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Old 04-04-2012, 15:10   #1
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Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel

I have been running a newport diesel in my boat for about 7 years now. I have never had any real issues with it however recently I have been having problems getting heat out of it and I can't seem to get the flame to burn above the ring. I have cleaned it repeatedly to no avail. I have been told that the switch to ULSD has been problematic for heaters and I recently refuelled but am not sure if that is what I bought but I can't see what else has changed. Has anybody else had any issues with ULSD and if so what are the symptoms/fixes?
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Old 27-06-2012, 11:20   #2
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Re: Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel

So here is what I have found out. Low sulphur diesel burns differently than regular #2 diesel in that it requires more air and more heat. Dickinson has provided me with a baffle to place on top of the burner which helps to vaporize the fuel and has created a cleaner burn. No more cleaning the burner out every few uses yay. Basically they told me that the way you can recognize LSD is it is yellow/green in color rather than brown and that it will not burn as hot despite having the same conditions as burning #2 diesel. Hope this helps somebody one day.
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Old 27-06-2012, 11:36   #3
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Re: Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel

ptboater, welcome to the forum.

Fortunately I don't need a heater (Bermuda), but judging by the 300 views I think you have educated a good few.
It is feedback like this that makes our collective lives a little easier. Thanks
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Old 15-11-2012, 13:06   #4
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Re: Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel

More air also helps when using this type of fuel. Using the fan on medium speeds as well as waiting closer to an hour per adjustment to the valve as it takes longer to effect this type of fuel.
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Old 15-11-2012, 13:35   #5
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Re: Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel

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Originally Posted by DickinsonMarine View Post
More air also helps when using this type of fuel. Using the fan on medium speeds as well as waiting closer to an hour per adjustment to the valve as it takes longer to effect this type of fuel.
I am also sure that Dickinson is just loving dealing with ULSD.

I'm just glad our new Jetta loves the stuff. It just smells funky (the fuel). The car actually has no smell.......not from the exhaust anyway. That's hard to get used to.

James L
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Old 15-11-2012, 16:10   #6
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Re: Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel

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Originally Posted by ptboater View Post
So here is what I have found out. Low sulphur diesel burns differently than regular #2 diesel in that it requires more air and more heat. Dickinson has provided me with a baffle to place on top of the burner which helps to vaporize the fuel and has created a cleaner burn. No more cleaning the burner out every few uses yay. Basically they told me that the way you can recognize LSD is it is yellow/green in color rather than brown and that it will not burn as hot despite having the same conditions as burning #2 diesel. Hope this helps somebody one day.
Did Dickinson charge you for the baffle?
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Old 17-11-2012, 13:33   #7
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Re: Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel

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Originally Posted by ptboater View Post
So here is what I have found out. Low sulphur diesel burns differently than regular #2 diesel in that it requires more air and more heat. Dickinson has provided me with a baffle to place on top of the burner which helps to vaporize the fuel and has created a cleaner burn. No more cleaning the burner out every few uses yay. Basically they told me that the way you can recognize LSD is it is yellow/green in color rather than brown and that it will not burn as hot despite having the same conditions as burning #2 diesel. Hope this helps somebody one day.
I want to preface my remarks by saying Michelle from Dickinson has reached out to me and is attempting to help me sort out the issues with the heater. However that being said I wish to comment on how frustrating this whole episode has been for me and it is my gut feeling that even with the addition of the special baffle the heater will not work to advertised specifications. Informing a customer that your heater doesn't perform up to advertised specs due to a change in formulation of the fuel type is kinda like selling a person a car that was designed to run on leaded gas when only unleaded is available and knowing full well that the older design will not run well on the new fuel type. I purchased my "Newport" in October and the company most certainly knew it had these issues long before I bought it. Nowwhere did I see in any of Dickinson's literature or with any of the company reps I spoke with before purchasing the heater was this issue mentioned. I have spent significant ammounts of time attempting to get the unit to run correctly without getting unburned fuel all over the boat and at no time in my conversations with the company was the low sulpher fuel issue mentioned. I just droped another $80.00 on a barometric damper and the stove is still not burning soot free.

