55gl drum truck bed fuel tower

Tipracer

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They are incredibly lucky...and there appears to be fuel still exiting the PP, what a nightmare
 

MTPyle

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Yeah I am surprised it did not ignite.

I wonder if the Co2 kept it from igniting when it exploded? That’s a lot of Co2 in that area just at the right time.

Mike
 

jon coleman

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what is the real story on How many times this risky move has been performed prior, this is a wake up call , pp from now on should get random inspections from sanctioning body tech dood
 

Steve_Sourapas

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I have two gravity flow 100 gallon fuel towers with stands that I don't use any longer that I believe would be much better and safer that a drum in the back of the truck. DM me and make an offer. Doesn't include the hoses and probe.
 
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MTPyle

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Steve

thank you and you would be right. Haha

if you read further in the thread I bailed on the 55 gallon drum idea and ended up getting a pressure Pro. We have used it at two races now and love it.

I got a lot of flack from guys saying the PP is not safe. So with all the discussion here on this thread about the PP I figured I would add to this thread.

thanks again.
Mike
 

Steve_Sourapas

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Steve

thank you and you would be right. Haha

if you read further in the thread I bailed on the 55 gallon drum idea and ended up getting a pressure Pro. We have used it at two races now and love it.

I got a lot of flack from guys saying the PP is not safe. So with all the discussion here on this thread about the PP I figured I would add to this thread.

thanks again.
Mike
We have one of the first pressure pro's but they do need maintenance and trained people to run them safely. Also you need to add a couple adjustments to the fuel cell to make them work better. Turning the pressure up or screwing with the relief valve is a big mistake and as you can see very risky.
 

43mod

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Who calibrates the PRV ? And at what interval does it get calibrated ? I would be tempted to run two PRVs just in case. The adjustment device should be tagged w pressure setting and sealed in a way to prevent adjustment w out breaking the seal.
 

Charlietuna

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If it's true that the relief valve was tampered with and/or rendered inoperable, SCORE needs to drop the hammer on the race team, period. Fine, suspension, both, whatever....if the sanctioning body is to have any credibility at all, they have to step up and say "we will not allow competitors in our races to compromise safety".
 
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Rslhc

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Such a brutal incident that oddly could have been so so much worse. The injuries listed here on the GoFundMe are extensive (Genaro Baja 500 Recovery, organized by Aaron Ampudia). Had ignition occurred (Kind of amazed that it didn’t occur) it would be been deadly to many I imagine. Sad thing is, I get it. I get the desire to find an ‘edge‘ and they had likely done it several times this way with the PRV wired shut, but add one out of place element (regulator it sounds like) and that small edge they were looking for is no longer worth it.

Mike, I commend you for digging into not only this, but all aspects of refueling options. I can tell you deeply care about your team and their safety, and are willing to put the time and energy into making sure they stay safe. Thanks for not letting this pass, but digging in to find the reason so the off-road community can learn and take notice.
 

Bro_Gill

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100 psi tested tanks really means 5-10 times + that pressure to pass safety. Margins are always built into safety testing for liability issues. This team played with danger and danger found them. Count blessings big time that there wasn't an ignition. I have never been in favor of pressurized fueling because it is VERY dangerous, regardless of how safe the manufacturers try to make it, we are STUPID racers who think we are smarter than them. Stupid Human Tricks in the end always find the failure point. Indy banned pressurized fuel way back in the 1960s and there wasn't even a fire from it. A team simply didn't tell officials that their system was pressurized and when it started to leak, the pit crew ran away while everyone else was wondering why they ran! Again, no ignition, just the fact h=that the crew knew they had a bomb in their pit that could go off when things went wrong. This is where it gets ugly. Had that thing exploded with fire in a pit with lots of spectators around, guess when the next race would be?
 

Tipracer

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The pressure relief valve is fixed and there is no way to adjust it, there are also multiple pressure gauges. This was unfortunately an avoidable incident. The whole pit is lucky to be alive, had the fuel ignited this would have been much worse as you can imagine.
 

Canks

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100 psi tested tanks really means 5-10 times + that pressure to pass safety. Margins are always built into safety testing for liability issues. This team played with danger and danger found them. Count blessings big time that there wasn't an ignition. I have never been in favor of pressurized fueling because it is VERY dangerous, regardless of how safe the manufacturers try to make it, we are STUPID racers who think we are smarter than them. Stupid Human Tricks in the end always find the failure point. Indy banned pressurized fuel way back in the 1960s and there wasn't even a fire from it. A team simply didn't tell officials that their system was pressurized and when it started to leak, the pit crew ran away while everyone else was wondering why they ran! Again, no ignition, just the fact h=that the crew knew they had a bomb in their pit that could go off when things went wrong. This is where it gets ugly. Had that thing exploded with fire in a pit with lots of spectators around, guess when the next race would be?
"Regulated" implies a DOT regulation, a US standard, which would not mean anything outside of the States but would give proper indication of capacity. FYI seamed cylinders are required to be tested to double the rated capacity, seamless "3A and 3AA" cylinders are required to be pressured tested to 5/3 working pressure. This is not a knock on American Fuel Tanks or whoever is manufacturing these things, but I highly doubt they have a certified RIN for the manufacturing of DOT regulated pressure vessels, I could be wrong though.... I should add that they are not required to be certified as these tanks are not transported under pressure, the manufacture in this case is not at fault as a cylinder setup to run at 15psi should not ever be expected to operate at 100 psi


