Komatsu Propane Forklift
Does Cold Temperature Really Affect the Level Gauge on a Propane Tank?
Propane is similar to nearly all other types of materials in that it is affected by cold temperatures. The propane gas contracts when the temperature declines. That reduced level of gas in the tank is reflected by the gauge that reflects the level on the propane tank. Usually, this happens whenever a homeowner checks the gauge during cold weather and sees the amount of the tank level before and after delivery. Depending upon the weather conditions, the level on the tank may not go up as much as expected.
Propane Tank Level Gauge
The propane tank's gauge shows you what percentage of the tank is full. Typically, tanks are not filled over 80% so as to enable the gas to expand during warm temperatures. For example, a 500 gallon tank, at a reading of 80 percent at normal temperatures reflects around 400 gallons of propane inside the tank. This is around how much can be stored.
The propane industry manages the popular web site Propane 101, which considers the propane baseline point to be an exterior temperature of 60 degrees. Like for instance, if the gauge reads 50% of capacity on a day when the temperature is close to 60 degrees, then a 500 gallon tank will contain around 250 gallons of propane. If the temperature that day is much lower than 60 degrees, the gauge will read lower. Similarly, if the temperature is much higher than 60 degrees, the gauge would actually read higher due to the expansion of the gas.
Effect of Expansion and Contraction
The energy contained or amount of energy contained inside a tank will not change when the gas either contracts or expands, based on the propane industry website. The amount of propane itself has not changed, but only the density of the gas has changed.
The homeowner who orders 100 gallons of propane would be given around 424 pounds of propane. With the delivery of 100 gallons, the homeowner with a 1000 gallon propane tank could expect the guage to go up by 10%. These numbers will be accurate if the temperatures were close to 60 degrees at the time of delivery. If the delivery took place during colder weather conditions, these chillier temperatures would cause a smaller increase reading on the propane gauge.
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