Fuel Oil News

Fuel Oil News July 2016

The home heating oil industry has a long and proud history, and Fuel Oil News has been there supporting it since 1935. It is an industry that has faced many challenges during that time. In its 77th year, Fuel Oil News is doing more than just holding

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www.fueloilnews.com | FUEL OIL NEWS | JULY 2016 15 Doyle said. "If for whatever reason a sensor doesn't report, the degree day program will still be running and the dealer will still have a very reliable estimate of what's in the tank. So we don't suggest or recommend that people using degree day turn it off." For more information visit http:// www.enertrac.com/heating-oil/ INDEPENDENT TECHNOLOGIES-WESROC Independent Technologies-Wesroc in Blair, Neb., markets remote monitoring technology for use on propane and fuel oil tanks. Most fuel marketers implement moni- toring on commercial tanks first "because that's the biggest payback," said Hank Smith, vice president. "Then they do resi- dential tanks." Based on the performance history of its installed systems, Smith estimated that a fuel marketer can save "somewhere around nine deliveries a year on average. That's to all tanks—commercial and residential." The Wesroc system includes a trans- mitter that sends data, typically via cellular network, to Wesroc's computer servers, which then relay the data to the fuel mar- keter, who notifies the customer that, for example, a delivery is needed. Notifications can be handled through a smart phone app, texting, email and on a website. There are cases where cellular com- munications will not work, such as mountainous areas. In those cases the company relies on a phone line, satellite communication or an internet connection, Smith said. Degree-day forecasting in various enterprise software systems does "a pretty good job on the majority of the residen- tial accounts—knowing when to make a delivery," Smith said. "When you get into fuel oil heat in the larger properties or com- mercial properties like a convention center where [demand] is kind of sporadic— they're going to turn the heat on, then turn it off—tank monitoring is more prevalent." Smith added, "We're starting to hear more about residential tank monitoring in condominiums, and in big cities that have fuel oil tanks that heat entire buildings with multiple apartment units." That said, monitoring is helpful when a single residence has both fuel oil for heat- ing, and propane for cooking and possibly other uses such as heating a pool and for a fireplace—"where there is a mix of fuels on a property and a generator would be in that mix as well," Smith said. In that case, propane consumption being sporadic and unpredictable, monitoring can enable bet- ter management of the account; and such setups may warrant monitoring on the fuel oil tank too, Smith said. Wesroc has a product that can moni- tor not only multiple tanks but indoor temperatures as well, reporting the data to the fuel marketer and to the fuel mar- keter's customer, Smith said. In addition Wesroc can monitor a fuel oil furnace for a burner lockout, sending an alert if a lockout is detected, he said. "If the fur- nace locks out it will not start without a maintenance person checking to see why it didn't start." Further, "We frequently see people add a device that will monitor for a busted pipe" or a water heater failure, Smith said. "We put a water detector on the floor right by the furnace and that same device that's monitoring the Senet is building a LoRaWAN network in the U.S. to help enable what is being called the 'Internet of Things' in which billions of devices, machines and items can be wirelessly linked to the internet, allowing them to be monitored and better managed.

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