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cockpit737
09-15-2008, 11:00 AM
Hi,
It seems I have something strange here...
I created an imbalanced fuel situation and opened the "Crossfeed" valve on the Overhead, but nothing happens. All the 6 "Fuel pumps" are ON. The fuel does not transfer from the higher tank to the lower, and it remaines in an imbalance situation...
Any ideas?
Thank you for your help,

tomenglish2000
09-15-2008, 11:41 AM
I dont fly the 737, Im a 767 guy, but I believe if you want to transfer fuel you will need to turn off some fuel pumps.

With the cross valve open:
Turn off the pumps on the side with the low tank. Turn on the pumps on the side with the high tank. This creates higher fuel pressure on the high tank side. With the fuel crossfeed open, the high tank, high pressure fuel will be used as the low pressure fuel cannot get out of the lower tank! When sufficient high tank fuel has been used to equal out the imballance, turn the low tank pumps back on and then turn off the crossfeed.

Fuel doesnt actually go into the low tank. Hope this helps.

cockpit737
09-15-2008, 01:08 PM
Tom,
A big thanks to you... :D
I will try it tonight and will let you informed. But for sure it is logic... :)
Thank you

cockpit737
09-16-2008, 11:13 AM
Tom,
Here are the results... Unfortunatly did not work!
First here is my 737-400 fuel cfg...

[fuel]
Center1 = 0, 0, 0, 2313, 0
LeftMain = -3, -19, 0, 1500, 0
RightMain = -3, 19, 0, 1500, 0
fuel_type = 2
number_of_tank_selectors = 2
electric_pump=0

Now what I tried...
First I put 2000 Lbs in wing 1, 4000 in wing 2 and 3000 in center tank...
I started the APU, then both engines via PMSystem, then closed the APU!
So I placed the crossfeed in open position (horizontal) using the PMSystem directly (no hardware connected)!

- When 6 fuel pumps ON, system takes fuel only from center tank, nothing from 1 or 2 tank!!!
- When center both pumps ON, wing 1 both pumps OFF, wing 2 both pump ON, takes fuel only from center tank, nothing from 1 or 2 tank and no fuel transfer from wing 2 to 1!!!
- when center pumps OFF, wing 1 pumps OFF, and wing 2 pumps ON, it take fuel from both wing 1 and 2 same fuel flow...
- When center left pump OFF, center right pump ON, wing 1 both pumps OFF, and wing 2 both pumps ON, it takes fuel from center and wing 1...
- When center left pump ON, center right pump OFF, wing 1 both pumps OFF, and wing 2 both pumps ON, it takes fuel from center and wing 2...
Strange behavior no???? Any idea?????

tomenglish2000
09-16-2008, 01:18 PM
That is strange behaviour indeed.

I can explain it a bit better perhaps.
When you are loading fuel you first try and fill the wing tanks. When/if they are full then you fill the centre tank. The centre tank is ONLY used if the wing tanks are full. If the wing tanks are not full, put your fuel in them!
If not using enough fuel to fill the wing tanks you simply place enough fuel in each wing tank to fill them evenly and leave the centre tank empty.

When flying with fuel in the centre tank then all pumps should be on. If you only have fuel in the wing tanks then the centre tank pumps should be off. The centre tank pumps provide fuel at a higher pressure compared to the wing tank pumps and this ensures that the centre tank fuel is used first and that NO wing tank fuel is used until the centre tank is dry. When the centre tank goes dry its pumps cannot supply fuel (obviously) and so now the wing tank pumps start supplying fuel. At the point the centre tank exhausts its fuel, both wing tanks should be completely full (or as close as possible) which means they are ballanced.

If you follow these rules then you should never have a fuel imballance when flying with centre tank fuel loaded. (Except for what the APU has used which is nominal).

