07 May 2015

Fuel has a crucial effect on the service life of a boat heater

Published in Releases and news

Fuel has a crucial effect on the service life of a boat heater

Wallas-Marin produces boat heaters for the world's most demanding environments. Based on its tests, the company decided to recommend Neste Valopetroli (petroleum) for its products.

According to Wallas-Marin's Managing Director Jussi Oksanen, fuel has a surprisingly high impact on the operation of heaters and boat stoves.

"A low-quality fuel generates fumes and soot and, in the worst case, the heater or stove might not even work. The user can incorrectly blame the unit for malfunctioning while the problem is actually the fuel."

According to Oksanen, there are big differences between different brands of petroleum. Wallas-Marin's observations indicate that the quality differences of fuels for heaters have increased in recent years. Fuels are ordered from all over the world, and their quality is not always up to par.

"Low-quality petroleum may contain an additive called pentane that lowers its flashpoint," says Tero Järvinen, Sales Manager at Neste. "The problem is that pentane evaporates from the fuel by itself. After this has happened, it is possible that the petroleum no longer ignites in the heater."

Wallas-Marin tested different fuels for a thousand hours under challenging conditions

"Opening the burner that had used Neste fuel was unbelievable," Oksanen says. "We couldn't believe that the difference could be so big. The burner was completely clean and free of soot."

The burner that used a benchmark fuel, on the other hand, was sooty and blocked, i.e. it needed servicing.

Based on the tests and empirical knowledge, Wallas-Marin decided to recommend only Neste Valopetroli.

"We can know for certain that the quality is excellent and that the fuel will work correctly," Oksanen says.

Big quality difference in diesel as well

Wallas-Marin also produces stoves and heaters for diesel boats. Differences in fuel quality are also visible in them.

There are two challenges facing diesel boats. Water can accumulate in the fuel tank, which causes soot, among other problems. Another, more severe problem is microbial growth in the fuel, which can block fuel filters or heater pumps.

A possible reason for both of these problems is FAME biodiesel blended with fossil diesel.

"FAME is a first-generation biodiesel that contains organic matter. It binds water and accelerates microbial growth," Järvinen explains. FAME-based products are also sold in Finland.

Neste uses next-generation renewable NEXBTL diesel as the renewable component of its fuels. It does not cause similar problems because its chemical composition is identical to fossil diesel.

"The difference in the burner is almost beyond belief. With Neste diesel, the flame is pure and bright blue," Oksanen at Wallas-Marin says.

Wallas-Marin distributes its products worldwide via its extensive import network. The company has also just begun parallel distribution of boat products in Finland to be able to distribute technical knowledge directly to retailers. At the same time, they recommend Neste fuels to customers. Satisfied customers are the aim. High-quality stoves and heaters deserve the best possible fuels.