This is our third article in our series on what actually happens when you fill up at a gas station. Read the previous article here.
Imagine you’re at a gas station and you’ve started a transaction at a dispenser. Maybe you’ve never given it another thought, but how does the fuel actually get to the nozzle?
The answer is that fuel is pumped up from an underground storage tank via a submersible turbine pump and through the fuel lines to your dispenser nozzle.
The submersible turbine pump is the powerful unsung hero of the fueling system. These pumps have two main components; a packer manifold which is in the sump space and a Unitized Motor Pump (UMP) that sits down in the tank.
Starting the Flow
- During a transaction, the packer manifold receives the signal and activates the UMP.
- The UMP starts spinning and that rotational energy creates pressure and moves fuel up through the pump.
- The fuel flows up through the column pipe to the packer manifold.
- Fuel enters the packer manifold and goes through a check valve, which is used to keep pressure in the lines, before being discharged into to the fuel lines.
While it’s dispensing fuel to your vehicle, the dispenser is keeping track of exactly what you’ve pumped and how much that costs. Once you’re done, there are a series of signals that are managed through the automatic tank gauge and control boxes that turn off the STP and finish the transaction.
If using a TLS-450PLUS Automatic Tank Gauge paired with Electronic PLLD, then station operators can also monitor line pressure during the dispense to ensure that system isn't leaking and meets release detection requirements.