Three Things To Consider When Choosing A Fuel Management System
Running out of gas in a car is embarrassing. Running out of fuel at a gas station and turning away customers is unforgivable. Fortunately, your fuel management system is there to keep you on top of your current inventory levels… and much more.
Monitoring is also a key fire code requirement for fuel storage. It can be done either using an electronic monitoring system or by manually conducting daily or weekly visual inspections (frequency will vary based on local code).
There are several companies that provide fuel management systems; Franklin Fueling Systems, Omntec and Veeder-Root are just a few. Here are three things to consider when choosing the system that is right for your operation.
1. What functionality do you want/require?
Most electronic systems are designed to monitor product storage tank fuel levels and provide basic leak detection – and will alert you if there is a problem or concern. Yet, as with anything, there are a range of models and options: each offering different levels of functionality.
Key options include:
- Electronic Line Leak Detection
- Statistical Line Leak Detection
- Phase Separation Detection
- Tank Mapping
- Business Inventory Reconciliation
- Discriminating and Non Discriminating Sensors
- Monitor Well Sensors
- Maintenance Tracking
- High Level Alarms
We generally advise clients to choose a system that has the ability to differentiate between ground water and leaked product (discriminating sensors). This will help reduce those urgent maintenance calls to calls that can be addressed during normal business hours.
2. Does the system allow for easy web based access and monitoring?
As with any investment, remote monitoring systems can help save you time and money. The big advantage is that you can live your life away from your station – knowing you are still in control and have the latest data at your fingertips.
Most systems can be monitored online using a PC, so you can get an overview of your fuel inventory anytime, anywhere. Some companies now allow you to view everything on your smartphone, or iPad using a secure polling app.
As with all remote monitoring systems, internet access is required. While planning for your site ensure this is built into your design.
3. How many tanks, and dispensers can the system monitor?
Most systems out there can handle the monitoring needs of a single station. Others are specific and can handle the needs of a complete bulk plant with cardlock. If you are planning future expansion at your site ensure the unit you select can easily grow with your plans as well.
Naturally, there are other things to consider: from the upfront cost to service and support. Whether planning your new facility or upgrading an existing facility, the right fuel management system can help address those nagging concerns while providing options to grow with the changing regulatory requirements.