This means that for normal situations we only have to consider fuel imballance with no fuel in the centre tank. So those centre tank pumps are off. Now say the left tank is higher than the right. Turn the crossfeed valve to open. Now turn off the right hand tank pumps. Now the left tank is providing fuel at a higher pressure than the right because the right has no fuel pumps on. This means that the left tank fuel is favoured and used up. You are not actually transferring fuel from left to right tanks, just using up the extra fuel in the left tank. When sufficient extra fuel in the left tank has been used turn the right tank pumps back on. Fuel pressure is now equal and both tanks will provide fuel. Now you can turn off the crossflow.

If for any unseen reason you have an imballance and fuel in the centre tank, turn off the centre tank pumps before ballancing otherwise the higher pressure centre pumps will override the pumps on the wings, and so no wing fuel will be touched.

Hope this helps a bit better.

cockpit737
09-16-2008, 02:54 PM
Tom,
Thank you so much for your explainations... :) I understand perfectly what you are saying...
So, this on my experiences from yesterday was not working properly...
- when center pumps OFF, wing 1 pumps OFF, and wing 2 pumps ON, it take fuel from both wing 1 and 2 same fuel flow...
On this pumps situation it should have take fuel only from wing tank 2...!
One more question... In my mind in an imbalanced fuel situaltion I tought that the higher tank should transfer fuel in the lower tank until it equals the higher tank... Am I wrong? Is it possible to transfer fuel from higher to lower?
Thank you very much Tom, your explainnation are very usefull :)

tomenglish2000
09-16-2008, 03:10 PM
Glad that helps.

When imbalanced, the higher tank does not transfer fuel to the lower tank. Instead (because of the way you setup the fuel system) the engines take fuel only from the higher tank leaving the lower tank fuel as it is.
Example: Left tank has 5000 pounds of fuel and the Right tank has 3000 pounds of fuel. You need to take fuel from the left until it reaches 3000 pounds to match the right tank. Then you continue taking fuel from each.

What does not happen is that if Left has 5000 and Right has 3000 then the left transfers fuel to the right until both have 4000.

You are lucky that the 737 fuel system only has 3 tanks. Imagine the Concorde fuel system that CAN transfer fuel from tank to tank but to add even more complexity it has 13 tanks, and the fuel has to be balanced correctly not just left and right but also nose and tail to maintain the Centre of Gravity! http://www.airliners.net/photo/British-Airways/Aerospatiale-British-Aerospace-Concorde/0384863/L/ :-)

cockpit737
09-16-2008, 03:40 PM
Tom,
Thousand of thanks for your help... :)
I was sure that it was possible to transfer fuel from one tank to the other... I know a little more now on that beauty of B737NG's and you'r right I would be scared if I had to manage a Concorde fuel tanksssssss :) Happily I did not choose to build a Concorde sim... !
All my thanks,

cockpit737
09-17-2008, 02:28 PM
Hello Tom,
Here are the yesterday night results... Good and bad news...!
Whene I close both center fuel pumps it stops from taking fuel from the center tank... This is the good news...
But as I said in my previous message, when I close both left wing tanks (low fuel) with crossfeed opened and both center tanks closed the fuel is going to the engines by both wing tanks... Thats the bad news... Unhabble to stop taking fuel from the left tank... (the lower one).
Can you confirm that it works on your side????
Anyway, even if I am a little discourageous trying to make it working, it is just a little thing not working.
Is there someone else having this problem or am I the only one????
Thank you again Tom... :)

Michael Carter
09-17-2008, 02:44 PM
The 737NG fuel distribution system sounds a lot like the 727 system.

You cannot transfer fuel from any tank to any other tank except when on the ground during a gravity fueling operation from the wing tanks to the center tank.

Normal configuration is tank-to-engine, except when the center tank has more fuel than the wing tanks can hold. Then, all three engines are fed from the center tank using the crossfeed valves and pumps until the center tank has as much fuel as the wing tanks. Then tank-to-engine feeding is done.

Peter Dowson
09-17-2008, 03:32 PM
when I close both left wing tanks (low fuel) with crossfeed opened and both center tanks closed the fuel is going to the engines by both wing tanks... Thats the bad news... Unhabble to stop taking fuel from the left tank... (the lower one).