Now here's the real rub, its starting to get cold enough in New York that I am having to run the heater at night to be able to stay comfortably on the boat.
Last night I didn't get home from work until after eight PM, temps were in the 30's with a decent wind blowing. Like the origional poster I am starting to notice that the heater is not making enough BTU output. My boat is not that large, is fully insulated and certainly within the size that a Newport is easily supposed to heat. I have a dorade facing towards the incoming winds to provide fresh air to the heater as per spec. I have precisely calibrated the fuel metering valve to spec on two seperate occsasions. With the current fuel I am having to run the heater on about 2.25 on the dial to get it warm enough, at this setting when I turn the lights out I can see the port inside of the heater start to glow red. Dickinson in the post here is reccomending that I run the fan continueosly with the special baffle to get a clean burn. The problem with that is use of the fan causes a significant drop in the heat output even on a very low fan setting, not the meaduim setting being reccomended by the company. I did a little experiment with this last night and within several minutes of running the combustion assist fan the red glow goes away and the heat output drops so I get a little chilly. Whats going to happen when it gets into the teens here. I purposely bought this heater because it was advertised it would put out 16000 BTU on its highest settings, I don't think its doing anywhere near that. I purposely bought the heater because it was advertised that it could run with no electric draw, now I am being asked to run the fan constantly. Dickinson is also suggesting that I now wait an hour between each metering valve adjustment, a real problem when coming home from work and cold starting the heater every night. I am attempting to be patient with all this and give the company the chance to sort out the issues.
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Old 17-11-2012, 14:16   #8
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Re: Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel

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Originally Posted by cburger View Post
I want to preface my remarks by saying Michelle from Dickinson has reached out to me and is attempting to help me sort out the issues with the heater. However that being said I wish to comment on how frustrating this whole episode has been for me and it is my gut feeling that even with the addition of the special baffle the heater will not work to advertised specifications. Informing a customer that your heater doesn't perform up to advertised specs due to a change in formulation of the fuel type is kinda like selling a person a car that was designed to run on leaded gas when only unleaded is available and knowing full well that the older design will not run well on the new fuel type. I purchased my "Newport" in October and the company most certainly knew it had these issues long before I bought it. Nowwhere did I see in any of Dickinson's literature or with any of the company reps I spoke with before purchasing the heater was this issue mentioned. I have spent significant ammounts of time attempting to get the unit to run correctly without getting unburned fuel all over the boat and at no time in my conversations with the company was the low sulpher fuel issue mentioned. I just droped another $80.00 on a barometric damper and the stove is still not burning soot free.

Now here's the real rub, its starting to get cold enough in New York that I am having to run the heater at night to be able to stay comfortably on the boat.
Last night I didn't get home from work until after eight PM, temps were in the 30's with a decent wind blowing. Like the origional poster I am starting to notice that the heater is not making enough BTU output. My boat is not that large, is fully insulated and certainly within the size that a Newport is easily supposed to heat. I have a dorade facing towards the incoming winds to provide fresh air to the heater as per spec. I have precisely calibrated the fuel metering valve to spec on two seperate occsasions. With the current fuel I am having to run the heater on about 2.25 on the dial to get it warm enough, at this setting when I turn the lights out I can see the port inside of the heater start to glow red. Dickinson in the post here is reccomending that I run the fan continueosly with the special baffle to get a clean burn. The problem with that is use of the fan causes a significant drop in the heat output even on a very low fan setting, not the meaduim setting being reccomended by the company. I did a little experiment with this last night and within several minutes of running the combustion assist fan the red glow goes away and the heat output drops so I get a little chilly. Whats going to happen when it gets into the teens here. I purposely bought this heater because it was advertised it would put out 16000 BTU on its highest settings, I don't think its doing anywhere near that. I purposely bought the heater because it was advertised that it could run with no electric draw, now I am being asked to run the fan constantly. Dickinson is also suggesting that I now wait an hour between each metering valve adjustment, a real problem when coming home from work and cold starting the heater every night. I am attempting to be patient with all this and give the company the chance to sort out the issues.
You can't fault Dickenson for the fuel you have available. That is like faulting Jaguar because it runs bad in America (petrol is higher grade in the UK). They sell heaters to more than the US. The US is going fully to ULSD. It isn't the manufacturers fault. You could find some #2 fuel oil, and use it instead. Yes, very inconvenient, and illegal to burn in your engine.

I think they should inform better about the use of ULSD, but you will have to fault the EPA in the US for the change.

I know you are frustrated, but the availability is not their fault. USLD is not the same as regular diesel.

Just as an example, I can't even put regular diesel in my Jetta. It will not run long with it. It was a serious consideration for me to think about before I bought it. I also can't run any ULSD with more than 5% bio-diesel in it. Another consideration I must have when I travel around.

I think they should be informing their potential purchaser's better, but there is little for you to do at this point.

James L.
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Old 17-11-2012, 14:24   #9
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Re: Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel

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Originally Posted by propellanttech View Post
You can't fault Dickenson for the fuel you have available. That is like faulting Jaguar because it runs bad in America (petrol is higher grade in the UK). They sell heaters to more than the US. The US is going fully to ULSD. It isn't the manufacturers fault. You could find some #2 fuel oil, and use it instead. Yes, very inconvenient, and illegal to burn in your engine.

I think they should inform better about the use of ULSD, but you will have to fault the EPA in the US for the change.

I know you are frustrated, but the availability is not their fault. USLD is not the same as regular diesel.

