Since the introduction of aviation fuel monitor cartridges in aviation fueling, super absorbent polymers (SAP) have been the essential materials used in the final stage of airport ground fueling systems for the protection of on-board systems from water contamination. The material’s ability to absorb and chemically lock in water have its challenges―potential media migration downstream. In 2017, the aviation industry through the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Air Transport Association (ATA) and Joint Inspection Group (JIG) introduced interim procedures while SAP-free filtration was developed. Parker has introduced Water Barrier Filtration technology for interplane fuel filtration solutions.
Runway for change is fast approaching with the Phaseout of EI 1583 SAP filter monitors
The EI specification for filter monitors has been retracted and is no longer available or applicable to the industry, as of December 31st, 2020. Phaseout of the 1583 SAP monitor has been mandated by the industry regulators.
Parker's new drop-in solution for new and existing monitor vessels, the CDFX Water Barrier Filter, guarantees removal of water and dirt from fuel without requiring any additional sensing equipment, removing the water rather than simply detecting it. You can ensure that the clean dry fuel is delivered every time, avoiding costly downtime, potential flight delays, and/or removal of contaminated fuel from your aircraft.
All of Parker's products are fully certified, making switching easy and cost-effective.
There are several things to consider when deciding on various options available for SAP phaseout solutions.
What are your choices?
- Filter water separators
- Dirt defense and electronic sensors
- Water barrier filters
Questions to ask and factors to consider:
- What is the tolerance to risks? Is water removal important at the wing of the aircraft?
- The competitor's dirt defense filters do not remove water.
- The sensors alarm and then you must decide what to do when it does alarm. Procedure? Who makes the "all good" call after an alarm.
- What is the expense of a fueling shutdown? Does it matter if it's a truck, hydrant servicer or a hydrant system?
- How robust is the sensor under adverse conditions? Can it fail prior to annual certification?
- Who does the managing of sensor calibrations? Who manages the spare certified sensors? What is your sensor life expectancy in operation or on the shelf?
- Filter water separators can be disarmed, do not protect against water slug and are not a drop-in solution. And often these filter water separators are larger, heavier, and expensive to change out requiring considerable labor.
This means costly equipment design, installation, vehicle design limitations, meter capability, electronics, etc., resulting in expensive downtime
The Parker Velcon water barrier technology is approved to the EI 1588 test specifications. There are 22 tests that were similar to the 1583 specifications. However, we removed the tests associated with SAP testing. The rest of the 1588 requirements are part of the specifications:
- Water slug testing
- Emulsified water testing
- Solids testing
- Compatibility testing
- Structural testing
Performance requirements for 1588 are as stringent as 1583, however, without the SAP media.Phase 1 testing
At Parker Velcon safety is our priority. In April of 2019, Parker Velcon successfully qualified the CDFX Water Barrier filter to the EI 1588 specification. Members of the Energy Institute witnesses were present at our Colorado facility.
Once qualified, we entered the EI robustness Phase One testing. This consisted of:
- 400 stops and starts
- Adding additional additives to the fuel
- Doing pull tests
- Running at 125% of rate of flow
- Swapping the vessel for 12 hours with water
Test data shows that all 20 tests passed Phase One testing with no failures, achieving maximum effluent water of fewer than one parts per million. All the tests met the minimum pull force specification above 500 Newtons.Phase Two testing for field trials
Two locations were selected and testing was done at these airport tank farms. These tests were accelerated with more than 10 times the typical daily throughput. Upon completion, filters were sent back to our Velcon lab and a witness was present, through EI, to verify the water removal capabilities. Test runs from the two trial locations show vessel throughputs of over 3 million and 5 million gallons per vessel.
When breaking that down to throughput per element, it is approximately 180,000 or 310,000 gallons respectively. During the field trials, elements were returned to our Velcon lab for testing with an EI witness present. These tests included the 50 parts per million slug test and pull tests. Results were consistent with the EI qualification.
