Powelectrics Metron IoT solution helps Vectec customers combat fuel theft

Vectec have developed a fuel theft detection system using Powlectrics Metron4 telemetry, for customers who store fuel at unmanned sites, protecting them from both theft and clean-up costs.

Vectec, established 1994, specialise in all aspects of diesel fuel storage, adblue storage, petrol storage, fuel dispensing and fuel management. More here.

Vectec identified that an increasing number of customers who stored diesel at unmanned sites were being targeted by thieves, who drilled holes into the tanks to steal fuel.

Simon Fowler, Vectec MD, commented: “These thieves are indiscriminate, even targeting fire and ambulance service tanks. Tanks could even be underground!

“One site had 20,000 litres taken in a night, and they were lucky! The thieves made a professional job of drilling into the top of an above ground tank with a hole saw. I say the site was lucky because, if they had penetrated the tank from the side, the remaining 10,000 litres of diesel would have drained across the yard and into the drains, causing an environmental incident with all the associated costs.

“Following these incidents, we searched the market for a suitable alarm system but found nothing. Products were available consisting of float switches and klaxons or devices that sent out text messages. However, these set off false alarms if vehicles took fuel outside normal hours or if wind/vibration disturbed the floats.

“Thieves often take what they can carry and leave the remaining tank contents to flood out. Clean-up costs could often far exceed the cost of stolen fuel.”

Vectec came to Powelectrics to develop an industry-specific m2m solution, based on Powelectrics’ Metron telemetry.

The fuel theft detection system monitors the rate of change of fuel level over a set period. It incorporates a beacon and klaxon to act as a local deterrent. Parameters are user-defined, to suit specific sites. Powelectrics Metron4 IoT device can monitor up to four tanks.

Tank level data is sent at user-defined intervals to Powelectrics MetronView platform. Readings can be sent every five minutes if required. Alarms are sent to nominated staff members, so they can attend site to minimise losses and the risk of spillage.

Externally-powered Metron devices are used with an uninterruptible power supply, so they continue to function reliably if mains power is lost. Cutting the level measuring probe cable also triggers the alarm.

This IoT solution is simple to retrofit on tanks above or below ground. Vectec customers now have a local deterrent and 24/7 alarming, based on their own usage patterns, to help avoid the costs and environmental risks of theft and tank damage.

For this application, external power is often available, but Metron4 telemetry hardware can also be battery and solar powered for use in remote and rural locations. Metron m2m devices can measure up to four tanks and represent particularly good value where multiple tanks are located close together. Metron4 telemetry hardware supports 2G & 4G for global deployment. More on Metron4.

Powelectrics offers 30 years’ experience in sensing and remote monitoring. The company’s ‘connected sensor’ solutions are employed in many industries including chemicals, pharmaceuticals, Adblue, fuels, oils, LPG, lubricants, food and beverage, waste & recycling, landfill & leachate, agriculture, utilities, pumping and environment, rail and security.

Please get in touch with Powelectrics with any queries or to discuss your applications. You can call the company on +44 (0)1827 310 666, or send an email to sales@powelectrics.co.uk.  Powelectrics would love to hear from you!


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