It’s true that those fuel Racor fuel filters in your engineroom look just like the ones your father had on his boat when you were young. The turbine model was introduced in the late 1960s and, as they say, if it ain’t broke... So very little has changed—on the outside. But the element of that filter has been evolving and adapting right along.
“We’ve improved the soul of the filter which is the media, or the element that goes inside it,” says Robin MacDonald, marketing and sales manager for Village Marine Tec., an operation of Racor Division. “The media that’s pleated in the paper, if you will, is not really paper, it’s a cellulose mixed with engineered fibers and it’s always evolving to match current requirements of engine builders. Particularly since most diesel engines are using common-rail fuel injection, the pressures have gone up in the fuel system. This means tolerances in the pumping components and the injectors are tighter, which means a need for higher fuel filtration efficiency and capacity.” Evolving filters remove smaller and smaller particles and water traces.
Biofuels also present certain challenges for fuel filters. “Because water doesn’t want to fall out of biodiesel as easily as it does in diesel,” says MacDonald. “The challenge is water removal. As a rule of thumb, anybody can upgrade their engine fuel system [to biodiesel] by adding and doubling the size of the prefilter/water separator. Slow down the flow of fuel across the media, and it allows facilitates the removal of free and emulsified water.”
Refit Considerations: Better filtration means more efficient engines with less downtime, and the possibility of biofuel options.
Racor Division, Parker Hannafin Corpation, (209) 521-7860; www.parker.com/racor
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