Does Cold Temperature Affect a Propane Tank Level Gauge?
Similar to nearly all other types of materials, propane is affected by cold temperatures. When the temperature declines, the propane gas contracts. That reduced level of gas inside the tank is reflected by the gauge that reflects the tank level. Normally, this comes into play whenever a homeowner checks the gauge during cold climate and sees the amount of the tank level before and after delivery. Depending on the climate, the level on the tank might not go up as much as anticipated.
Propane Tank Level Gauge
The propane tanks guage would show what fraction of the gas tank is still full. Tanks are usually not filled more than 80% full as this will allow for the gas to expand during hotter days. For example, a 500 gallon tank, at a reading of 80 percent at normal temperatures reflects around 400 gallons of propane in the tank. This is about how much could be stored.
The propane industry operates the popular website Propane 101, which considers the propane baseline point to be an exterior temperature of 60 degrees. 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 would contain about 250 gallons of propane. If the temperature that day is a lot lower than 60 degrees, the gauge would read lower. In the same way, if the temperature is a lot higher than 60 degrees, the gauge will actually read higher since the gas expanded.
Effect of Contraction and Expansion
The amount of energy contained or energy contained in a tank would not change when the gas either expands or contracts, based on the propane industry website. 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 will be given 424 lbs. of propane. If the homeowner has a 1000 gallon propane tank, they can expect the gauge to go up by 10% with the delivery of 100 gallons. These numbers would be accurate if the temperatures were near 60 degrees at the time of delivery. If the delivery happened during colder weather conditions, these chillier temperatures will result in a smaller increase reading on the propane gauge.