Fuel Monitoring

Fuel Monitoring

Is liquid fuel a major expense and an inventoried asset with high turnover in your organization? Do you have remotely located liquid fuel storage sites? In particular are you a company with a network of public filling stations or private refueling depots? Then clearly you would appreciate tools for reconciliation analysis, for reduced amortization uncertainties (losses, theft alerts), enhanced availability of data for more efficient logistics planning and for better informed financial decisions. MSE provides solutions for remote monitoring and management of fuel supply chain and fuel use for large and small organizations. Solutions range from a basic Core System to an expanded comprehensive fuel supply-chain-use management system. An MSE solution is tailored to your technical and management requirements and budget.

The MSE Core System is for remote monitoring of a network of sites with above ground and underground fuel tanks. This can be expanded to the monitoring of additional equipment (generators), non-fuel liquids (urea) and beyond to include comprehensive tracking by dual monitoring at fuel transfer junctions, from upstream at supplier to downstream at fuel consumer.

Details on MSE applications, methodologies and accuracies are found in the description and specification pages. For actual client benefits that can be achieved, see the benefits page.


Core System Remote sites 

A typical application of an MSE Core System is to a networks of remote sites with above ground and underground fuel tanks. MSE gives careful attention to the configuration of each site.

Sensors: MSE selects sensors based on considerations including; site conditions, tank configuration, environmental & regulatory requirements, accuracies required and budget. MSE’s toolbox contains a variety of reliable sensors including; magnetostrictive, pressure, temperature, capacitive and resistor lattice types.

Remote Terminal Unit (RTU): The MSE RTU continually samples sensor readings and transmits updated data to a MSE Server Software System at least once every minute. The RTU can also acquire data from other site devices for transmission to the MSE Server and, in turn, also transfer operator commands via the MSE Server to the site devices. Optionally, the RTU can initiate on-the-spot alarm signals independently of the Server. Each MSE RTU meets regulatory and environmental requirements. The MSE RTU is housed in an all weather casing.

System Calibration: MSE employs its proprietary methodologies for system calibration to achieve the best industry standards of accuracy in measurements that require the utmost accuracies, such as fuel volume and its changes. More information on sensor and calibration accuracies is provided in the Specification section.

Communication: The MSE system is web based. Normally the communication method is internet over cellular GSM. If necessary, this can be modified for direct internet transmission. In regions beyond cellular coverage the MSE system can be modified to communicate from the site via satellite or radio to an internet access point. 

MSE Server Software System

An MSE Server Software System acquires data continually on-line, minute-by-minute, transmitted from every network site. The Server Software System is equipped with MSE proprietary processing algorithms for the accurate calculations of fuel volumes, volume changes and various additional parameters. These enable the detection of various irregular and abnormal events, the generation and transmission of alarms via sms, e-mail, on site, and on-line tracking of alarm conditions by an operator. 

The MSE Server Software System transmits updated data every minute to the graphical user interface (GUI) on the operator’s proprietary web accessed user site. Daily summary reports are prepared and available on the user site. The transmitted data can be integrated into the various tiers of the client’s existing management system. A customized client back office system can be designed and implemented.  

In an MSE Expanded Core System including monitoring of site machinery the System integrates fuel consumption data with machine production data and performs condition monitoring and tracking of machine operating parameters. See the Expanded System page, the Specification and the Prime Generator monitoring sections for more specific information.  

All data and calculations are long term stored for future reference. Customized algorithms and calculations required by the client can be incorporated into the MSE Server Software System.
On the operator’s computer in the back office

The client’s operator and staff can access their MSE user site from any internet access point. 

In the MSE Core System the user can view at all times a 24 hour running window graphical presentation of tank volume and other parameters for each tank in the network. There is clear demarcation of filling and emptying (dispensing) events with times of occurrence and amounts based on continual minute-by-minute new data transmission from the site and their processing. Alarm conditions are tracked. Alarms dispatched by sms and e-mail are posted and tracked on the user site in real time. Daily Summary of tank activities for each tank and are available and stored for future reference. 

