LPG Gas Bottles in the Sun - Can a Propane Tank Explode in the Sun: High Temperatures
Gas bottles (propane tanks) in the sun will not explode. LPG gas bottles are designed to be in the sun or shade, with reflective colours, room for expansion and pressure relief valves. Any overpressure gas would vent through the pressure relief valve, not cause an explosion.
For a propane tank to explode, it would need to be exposed to a rapid increase in heat that can overcome the pressure relief valve. A significant fire might cause a rupture but a propane tank will not explode in the sun.
Propane tanks will not explode in the sun. When the gas bottles in the sun temperature rises, so does the gas bottle pressure. Gas bottles are designed with 20% expansion area for pressure increases and gas expansion. There is no reason to worry about gas bottles in the sun.
Home gas bottles and service station LPG tanks are both in the sun all day. BBQ gas bottles are no different. All are designed with the same 20% expansion space.
Many people worry about leaving their BBQ gas bottles in the sun.
What about LPG storage temperatures that are artificially high, including being left inside of cars?
LPG gas bottle pressure rises with temperature.
Should you be worried?
Gas Bottles in the Sun
It is safe to have gas bottles in the sun. Gas bottles in the sun will not explode. LPG gas bottles (propane tanks) are designed to be in the sun or shade, with reflective colours, room for expansion and pressure relief safety valves
LPG gas bottles in the sun have room for expansion, with 20% ullage space for gas expansion.
Gas bottles also have pressure relief valves that will release some of the pressure by venting a small amount of gas, in the unlikely event that the vapour pressure gets too high.
In addition, gas bottles use reflective colours to reduce solar heat gain.
9kg or 20lb BBQ gas bottles in the sun are no more prone to sun heat problems than other gas bottles and tanks.
Avoid LPG gas bottle storage temperatures that are artificially high.
This includes storage inside of cars or near fires, appliances, machinery or any other heat source.
Built-In Room for Expansion
Overfilling an LPG Bottle
LPG Storage & Artificially High Temperatures
Transporting Gas Bottles Inside of Vehicles
Pressure Relief Valve
If a gas bottle is exposed to abnormally high temperatures, the gas will expand.
If it exceeds the maximum safe pressure, the pressure relief valve, built into the main valve, will release some of the pressure by venting some gas.
It should be noted that just having gas bottles in the sun would NOT ordinarily create a gas pressure problem.
If the gas bottle is stored safely outdoors and away from any ignition source, even if the gas is released it should just harmlessly dissipate.
Normal Exposure for Gas Bottles in the Sun
Now, the exact OPPOSITE problem...
Why Does Ice Form on Gas Bottles & Regulators?
Condensation Turns to Ice
Initially, condensation forms when the temperature of the gas bottle or regulator drops below the dew point.
This is exactly the same as the condensation you get on a humid day with a glass of ice water.
Why the Gas Bottle Gets So Cold
Regulators Get Very Cold
BBQ Gas Leak Test
It is important to regularly leak test your BBQ gas bottle, regulator and hose.
Leaks from these items are frequently the cause of BBQ gas fires.
How to Test for Gas Leaks
Put some soapy water in a spray bottle.
Turn on the gas bottle without turning on the BBQ.
Next, spray the entire valve, regulator and hose assembly with the soapy water.
Bubbles will form if there is a gas leak and you may also smell the gas.
For more details, please see: BBQ Gas Leak Test
Hot To Safely Attach or Change Your BBQ Gas Bottle
Changing gas bottles is not difficult but you do need to know how and you should always test for leaks, when done.
Connecting & Disconnecting Your Gas Bottle
The male connector of a POL regulator has a reverse or left-handed thread.
So, to detach, you turn it clockwise and then anti-clockwise to re-attach. Remember to do a leak test when done.
For full step-by-step instructions, please see:
The information in this article is derived from various sources and is believed to be correct at the time of publication. However, the information may not be error free and may not be applicable in all circumstances.