controller can also output the fuel level and if you log the rate the level sensors indication drop you could predict fuel time usage remaining.

    Shallower flat tanks are more desirable since less pressure is experienced in shallow tanks than deep tanks. A 1m deep tank 100mm x 100mm has the same pressure at the bottom as a 1m x 1m x 1m tank !

    Wide flat tanks such as Wally talks about should have slosh barriers in that allows limited fuel flow from one section to another. They even put them in car fuel tanks. When you fill up fuel runs over the top of the barriers, but gets blocked when cornering. Duel fuel tanks are used either for weight distribution or because of space restrictions.

    Since you're a student, Cardboard, if you're going to build a project PLEASE do not attempt to cut open an old or empty fuel tank, you fill it completely with water after you rinsed it out before switching power to the grinder on. You could imagine the gossip if the newspaper heading says "Student goes to moon in a fuel tank..." :D
     
  9. Kay9
    Joined: Oct 2006
    Posts: 589
    Likes: 26, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 279
    Location: Central Coast Oregon US.

    Kay9 1600T Master

    You lecturer is wrong. Anything else is going to either give way to, too much surface effect or be way to complex to expect to work for long in a marine enviroment.

    The check valve with a Y connection has been used for years and years in the marine enviroment and it WORKS. No matter how educated you get, it will still work.

    K9
     

  10. safewalrus
    Joined: Feb 2005
    Posts: 4,742
    Likes: 78, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 659
    Location: Cornwall, England

    safewalrus Ancient Marriner

    Which of course is perfectly true, but hell it's more fun (for everybody else!!) if you just go at it with the "old gas axe" (oxy-acetylene burner) the fireworks can be quite spectacular! Your dead of course, but you will be remembered for many a year after!!
     
Loading...
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.