Victorian company Environmental Monitoring Solutions (EMS) has specialised in what it calls ‘wetstock management’ for 25 years. A big part of this is helping service stations manage and account for the fuel they store and sell.
These customers have many challenges. EMS customers such as Viva Energy (Shell) and PUMA Energy own and operate hundreds of petrol stations across Australia, the company says. “The stations need to operate highly efficiently because profit margins are small, [And there are] growing needs for service excellence, safety, and minimising environmental impact.”
EMS says each of its customers is likely to incur, across all its service stations, annual costs of $15 million for cleaning up underground petrol tank leaks or vehicle fuel tank contamination.
To address these challenges it has developed, in conjunction with Australian software developer DiUS, Fuelsuite, an IoT enabled system that “provides a complete view of petrol station operations in real time, dramatically improving efficiencies and detecting fuel leaks early to minimise environmental impacts ... enabling EMS’ customers to manage their petrol stations proactively rather than reactively.”
Key to Fuelsuite is a custom-built edge device, Fuelscan that collects data from sensors in the station’s underground tanks and pumps at 30-second intervals and transmits over a cellular network to the cloud where it is processed and made available to service station operators via the Fuelsuite web-based interface.
DiUS undertook the software engineering, development to host the system on AWS and user interface design for the Fuelsuite portal and the software and hardware engineering and AWS development for the Fuelscan IoT device.
“Station operators get near-real-time data on the performance of their stations, including how much petrol is being sold and how much is in the underground storage tanks,” EMS says.
“It also includes data on the pressure inside the hoses connecting the petrol pumps to the automobiles, and on the temperature and petrol level inside the underground tanks.”
More than 1,000 petrol stations in Australia are already using Fuelsuite. EMS is now exploring how machine learning, deep learning and other new artificial intelligence services can be applied to a customer’s aggregated data collected by Fuelsuite solution. It is also planning to launch the product internationally, having identified a significant number of overseas.
The EMS-DiUS Fuelsuite and Fuelscan fuel station monitoring solution won the Best Secondary Industry Project at the 2018 Australian IoT Awards which was held at the IoT Festival on 4 June in Melbourne.