I don't think you "close" them by switching the pumps off. after all the APU can draw fuel with no pumps on. What happens here in the circumstances you describe is simply that the fuel is drawn a lot slower from the tanks with the pumps off than from those with the pumps on. It takes a longish time, but eventually balance is achieved.

I think there's still a suction effect drawing fuel from tanks despite pumps not being powered. that is all.

Regards

Pete

cockpit737
09-17-2008, 04:05 PM
Thanks to both of you...
Peter, when I did it I had a look at the fuel flow and it was showing identical FF from both sides. But to be sure I will try once moreand will pay more attention. I will let you know!
What is very strange is those two situations i described previously.... This way I was abble to stop FF from one wing tank. But what a strange way to do that!
- When center left pump OFF, center right pump ON, wing 1 both pumps OFF, and wing 2 both pumps ON, it takes fuel from center and wing 1...
- When center left pump ON, center right pump OFF, wing 1 both pumps OFF, and wing 2 both pumps ON, it takes fuel from center and wing 2...
I am sure it is possible to stop the FF from one side otherway!
Thank you... :)
PS: if it was too easy it would not be fun!!!!!!!!!!!

tomenglish2000
09-18-2008, 05:40 AM
A bit of further information.
Here is a diagram.

http://www.mycockpit.org/photopost/showphoto.php?photo=3225

As you can see there are two seperate fuel lines. One for each engine.
Remember that the centre fuel pumps provide fuel at a higher pressure than the wing pumps. The higher pressure fuel always wins. So if a centre pump is on the wing fuel cannot be used as it is at a lower pressure.


When center left pump OFF, center right pump ON, wing 1 both pumps OFF, and wing 2 both pumps ON, it takes fuel from center and wing 1 This makes sense. Look at the diagram. The right centre pump is providing higher pressure fuel to the right fuel line. This means the right wing pump fuel cannot be used. So the right engine takes fuel from the centre tank. The left fuel line has no pumps on so takes its fuel from the left wing tank (as Gravity fed fuel can only come from the wing tanks).


When center left pump ON, center right pump OFF, wing 1 both pumps OFF, and wing 2 both pumps ON, it takes fuel from center and wing 2 Again this makes sense. With the left centre pump on the left fuel line is being supplied with higher pressure fuel from the centre tank. The left tank fuel is not used as the centre tanks fuel is of higher pressure. The right fuel line is being supplied by the right tanks pressured fuel which is of higher pressure than the centre tank fuel (as the right centre tank pump is off).

To effectively do a crossflow ballance you need to make the higher tank the one with the highest pressure fuel accross the whole system. This means having all other pumps off and the crossflow open.

As for the APU. Yes it does take fuel from the left tank without the left tank fuel pumps being on. But it does use a fuel pump. It uses its own DC powered fuel pump in the left tank while it is starting up using the battery (as the battery is DC). There are no indications for this pump on the panel and so you will not know if it is working or not. When the APU has started it will turn on the left forward pump (or maybe left rear, but only one left fuel pump, I forget which) and turn off its DC pump. The APU cannot be gravity fed and needs its DC pump to start and then when its running it switches to the left forward AC pump.

If you are still having problems try this. Start the engines. Open the crossflow valve. With fuel in the right tank empty the centre and the left tanks. If the left engine stops then it cannot get fuel from the right and so the crossflow valve isnt open. This will mean that FS isnt getting the crossflow possition from PM.

Unfortunately I dont use PM so I cannot test this myself.

Hope this helps.

cockpit737
09-19-2008, 11:19 AM
Tom,
Again, thank you...
Your sketch makes it much easier to understand...
So in this example...


When center left pump OFF, center right pump ON, wing 1 both pumps OFF, and wing 2 both pumps ON, it takes fuel from center and wing 1
This makes sense. Look at the diagram. The right centre pump is providing higher pressure fuel to the right fuel line. This means the right wing pump fuel cannot be used. So the right engine takes fuel from the centre tank. The left fuel line has no pumps on so takes its fuel from the left wing tank (as Gravity fed fuel can only come from the wing tanks).

