MEP-803a. Diesel sub-tank.

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OrthoGen

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Miami, FL
Hello there,

We currently own an MEP-803a which will be installed in a residential setting in Miami, FL. We kinda have a tight space on the backyard and are looking for alternatives on having an external diesel tank in order to extend the working time provided by the internal storage and w/o having to dig, or occupying too much additional space. Has anyone come across or can recommend a diesel sub-tank for the MEP-803a? Lots of Generac and other commercial units have these available where the generator sits right on top of the tank.

Any help is highly appreciate it.

A.S.
 

Coug

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Olympia/WA
Hello there,

We currently own an MEP-803a which will be installed in a residential setting in Miami, FL. We kinda have a tight space on the backyard and are looking for alternatives on having an external diesel tank in order to extend the working time provided by the internal storage and w/o having to dig, or occupying too much additional space. Has anyone come across or can recommend a diesel sub-tank for the MEP-803a? Lots of Generac and other commercial units have these available where the generator sits right on top of the tank.

Any help is highly appreciate it.

A.S.
It sort of depends on how much run time you are expecting to need or would like to plan for. full load you are looking at 1 gallon per hour, half load 1/2 gallon per hour.

I've done generators in the past where it's a steel frame for it to sit on up off the ground, with empty space beneath it. At that point you can find a diesel tank that fits in that space.

If you have a diesel truck or car or something else that uses diesel, then spacing it so something like a Diesel Caddy fits underneath (lying down, pull it out when you need it) it might work as well.


You will also need to check and see what your local ordinances are for having fuel tanks on the property, as it might end up being more of a pain to meet all the requirements than it would be to have a couple of portable tanks like the Diesel Caddy that won't fall under the same codes. (you'll probably be looking at things like double walled, pressure tested, Site Permits, Fire Marshal inspection on site, and a bunch of other things that add up to thousands of dollars worth of certifications on what would otherwise be a cubic steel tank with a couple fittings in it) But they might also ignore tanks under a certain size, in which case you'll need to know that as well.

One example of a diesel caddy, wouldn't be very hard to modify to connect to the generator with the aux hose and a marine style quick disconnect.

25 gallons would be 25 hours of run at full heavy load, 2 days half load, and if you shut down at night and when you didn't really need it might last up to a week. Wouldn't be hard to take the caddy off and refill (other than dealing with 25 gallons of diesel when full, I'd recommend either a low trailer or maybe lawn mower ramps) and the gen would still be running off the internal tank. (only issue with this route is if your insurance doesn't allow more than a certain amount of fuel storage in portable cans or stuff like that, plus where to store them safely)

Just one idea.

Also, some food for thought
 

eric67camino

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Kansas
An option I have considered for more fuel is a truck bed tank. Called a transfer tank. The kind that a farmer or contractor might have. Goes in the bed. Sometimes behind or under a toolbox. Can sometimes be found used for a decent price.
 
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Kenny0

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Leland, Iowa
One thing to remember on a fuel tank is bigger is not always better. Diesel has a limited life. There are additives that will lengthen that such as Pri-D. Also heat, water and oxygen are not good for any fuel, with water probably the worst.

edit - Also do not store Bio-Diesel, the higher percentage of Bio-Diesel the worst it is for storage.
 

uniquify

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Sioux Falls, SD
How do you intend to fill the tank? Will you be doing it by hand with fuel cans, or are you planning to have a truck come deliver fuel to your aux tank?

If you're expecting a truck, make sure you have adequate space for them to park. Also, some fuel suppliers won't send a truck unless you're buying a certain minimum quantity of fuel. It varies by supplier, but around me they want to bring at least 100 gallons.
 

OrthoGen

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Miami, FL
Thank you for the responses. Apologies it took me a few days to get back.

The initial thought is to primarily use the 20 gallons on the internal tank of the MEP-803. This would allow the weekly run on the gen plus get us about 20 hours of power w/average use. The external tank would be use in case of extensive power outages primarily in after storms situations. I guess we could have some extra fuel on the external tank that would get us over 20 hours and refill as needed either personally or have a truck come in. The gen is going to be seating on the back, a service truck would have to use a hose to get to it after backing into the driveway.

