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NFPA 110 and Standby Power Systems / Fuel - 2002 Edition

Technical Information Report #FTI-061802-9

Gregory A. Hagopian
President, FTI

The 2002 Edition of NFPA 110, Standard for Emergency and Standby Power Systems, was prepared by the Technical Committee on Emergency Power Supplies and acted on by NFPA at its November Association Technical Meeting held November 10 - 14, 2001, in Dallas, TX.  It was issued by the Standards Council on January 11, 2002, with an effective date of January 31, 2002, and supersedes all previous editions.

The NFPA Technical Committee on Emergency Power Supplies has recognized that modern advanced refinery technology and current regulations are leaving today's distillate fuel more unstable and susceptible to contamination.  Studies have concluded that the contamination and degradation process of stored diesel fuel #2 is well underway within 28 days of storage.  This, along with the tighter engine tolerances required of engine manufacturers, " intelligent stored diesel fuel management" is now an NFPA 110 requirement. 

NFPA 110 - Standard for Emergency and Standby Power Systems - 2002 Edition

Page 110-15

7.9 Fuel System* Fuel system design shall provide for a clean supply of fuel to the prime mover. Tanks shall be sized so that the fuel is

  1. consumed within the storage life, or
  2. provision shall be made to replace stale fuel or
  3. clean fuel.

Page 110-20

A.5.1.1(1) See A.5.5.3 for shelf-life precautions for fuel supplies.

A.5.5.3 Consideration should be given to sizing tanks in order to meet minimum fuel supplier delivery requirements, particularly for small tanks.  Consideration should also be given to over sizing tanks, because many fuels have a shelf life and deteriorate with age .  Where large tanks are required, it is recommended that fuels be periodically pumped out and used in other services and replaced with fresh fuel.  Prudent disaster management could require much larger on-site temporary or permanent fuel storage.

Page 110-22

A.  See Table A.

Table A.  ASTM Fuel Oil Rating (Diesel)

Rating             Fuel Description 

A-2                  Refinery fresh fuel
A-3                  Good
A-4                  Watch closely - aging has begun
A-5                  Advanced aging and oxidation
A-6                  Badly aged - not recommended
A-7                  Severe aging - do not use

There are four simple steps that need to be put in place to assure compliance to the above requirement of clean fuel for the prime mover; (1) have your fuel tested annually, (2) control microbial contamination, (3) treat the fuel for stability, (4) remove water and sediment regularly.

  1. Two (2) fuel samples need to be drawn annually.  One from dead bottom for visual inspection for free water and debris.  The second sample from the supply line to the prime mover and sent to an accredited laboratory for testing for existing particulate and stability using ASTM Approved Test Methods.
  2. A biocide introduced to the fuel, per manufacturer recommendation, will control microbial growth within the diesel fuel storage tank.  Care must be taken to select a biocide that is registered with proper Federal and State agencies.
  3. There are a variety of chemical additives (treatments) that increase diesel fuel stability, are self-dispersing and do not require costly injection systems for introduction to the stored fuel.
  4. Removing water and sediment regularly can be accomplished by filtering of the stored fuel through a series of water separators and media filters.  Portable equipment can be contracted or a stand alone, automated filtration system can be permanently installed directly to the diesel fuel storage tank.  When installing a permanent system, NFPA Equipment Requirements, Labeled and Listed apply.

Chapter 3     Definitions

Pg. 110-5

3.2.3 Labeled .  Equipment or materials to which has been attached a label , symbol, or other identifying mark of an organization that is acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction and concerned with product evaluation that maintains periodic inspection of production of labeled equipment or materials and by whose labeling the manufacturer indicates compliance with appropriate standards or performance in a specified manner.

3.2.4* Listed. Equipment , materials, or services included in a list published by an organization that is acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction and concerned with evaluation of products or services, that maintains periodic inspection of production of listed equipment or materials or periodic evaluation of services, and whose listing states either that the equipment , material, or service meets identified standards or has been tested and found suitable for a specified purpose.

Fuel Technologies, Inc. manufactures a complete line of NFPA Compliant automated stored diesel fuel maintenance systems.

Factory Mutual Research Corporation, December 15, 1997

Document: 1B1A9.AF, Class 6063

Model Nos. FT-I-3A and FT-I-8A "Automated Stored Distillate Fuel Maintenance Systems"

1.2  These maintenance systems will be listed in the Flammable Liquid Equipment section of the FMRC Approval Guide, under the heading "Automated Stored Distillate Fuel Maintenance Systems" as follows:

Fuel Technologies International
PO Box 6863
Santa Maria, CA 93456 USA


FT-I-3A-1T, 3 gal/min, Automated Stored Diesel Fuel Maintenance System,
FT-I-3A-2T Dual Storage Tank System,
FT-I-3A-3T Three Storage Tank System,
FT-I-3A-4T Four Storage Tank System,
FT-I-8A-1T, 8 gal/min, Automated Stored Diesel Fuel Maintenance System,
FT-I-8A-2T Dual StorageTank System, FT-I-8A-3T Three Storage Tank System,
FT-I-8A-4T Four Storage Tank System.

1.3  The maintenance systems were examined and tested in accordance with the requirements of FMRC Class 6063 examination program for "Automated Diesel Fuel Maintenance Equipment."


A first Facilities and Procedures Audit was conducted at the Atascadero, CA manufacturing facility in connection with this examination.  Conditions were found to be satisfactory.  This facility will be included in FMRC's Facilities and Procedures Audit program for future follow-up audits.

It is the responsibility of everyone designing or installing a diesel fuel storage tank to inform their customer, the end user, of the inherent problems associated with long-term storage of diesel fuel.  By addressing this compliance issue with the end user, prior to design or installation, you will be confirming to your customer that they are working with an engineering company, or individual, that is well informed and looking out for their best interest.  

Should you require additional information or assistance in design, please do not hesitate to contact our staff at Fuel Technologies International.


  • "Fuel Facts", Biodiesel Board, Jefferson City, MO.
  • NFPA 110 - Standard for Emergency and Standby Power Systems - 2002 Edition.
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