Does Cold Truly Affect a Propane Tank Level Gauge?
Propane is similar to the majority of other kinds of materials in that it is affected by cold temperatures. The propane gas contracts when the temperature does down. That reduced level of gas in the tank is reflected by the gauge which reflects the level on the tank. Usually, this comes into play 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, the tank level might not rise as much as anticipated.
Propane Tank Level Gauge
The propane tank's gauge shows you what percentage of the tank is full. Usually, tanks are not filled over 80% in order to enable the gas to expand on warm temperatures. Like for instance, a 500 gallon tank, at a reading of 80% at normal temperatures reflects around 400 gallons of propane in the tank. This is roughly the amount that could be stored.
The propane industry operates the popular website Propane 101, which considers the propane reference point to be an exterior temperature of 60 degrees. For example, if the gauge reads 50 percent of capacity on a day when the temperature is close to 60 degrees, then a 500 gallon tank will have about 250 gallons of propane. If the temperature that same day is much lower than 60 degrees, the gauge will read lower. In the same way, if the temperature is a lot higher than 60 degrees, the gauge would actually read higher due to the expansion of the gas.
Effect of Expansion and Contraction
According to the information given by the propane industry website, the amount of energy contained inside the tank does not actually change when the gas contracts or expands. The amount of propane itself has not changed, but only the density of the gas has changed.
If a homeowner orders 100 gallons of propane to be delivered, they would receive 424 pounds of propane. If the homeowner has a 1000 gallon propane tank, they may expect the gauge to go up by 10% with the delivery of 100 gallons. These numbers will be accurate if the temperatures were close to 60 degrees at the time of delivery. If the delivery happened during colder weather conditions, these chillier temperatures will cause a smaller increase reading on the propane gauge.
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