The MSE Core System can be expanded to enable the user to send commands to, and collect data from other devices connected to the RTU.  

Processed data can be fed into the client’s management system. A customized client back office system can be designed and implemented. 
Expanding the Core System

An MSE Core System can be expanded to meet various client needs. Examples for MSE system expansion are:
  • Monitoring of different type tanks (ad blue/urea), generators and other machinery. For generator monitoring please refer to the Prime Generator Monitoring and Standby Generator Monitoring sections.
  • The MSE back office graphical user interface can be tailored to client needs and integrated into the client’s management system. An MSE customized client back office system can be designed and implemented according to client needs.
  • A comprehensive solution for Intelligent Fuel Supply-Chain Management for enhanced financial and organizational efficiency that could include:
    • Air separation unit and tanker output monitoring to eliminate false tanker dispensing readings and incorrect supplier invoicing.
    • Dual monitoring at fuel transfer junctions, up & down stream from the Core System for reconciliation analysis, correction  of human errors, and reduction in uncertainties and theft.
    • Tracking fuel in transit from supplier for theft detection.
General client benefits derived from the use of MSE Fuel Monitoring Systems include
  • More efficient management of scattered fuel inventory achieved by enhanced supervision of the fuel supply scheduling (just in time), tanker routing and inventory balances at any moment and any site.
  • Real-time client alerts for unauthorized fuel drawing, irregular tank volume changes, low tank volume and other abnormal occurrences. 
  • Analysis tools for potential theft alerts and fuel leakage mishaps. Highly accurate processed fuel volume data for fuel reconciliation and as backup to other on-site devices (e.g. pump recorder).
  • Long term storage of historic data enabling analysis of trends and abnormalities. 

Tangible examples of benefits reported by clients

Logistics savings: A client informed MSE that, at a minimum, their savings in using the MSE system enable their tanker operators to accomplish what was, previously, a typical day’s work in 5%-10% less time and distance traveled. For the company this means performance of the same tasks with lower manpower costs, lower tanker operating costs/km and more tanker work/km. With these savings the system costs were recoup in less than 12 months and the annual running costs for the system were covered by 20% of the savings, i.e. a net profit of 80%.
Theft detection and thief apprehension: A clever supervisor of a private fuel depot, in partnership with a tanker driver would siphon off several hundred liters from each fuel delivery. The supervisor would then reset the calibration of the depot pumps to over measure the pump flow by a small percentage. When he calculated that the over measurement had compensated for the amount siphoned off he would reset the calibration to its correct setting. However, thanks to the installation of an MSE system reporting every minute, providing accurate volume measurements and daily reports the culprits were caught.
On the spot detection and apprehension: Two days after the installation of an MSE at a remote guarded desert location, in the dead of the night, the client’s fuel manager was awaken by an SMS message to his mobile phone. The message reported that 600 liters had just been removed from one of the tanks at the closed and guarded depot. The security guard and cohorts were apprehended.

Specification for Core System Fuel Monitoring - FM100

System Measurements and Calculations:

  • Fuel Volume
  • Fuel Level
  • Fuel Temperature
  • Water level

Reported Normal Events:
  • Tank filling events, times and amounts
  • Tank emptying (dispensing) events, times and amounts

Reported Alarms:
  • Low Fuel Volume
  • Low Level
  • High Temperature
  • Low Power Supply voltage
  • Unauthorized Emptying
  • Excessive Emptying Event
  • Excessive Emptying Early Warning
  • Short Term Excessive Emptying Rate
  • Slow Fuel Drain
  • Communication Interruption
  • Over Filling
Reporting Formats:
  • 24 hour summary for each tank posted daily on website and stored
  • SMS alarm notification
  • Moving window with 24 hour graphical display of major parameters and events 
  • E-mail alarm notification
  • Alarm notification tracking on website

Accuracies for On-site Calibrated Systems:  
  • Down to ¼% of full volume scale 

Systems for Hazardous Area Installation:
  • MSE employs Intrinsically safe and explosion proof sensors and installs in accordance with all regulations 
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