Gas · Propane

Propane Volume and Temperature

The volume of liquid propane in any LP gas container is directly related to its temperature. In fact, the volume of any liquid in any vessel is directly related to its temperature. The volume of propane increases as the temperature rises and falls as the temperature drops. Being temperature dependent, propane becomes denser as the temperature decreases and expands as the temperature increases. This is very important to remember when you understand the temperature and volume of propane and the relationship between the two.

Propane is stored as liquid and propane delivery is also made in the form of liquid. Compared to other liquids in terms of temperature and volume, it is no different. The volume of any liquid will rise and fall depending on the temperature.

Propane Volume

To understand what is going on regarding different tank gauge readings in extreme temperatures (hot or cold), we need to first explain the basic principles that affect the liquid volume of propane. The following example assumes that a 250 gallon propane tank has 100 gallons of propane at 60 ° F. The 60 ° F industrial standard is universally recognized as the basic benchmark for liquid propane volume correction.

If there is a significant temperature drop (more than 20 ° F) the indicator will indicate that there is less propane in the tank. Assuming the gauge is between 35% and 40% after the temperature drop, there are still 424 pounds of propane in the tank. Although the volume of propane has decreased, the amount of propane has not decreased, it has simply become more compact (dense).

The amount of usable energy has not decreased. If the temperature were to rise by the same amount, the indicator would indicate a larger volume of propane, but there would still be 424 pounds of propane in the tank. As the temperature drops, the liquids become denser and more compact. As temperatures rise, liquids become less dense and expand. So these are the impacts after propane gas delivery that propane is a liquid and is subject to the same rules as mother nature.

Propane Cold Deliveries

Propane users can become quite confused during periods of cold weather after a Propane Delivery because their propane tank indicator may read less than they expect it to read. Using the above information, a delivery of 100 gallons on a cold day (well below 60 ° F) can indicate less than 100 gallons delivered just by looking at the gauge. If the temperature rose to 60 ° F, a properly functioning float gauge would rise to 40%, assuming the tank was empty at the time of delivery.

Cold weather often brings confusion and frustration to propane customers regarding the perceived propane volume and the actual amount of propane delivered, but the reality is this; When a propane supply is made during cold temperatures, the tank meter will indicate less propane delivered based on the initial and final gauge readings, but the actual amount of propane delivered, according to a properly calibrated industrial propane tanks meter is what was actually pumped into the tank during delivery.

We could explore caliber readings and propane volume correction in hot climates and high temperatures, but no one seems to be concerned when their tank indicator indicates that more propane was delivered than it actually was. However, we will briefly explain the volume correction device of the propane truck, called the temperature compensator.

Propane Volume Correction – Temperature Calibration

If temperature compensation were not taken into account, Propane Company would be getting more propane than they paid less, depending on the temperature. Given that volumes of more than 10,000 gallons are being delivered to a bulk storage facility, it is ensured that propane companies certify volume correction factors are in place. The same is true on the consumer side, but state and federal governments regulate consumer protection measures. Propane delivery trucks have meters that measure the amount of propane pumped in the consumer tanks.

These meters include a volume correction device known as an automatic temperature compensatory. The temperature compensatory takes into account the temperature of the liquid propane that passes through the meter and is automatically adjusted to properly deliver the amount of propane the consumer ordered. By law, these devices must be re calibrated and adjusted according to the temperature of the liquid at the time of calibration. When a propane delivery is made to your home or business, know that the amount you paid is the amount you are actually getting.


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