Filtration performance and filter integrity have exceeded expectations with no signs of degradation, disarming or reported issues with additives in the fuel.
Water Barrier filtration technology timeline
To summarize the developments of the CDFX Water Barrier filter technology, we review the timeline:
- The EI 1588 development and specification published.
- We successfully qualified the water barrier filter with Witnessed EI 1588.
- Electrostatic charge generation test completed.
- We completed the phase one and phase two robustness testing and are currently in field trials with nine months into the trials.
- Once field trials are complete, we expect acceptance into the industry operating standard.
Here's a short video of the water barrier filter and operation. As you can clearly see, water in the fuel is repelled by the water barrier filter and droplets fall to the bottom of the vessel where eventually they must be removed at the low drain points.
Differences in technology application
Some product application differences with the water barrier filter include daily sumping that will be required and some education on the differential pressure effects.
Any water collected will need to be drained from the vessel drain point.
Parker CDFX elements are designed to replace SAP monitor elements and operation will be essentially the same. Since they do not absorb water, there are a few things to note:
- The low point in the vessel should be sumped daily.
- The differential pressure should be closely monitored.
- If differential pressure does increase, it's most likely from either solid contaminants, slow buildup of entrained water or water slug.
- If it is a water slug differential pressure rises quickly and shut down the flow.
Even if the entire vessel is filled with water, no water will pass through the filter. In any case, what is important to note is the differential pressures should not fall below the initial starting differential pressure when operating at rated flow.
The Parker Velcon solution
There are three available technologies:
- EI 1588 water barrier filter
- EI 1581 filter water separators
- EI 1599 dirt defense filters in conjunction with the EI 1598 water sensor
As you can see, only the 1588 water barrier technology offers removal for all three capabilities.
The CDFX Water Barrier filter is a true drop-in replacement, innovative at removing water and dirt while not allowing anything to pass through. It offers only clean dry fuel without the use of SAP media. Cost and resource-efficient, it fits deployed vessels in service, but without the needed cost of retrofitting or adding electronic sensors. All materials are compatible with fuels in the industry and simple product procedure changes are in place. Same diameter, same lengths, same flow rates all as with the two-inch monitor elements.
Ease of replacement
This is a short video demonstrating the ease of converting from the SAP monitor to the Parker Velcon water barrier filter.
General aviation fueling
Our water barrier filter technology was further developed for general aviation fueling applications.
The ACOX family of Water Barrier filters are ideal for slow throughput. From an operations perspective, there are minimal changes to your current operating procedures, no modifications to the filter vessel and filter change at a maximum of 22 PSID or three years of service life.
Drop-in solutions for existing houses will not require any retrofitting or additional electronic sensors. Again, no SAP material is used in the fabrication of the ACO X series of filter elements, and these elements are effective in fuel containing FSII which is anti-icing additive. These elements currently meet the effluent fuel and structural requirements of 1588. However, qualification to the EI-1588 standard is coming shortly for the ACOX family.
Electronic water sensor
Parker Velcon has also developed an electronic water sensor for detecting water and fuel. It meets the 1598 design criteria and it was developed to replace chemical water testing. It detects water from zero to 50 parts per million, utilizes a one-quarter-inch common standard port connection, will be certified to ATEX and IECE X, easily to install without any plumbing or electrical systems. And a control box is also available if desired.
The sensor works on a principle of light scatter. Laser light reflects off water and is detected by the photo detector. The more water droplets, the more intense the laser glows as shown in the illustration on the right. The design and testing for the sensor are complete. We expect to achieve ATEX IECE X certification shortly and are looking to qualify the sensor to the 1598 certification in midyear of 2021, making it available to the industry by later in the year in 2021.
Watch the full presentation by Robert Guglielmi, presented at Intrapol Aviation Conference
Article contributed by Robert Guglielmi, business development manager, Aerospace Filtration Division, Parker Hannifin
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