In this example I tought that as the crossfeed is opened the left engine should have take fuel from the center(the highter pressure). Why does it take fuel from wing 1 as crossfeed being opened it provides more pressure from center right than from gravity wing 1? If the crossfeed had been close I would understand, but as it is opened...!
So this is the same reflection about the second example...
Last, how do you explaine this...

when center pumps OFF, wing 1 pumps OFF, and wing 2 pumps ON, it take fuel from both wing 1 and 2 same fuel flow with crossfeed opened...
It should take fuel only from wing 2, no?
Thank you again Tom, I promise I will do all my best to not ask you more.... :)

CocnutAir
09-19-2008, 11:20 AM
Basic misunderstanding. Crossfeed feeds fuel to the other engine, not the other tank.

From Continental's B737 Flight Operations Manual:


FUEL CROSSFEED

The engine fuel manifolds are interconnected by use of the crossfeed valve. The valve is DC motor-operated from the battery bus. The valve provides the means of directing fuel to both engines from any tank. Continued crossfeed use will result in a progressive fuel imbalance.

cockpit737
09-19-2008, 02:14 PM
Hi Alan,
Thank you for your help, but I already know that... I learned it here on this post... :) Like a lot of people I thought that in crossfeed you could transfer fuel from one tank to an other...! Now I understand better how this works... :)
But... I have to undesrtand why this happens...
"when center pumps OFF, wing 1 pumps OFF, and wing 2 pumps ON, it takes fuel from both wings 1 and 2, with same fuel flowand this, with crossfeed opened... "

tomenglish2000
09-19-2008, 04:19 PM
Right. Something strange is happening here.

My examples you quoted were with the Crossfeed closed. You are correct in you answers that with the crossfeed open in example one all fuel should be taken from the centre and in example two with the crossfeed open all fuel should come from the right tank.

All this means that when PM shows the crossfeed open it really isnt open. :sad:
If it was open then it would have worked as you described.

Did you try my suggestion to check if the crossfeed valve is working? Put fuel in all tanks. Start both engines. Open the crossfeed. Empty the left and centre tanks. If the left engine stops then the crossfeed isnt opening as the left engine doesnt get fuel from the right fuel line. Check this and if it isnt working then PM isnt sending the position of the crossfeed to Flight Simulator.

cockpit737
09-19-2008, 04:31 PM
Hi Tom,
No I did not try as I did not have enought time in the last days... I would need 30 houres a day these time...:roll:
But I promise I will try tonight.... Working or not I will let you know!
Is there a way to know if PM is sending the command to FS? I can confirm that on the PMsystem software on the screen it is open (rotary in horizontal position).
Thank you again Tom,

cockpit737
09-21-2008, 12:22 AM
Hi Tom,
I made tests and here are the results...
Crosfeed open, both engines running...
- 6 pumps on, when center tank becomes empty both engines stop!
- center pumps off, when wing 1 has no more fuel it stops... do not take fuel from wing 2...!
As you can see these are not very encouraging results... Do not know how to fix it! And I have no way to verify if FS receive the information from PM...
If you have any idea what to check next please tell me!!!
Otherway thank you again for your time you gave to me... :)

Thomas Richter
09-25-2008, 05:49 PM
The 737NG fuel distribution system sounds a lot like the 727 system.

You cannot transfer fuel from any tank to any other tank except when on the ground during a gravity fueling operation from the wing tanks to the center tank.

Normal configuration is tank-to-engine, except when the center tank has more fuel than the wing tanks can hold. Then, all three engines are fed from the center tank using the crossfeed valves and pumps until the center tank has as much fuel as the wing tanks. Then tank-to-engine feeding is done.

In 737NG you can transfer fuel from one main tank to the other main tank but only up to the same level, not to or from the center tanks!
It is as well just because of the imbalance when the APU takes fuel (left main tank) for longer time.