Friday, April 29, 2011

The New Gas Can: Positive or Negative?

Everyone knows about the new gas can, but how much do you really know about it?  I decided to do a little more research about it, seeing how the season has settled down somewhat, to write what this new can is all about. 

Everyone’s familiar with the old gas can – fill the fuel cell until it was full, let the excess run out then it was caught by the catch-can man.  Now, not so much.  The new fueling system, costing $1,700, made by Schultz Engineered Products from New Jersey, called the “Single Point Dry Break” is used to reduce fuel spillage and minimize the exposure of the ethanol fuel to water.  It weighs in at ninety-four pounds, but can now hold twelve (instead of eleven) gallons of fuel.  Did I mention that the teams had to cut the catch-can man because there was no need for them?  This was hard on the Pit Crews because this adds about 2.5 to 3 seconds onto their pit stops because they have to now hand the gas can to the guys over the wall and get the second gas can.  In addition to this, the Pit Crews also had to go through their strategies that worked that they had compiled from past seasons, to see which ones would work with the now six man Pit Crew. 

Now, for the actual changes to the can:  The coupler now has a two way flow, meaning, the gas goes into the car and the excess comes back into the gas can.  The adapter on the car is indented, and the disc in the center of the coupler allows the fuel to flow out of the fuel can.  The outer ring slides back and allows the vapor and fuel to flow back out of the fuel cell and into the can when the car is full of gas.  Finally, the pressure valve allows the excess gas to flow up the exhaust tube (which is connected to the adapter), through the adapter, into the coupler.  The pressure then builds up in the gas can and is vented. 

All I have to say about this new gas can is that after doing research and finding out more about it, it seems like a pretty good idea, just that it’s more work for the Gas Can Man and makes for longer pit stops. 

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