Startup and Commissioning of Fuel Oil Systems at Mission-Critical Facilities

The Last Puzzle Piece

Startup and commissioning is the final critical piece of a complex puzzle for a successful fuel oil system installation. This is the time when the dedicated, hard work of our project managers and field installation teams comes to light.

The preceding months and sometimes years that leads up to this point of closing out a project comes down to the crucial days of commissioning. Successfully connecting all of the dots leaves an end-user with a system that has met their expectations, design requirements, and ultimately 24/7/365 reliability.

Lights-On and Time is Ticking…

We are typically challenged by a small, highly-observed window between the time that system power is available and the time a reliable fuel source is needed to load-bank or commission generator power. It is important that this window be met with the right skills and tools in order to bring a system online safely and reliably.

The checkout of the system against the design documents, submittals, change orders, customer requests, and commissioning documents is a detailed process. Once checkouts are completed and the system is left in automatic operation we leave the job site knowing the operation and safety measures of the system function as intended.

Increased Complexity

Fuel systems are changing with increased customization where no two sites are the same. The standard practice of requiring redundancy is not only applied to the mechanical components, but also in the electrical, controls, networks, and remote observation of the fuel oil system.

Experience in working with these different systems and understanding the nuances of how they work from the mechanical components (tanks, pumps, remote fill + filtration systems, etc.) all the way to the control logic becomes a valuable offering and a competitive advantage.

From Factory to Field – Stepping-in to Fill the Gap

Factory witness testing can be an important step in bringing the system closer to turnkey operation. However, most compressed project schedules do not allow time for this luxury. Regardless, until all system components are in place in their final locations on site and fully operational, bugs in the program architecture are still hiding.

We are committed to a timely and successful startup. When a fuel oil system contractor can bring the whole package of tools and knowledge to validate the system with an understanding of the intended operation per the design, you are positioned for on-time success.

This validation process includes mechanical and electrical functional operation as well as checking the remote-monitored points over numerous communication protocols to building management. Being able to sit at a master control panel and verify building management system points before it is even connected makes for a smooth transition and better use of time when the fuel oil system is finally connected for remote monitoring.

Problem Solved – How Fast Can it Be Corrected?

When issues are found, and they often are, several questions arise.

How fast can it be corrected?

Is the PLC programmer of the system available?

How long will it take for a factory representative to make travel arrangements to the site?

With the VITΛL approach, we have the software and capability to make the changes required whether it is a simple labeling issue on the Human Machine Interface or a more in-depth PLC logic change. Leveraging our in-house capabilities and our close relationships with the manufacturers we represent, we can provide both local and remote support and typically same day updates to keep the process moving.

Adapt or Die – Getting Over the Goal Line

In this dynamic field, adaptation to new project requirements is a critical success factor with every job. Successfully commissioning and closing-out these complex projects is more important now than ever for the long-term performance and reliability of mission-critical fuel oil systems.


© 2023 Vital Fuel Systems • 1076 Classic Road, Apex, NC 27539 • Phone (919) 303-7374 • Fax (919) 303-7399