There is this company that fabricates custom sub-base tanks. I'm in the process of getting in touch with them. Unless there is an existing tank that can be use for this purpose....

 

OrthoGen

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Miami, FL
I was under the impression the internal tank was 20 gallons. Now that you mention it, a volume of 20 gallons seems large to be inside the enclosure, 9 gallons seems on point. Wonder if there is thank like the above from a different generator that would fit and that some here has had experience with the installation. Thank you.
 
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uniquify

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Location
Sioux Falls, SD
Here are a few more ideas.

I have 2 803's on trailers with aux tanks. My first one is on a used trailer from a 25KW MQ generator. That trailer has a 40 gal tank built-in that sits between the frame rails. The rails are the same width as the 803 so it fits great.

The other 803 is on a custom built trailer that has a combo aluminum tank / toolbox like you'd see in the back of a pickup truck. It holds 40 gallons along with cords and spare filters, etc.

I have an 802 at my parents farm that uses an aluminum fuel cell from a boat as it's auxiliary tank. I think it holds something like 18 gallons.

Craigslist in my area often has used fuel tanks from boats. I have seen some that are long and skinny and could potentially fit between the skids on these generators, if they were sitting up on a pair of 4x6's.

There are tanks out there if you're patient and don't mind doing some custom work.

I've also got some Jerry cans with an adapter and hose that ties into the aux fuel port. Options are a good thing!

Good luck in your search! If you do go for a purpose built sub-tank, please share pictures!
 

Light in the Dark

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If you transport drums to fill them, you need to be equipped for handling ~ 380 lb objects. Most fuel suppliers don't like filling drums from their delivery trucks. None of them around my area, at any rate. At least, diesel in drums is not usually considered hazmat.
Yes no places that offer offroad around here will touch a drum because it lacks 'certification to store fuel' :rolleyes:. I use a tilting drum ring securing the drums to skids in my bed and just fill up as needed. Having a tractor helps I suppose.
 

Chainbreaker

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Oregon
...I use a tilting drum ring securing the drums to skids in my bed and just fill up as needed. Having a tractor helps I suppose.
I'm trying to envision your setup. Got any photo's you care to share?

Used 55 gallon drums are fairly cheap around here on CL. But you have to watch out for what was stored in them. Most types of oils are Ok...peanut oil etc. However, I once bought a drum that had been used for Coconut Oil and it was a mess inside. Had congealed lard-like stuff stuck to insides of drum so it became a waste oil storage drum.
 
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Light in the Dark

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Sorry no photos, but if I think of it next time I need to fill a drum I will take a few.

So here is a tilting ring: https://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200647603_200647603

I secure it around the belly of a drum (above the first 'ring' in the drum sidewall) and secure it in place so it cannot unhook (hope to weld on a lock assy at some point, not high on the list right now). I currently just extra heavy duty zip ties to secure the band lock in place while heading to the next town over for fuel.

So with this around the drum, I can run a tie down through each fork pocket on the ring, securing it to the tie downs in the corners of my truck bed. The drum is immoveable at this point, past an act of God.

I put a pallet under the empty drum before doing so. When I get home from filling it, simply remove the rachet straps, and just pick the pallet up out of the bed of my truck and into my fuel storage area. If I were smart I would just keep one drum tethered to a skid permanently this way and just use it to jockey fuel into the other drums.
 

mesias

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South Florida
A local shop built a sub-base tank for my MEP-803, 100 gallons. Here is their information:

Engineered Manufacturing Corp.
3775 N.W. 81st Street
Miami, FL 33147
305-693-0089

I have the plans around, I need to find them and I can post them here. You can just increase the height if you need more capacity.

20200522_091832.jpg
 

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Guyfang

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1590939955820.png

If I did this, then I would just substitute the sub tank, for the set tank. Make new lines, put the sending unit and switch in the new tank, and call it a day. Just keep anything you remove and do not need, for a rainy day.
 
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