Just as an example, I can't even put regular diesel in my Jetta. It will not run long with it. It was a serious consideration for me to think about before I bought it. I also can't run any ULSD with more than 5% bio-diesel in it. Another consideration I must have when I travel around.

I think they should be informing their potential purchaser's better, but there is little for you to do at this point.

James L.
I absolutely fault Dickinson for not informing me that the stove does not perform to specification with the ULSD. Once again they have known about this issue for some time and if they are selling into the US marketplace knowing full well that the stoves won't make the advertised BTU levels that ammounts to false advertising.
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Old 17-11-2012, 14:32   #10
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Re: Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel

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I absolutely fault Dickinson for not informing me that the stove does not perform to specification with the ULSD. Once again they have known about this issue for some time and if they are selling into the US marketplace knowing full well that the stoves won't make the advertised BTU levels that ammounts to false advertising.
Nope sorry, you must be mistaken.

No where on Dickinson's site is ULSD listed. They list #1, #2 and kerosene.

Your lack of understanding in the difference of the fuel is definitely your fault, not theirs.

False advertising would have those specifications listed with ULSD, which is not that case.

You can blame then all you want, but that doesn't make your opinion valid.

James L
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Old 17-11-2012, 16:01   #11
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Re: Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel

We're talking about a trivial decrease in sulfur content as the only distinction between ULSd and traditional fuel. The BTU content is essential the same as well which means no significant difference in heat output.

Contrary to expectations, ultra-low-sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel does not have lower energy levels, research sponsored by the American Transportation Research Institute has found.

Study claims to debunk ULSD energy drop theory | Fleet Ops | Today's Trucking

Have you exhausted operator error which seems more likely?
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Old 17-11-2012, 16:06   #12
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Re: Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel

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We're talking about a trivial decrease in sulfur content as the only distinction between ULSd and traditional fuel. The BTU content is essential the same as well which means no significant difference in heat output.

Contrary to expectations, ultra-low-sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel does not have lower energy levels, research sponsored by the American Transportation Research Institute has found.

Study claims to debunk ULSD energy drop theory | Fleet Ops | Today's Trucking

Have you exhausted operator error which seems more likely?
And that study was done with a high compression engines. The comparison has nothing to do with the atmospheric burning of ULSD.

That is like comparing the BTU output of biodiesel with diesel #1. In engines the biodiesel actually has more energy. But if you try to burn biodiesel (atmospherically), it just doesn't work well.

James L
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Old 17-11-2012, 16:58   #13
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Re: Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel

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And that study was done with a high compression engines. The comparison has nothing to do with the atmospheric burning of ULSD.

That is like comparing the BTU output of biodiesel with diesel #1. In engines the biodiesel actually has more energy. But if you try to burn biodiesel (atmospherically), it just doesn't work well.

James L
Without getting too deep into the thermodynamics of it, BTUs are BTUs. The only difference in your example is, pressure. At lower pressure, the volatility is effectively greater albeit not in a confined space such as an engine cylinder. The heat energy evolved from combustion doesn't change.

And none of this changes with surfur content.
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Old 17-11-2012, 17:15   #14
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Re: Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel

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Without getting too deep into the thermodynamics of it, BTUs are BTUs. The only difference in your example is, pressure. At lower pressure, the volatility is effectively greater albeit not in a confined space such as an engine cylinder. The heat energy evolved from combustion doesn't change.

And none of this changes with surfur content.
There are other things involved, like atomization, which effects combustibility. Atomization creates surface area to burn, where a droplet does not. The atomization would allow the heat to spread through the fuel faster.

I can debate this all day long, but I've done the research as to why ULSD with greater than 5% biodiesel can not be run in a Volkswagen. I've also read a huge number of biodiesel reports with respect to energy output. If you put those two together, you will see, just because one outputs more or equal energy, it doesn't mean it will burn at atmospheric pressure.

Also, there is enough difference that a new Volkswagen full of regular diesel will have it's fuel tank pumped out. It will not run the regular diesel.

James L
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Old 17-11-2012, 18:05   #15
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Re: Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel

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There are other things involved, like atomization, which effects combustibility. Atomization creates surface area to burn, where a droplet does not. The atomization would allow the heat to spread through the fuel faster.

I can debate this all day long, but I've done the research as to why ULSD with greater than 5% biodiesel can not be run in a Volkswagen. I've also read a huge number of biodiesel reports with respect to energy output. If you put those two together, you will see, just because one outputs more or equal energy, it doesn't mean it will burn at atmospheric pressure.

Also, there is enough difference that a new Volkswagen full of regular diesel will have it's fuel tank pumped out. It will not run the regular diesel.

James L
that's curious --- I have a new VW that will (and does).

I am one of those chemical engineers that actually did the research about which you referenced. Maybe I can clarify some of this for you but rest assured it has nothing to do with the sulfur content or atomization.

Regardless, this has nothing to do with boating so feel free to pm me if you want more info.
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