Who calibrates the PRV ? And at what interval does it get calibrated ? I would be tempted to run two PRVs just in case. The adjustment device should be tagged w pressure setting and sealed in a way to prevent adjustment w out breaking the seal.
@MTPyle or one of the other owners could tell us what model PRD is on the cylinder itself. If you cant tell take some pictures and post them, include especially any writing on the PRDitself. Just as an FYI there are plenty of one time use DOT approved PRD's on the market that are relatively cheap and tamper proof. You could utilize these and if it pops, you unscrew and install a new one relatively quickly.


As an FYI my company is certified to test cylinders that have a working pressure of 6k psi which is a 5/3 pressure test of 9,999psi. The industrial world utilizes compressed gases everyday, it can be safe if we follow the rules set forth for us. The DOT and CGA (Compressed Gas Association) have seen it all and have guidelines for us to follow to keep us safe.
 
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cjohnson

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If the pressure relief valve on the pressure pro was wired shut they were playing Russian roulette. Internal regulator leakage is a fairly common regulator failure and can easily over pressure the regulator output. The regulator may have a PRV as well but it most likely would be above the burst pressure of the pressure pro depending on the low side pressure rating of the regulator. As a second line of safety a nitrogen regulator should be chosen with a PRV and a low side range that matches the application.
 

MTPyle

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I am will head to the shop today and take a pic of the PRV.

I have also wondered about a regulator on the Co2 tanks. Thats the only part that scares me, is the heating coils get full pressure from the Co2 tanks, then to the regulators. If the coil fails you empty a Co2 tank into the PP tank. But the PRV would let it out, I think. Not sure if Vince has tested a run away tank pressure into the PP tank to see if the PRV keeps up. For this reason we train our guys to be ready to shut off tanks if its running on them.

Another interesting thing about these pics is it seems like the crew member did not have proper safety equipment on. We have anyone thats working with the PP or fuel to have fire suit, shoes, gloves, and helmet.

Also notable is it looks like the PP was not strapped down. Not sure that would have helped and it may have made the injuries worse in this case but it seems a good SOP to have the PP secure at all times.

I had thought about adding a higher PSI PRV to the system as a back up in case the 15psi one fails or cant keep up. I was thinking a 25-30psi PRV would be a good next level of protection.

Mike
 

nohandslance

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Problem solved, Call Premiere Stainless in Escondido. These PRV's have worked with out any issues for 6 years. Have two on each tank. I know it is fermenting vessels plus carbonated product. they blow at 15 psi. And can be adjusted.
Said incident, probably they were in a hurry, and under staffed, not focused.
Lance

20200927_103435_HDR.jpg
 

MTPyle

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I dont think this was caused by being under staffed or in a rush. it was caused by the person that decided to defeat the safety PRV valve. I bet that call was made well before race day. Whomever made that call needs a serious conversation. Sacrificing safety for speed is never a good idea, especially when dealing with fuel.

Most aircraft accidents are caused by decisions made before the plane leaves the ground. You need to have outs and way to protect against things going wrong. With no safety margin when things do not go as planned you pay the price.

Most desert racing failures are prep failures and were caused well before the race.

I think this accident is simply complacency and disregard for safety procedures. I am sure they did this before and it worked out fine.

Mike
 

cynicwanderer

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Figured I would put this here rather than clog up the B500 thread. This thread is the most recent thread discussing Pressure Pro

Reports are that a Pressure Pro failed and exploded at the B500 seriously injuring a crew member during the set up process.

I know there are many that think this system is dangerous and it can fail, maybe they are right? Or it was miss use?

clearly I am very interested in what failed. Was it a process or equipment failure?

I am being told on this system the pressure relief valve was wired shut to run higher pressure than 15lbs. I have no proof of this but it does make sense as how could the tank fail with a relief valve?

Hopefully someone can verify this claim of closed relief valve or has some more inside information. These things are always difficult as nobody wants to admit what went wrong so it makes it hard to learn from.

I could care less who messed up or who is to blame. I just want to learn what happened so we can make sure it does not happen to us.

Mike
I have worked in an industry where we use relief valves. my job was trying to figure out why things didn't always work as designed. turns out, while relief valves are pretty reliable, however, they can fail and there are quality control issues with some vendors and sometimes you get what you pay for. I'd be vary of any system that relies on a single pressure relief valve to insure the safety of the equipment and personnel. also, equipment that allows users to easily modify/defeat a safety function should be a red flag as well. A good example, is the engine brake on push lawn mowers; easily defeated, so many people do it and might as well not have it.

I think fueling equipment like the pressure pro, should have an outside safety review/risk assessment before being "certified" to use. same as fuel cells, fuel pumps, etc... but that's not how it works in offroad racing.
 
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