Is a Fuel System Controller the right choice for your critical applications?

The Fuel System Controller is a general-purpose programmable logic controller that is programmed with function block logic. A single FSC can be used to control a single device or process, or multiple FSCs can be networked together for coordinated distributed control of larger systems. Up to ten FSC nodes can be linked together using the redundant, masterless Preferred NodeNet  Communication network.

With an FSC, networks communicate continuously. If one network goes down (due to a broken wire, a shorted terminal, etc.), another network continues to communicate with no loss of function. Additionally, if any node fails, all other nodes continue to work.

Network communication between nodes eliminates the need to run numerous line and low voltage wires between devices or control panels. The most common application of the FSC is to monitor and control emergency generator fuel oil supply pumping and storage systems.

An FSC provides redundancy and a central point of contact for large systems—and Preferred is quickly becoming the top provider of these controllers to complex and critical applications. We’re currently focusing on converting plant-wide controllers (PWCs) near the end of their functionality to FSCs.

For better control and monitoring, each FSC node can be equipped with a four-inch color touchscreen HMI for setup and operator interface. Once all the conversions are completed, the updated technology allows increased visibility of the overall system from any of the control cabinets. The process can take as a little as one day per cabinet

Case Study

A facility Preferred worked with last year had two identical system. Each system consisted of:

  • 1 filtration system with integral main tank monitoring for level and leak indication along with controlling filling operations.
  • 1 duplex pump set
  • 2 100-gallon day tanks with integral control cabinets
  • 4 FSC’s per system

Projects such as data centers or mission critical facilities often include custom or special specifications. This particular site required equipment to be inside an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) barrier, which is an enclosure used to block electromagnetic fields. This is sometimes referred to as a “Faraday Cage.”

The problem presented by the EMP barrier was that the generators, day tanks, and pump set are contained within, while the main storage tank and filtration are outside the barrier. Control signals need to be transferred between control panels, however due to the EMP barrier, they signals can only be transferred across the barrier via fiber optics. To solve the problem, we sourced RS-485 to Fiber convertors, which allowed us to use the node net communication between FSCs and be able to penetrate the EMP barrier.

This updated technology allows increased visibility of the overall system from any of the control cabinets.

Staying on the cutting-edge of controller technology helps Preferred to keep the most critical applications up and running. Does your job need this level of reliability? Contact us today to learn more about the value of fuel system controllers.

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