With the increasing demand for technology in all aspects of life, it’s no surprise that consumers are demanding a smarter and easier way to live with propane. Being able to remotely monitor tank levels benefits both consumers and suppliers, so the more accurate the monitors and the more advanced the technology is, the better the outcomes will be.
However, current remote tank monitoring solutions aren’t able to provide consumers and suppliers with the ease of use and reliable data that they are requiring nowadays. In this blog, we lay out how current solutions fall short and what both suppliers and consumers can look to in order to gain the insights they want and reap the benefits of high-quality remote tank monitoring solutions.
Roadblocks for Current Remote Tank Monitoring Solutions
Current tank monitoring solutions are seriously flawed, making a meaningful and scalable deployment cost prohibitive and near impossible. The industry has been at a technological standstill for years with tank monitoring equipment, relying on outdated technology that does not allow for easy installation nor accurate tank level readings.
Transmitting the readings from “read ready gauges” is currently the most popular method used for remote tank monitoring solutions. This antiquated method poses a huge problem for meaningful deployments and accurate readings. For current monitors to be effective, tanks must be outfitted with read ready gauges and the float in good working order; newer tanks tend to have the read ready gauges pre-installed or more easily retrofitted on. Overall, a high percentage of tanks are not fitted with these gauges, and those that have them are susceptible to inaccurate readings.
Major issues arise when attempting to install read ready gauges on older tanks — both because of the need to retrofit these gauges on the tank, and because tank conditions generally worsen with age, making the necessary tank modifications more difficult.
If and when these gauges are installed, the technology is low-tech and unreliable. Because of its dependence on a float to measure the liquid in the tank — equipment that can be highly inaccurate — a 5-15% variance is seen in readings based on manual gauges.
Other commercially available solutions are marketing their ability to remotely monitor tank levels with ultrasonic technology. However, these sensors must be attached to the top of tanks, require the installation of an internal probe, and positioned so they are as horizontal as possible. The sound waves measure empty space in the tank but are limited in the type of tanks they can monitor.
Along with these more modern devices comes the issue of limited battery life. The industry average battery life ranges from three to five years, with some reaching five to seven years.
Due to the amount of work that it takes to install current remote tank monitoring solutions and the limited battery life, a meaningful deployment is impossible due to the sheer amount of resources needed. Time and availability must be dedicated by installers, some of which may even require a certification to install and service the devices. With a large customer base, the logistics alone are prohibitive for deploying devices to a majority of the tanks. Once the devices are installed, it will be only a few years until the batteries will have to be replaced, creating an endless labor-intensive cycle of servicing.
The Future of Tank Monitoring
With the official announcement of Vertrax Tank Monitoring Service, a new era of tank monitoring is being ushered in. Vertrax Tank Monitoring Service is the only sonar powered tank monitoring technology that reads exact liquid levels of tanks, rather than rough manual estimations.
This technology eliminates the need for “read ready gauges” and allows for a meaningful and scalable deployment for any tanks, of any age, in any condition, at any location. With this, extremely accurate readings are possible without modifications to tanks.
Vertrax Tank Monitoring Service can be deployed and managed by Vertrax, leaving you to monitor tank levels no matter the scale of your operation.
Already want to try out this revolutionary technology for yourself? Apply for our pilot program today and you could be among the first to use it.