Take Control Of Your Oil!

Jim Slattery Jim Slattery’s article for MANN Report Management originally published in the April 2016 issue. https://mydigitalpublication.com/display_article.php?id=2447046&id_issue=296477
The need to analyze data for energy efficiency is paramount in today’s New York City Real Estate landscape. In today’s high-tech, 24/7 world, owners and managers must have energy management systems, efficient mechanical heating and air conditioning equipment, LED lighting, and better insulation in order to run a more efficient building. The need to monitor heating oil consumption has long taken a back seat to the more obvious measures described above. Given the recent downturn in fuel oil prices, consumers are once again considering fuel oil as a viable heating source in lieu of natural gas.

If you are of this belief – and cost comparisons of the two commodities do support (depending on your local natural gas utility) oil as a valid option to natural gas – then the need to consume it in a hands-on and transparent manor is vital. There is a need for an interactive product for fuel consumption monitoring, run-out prevention and delivery confirmation that fits your expectations of managing energy budgets at the highest levels. Fuel oil is currently monitored with gauge technology from the early 1960s. This primitive gauge offered an upgrade from the previous technology which was simply sticking a long ruler, string or tape measure into the tank to determine the oil level. Although somewhat accurate, these means for measuring are both labor intensive and non-transparent.

Now, a building representative must be present to meet the driver and escort said driver to the basement to check the fuel gauge or stick the tank. The readings are then mutually agreed to and written on the delivery ticket. Once agreed, the driver and superintendent go back to complete the delivery. Upon completion, once again a trip to the tank room is made to confirm the after readings. The entire process, although long, can get even longer or steps can be skipped if unexpected situations make the super unavailable, resulting in the driver waiting to make the delivery. The process ultimately comes down to what two individuals decide to write on the delivery ticket when assessing the amount of fuel oil to be delivered.

Today’s technology allows an owner to install an Ultrasonic Gauge System, situated on top of the tank. This gauge can measure the tank level within 1/8 of an inch and sends a 3G signal via wireless cell to a monitoring station that is accessible by building staff with password protected access. The gauge and website can provide instantaneous readings, create data outputs for reports, send email alerts to staff should tank levels get to low and email management anytime a delivery starts and is completed. The installation and calibration of the gauge takes approximately two hours or less depending on pre-installation information provided by owner/management. The process of the installation is quite simple allowing for excellent results and opportunities. Once the agreement is made with a qualified vendor, the gauge is installed and calibrated within 1/8 of an inch. In addition to the installation, the training of staff is important as with any new piece of technology. The data provided by the gauge allows for the owner/manager to view the information through a password-protected website.

adm_ultrasonic_level_transmitterInformation on the Ultrasonic Gauge System:
  • The Ultrasonic Gauge System transmitter is installed on top of the tank;
  • The transmitter allows for simple and reliable non-contact level measurements of fluids in a tank;
  • The microprocessor-controller circuit generates a pulse that is trans-mitted from the device;
  • The pulse is reflected back from the surface of the liquid;
  • The “round-trip” transit time is then converted into the current output, which is directly proportional to the fluid level;
  • Inventory results are available throughout the day to a website via secure password;
  • System will confirm all deliveries via email on a real-time basis, decreasing the human element;
  • The Ultrasonic Gauge System will provide Low level alerts to help protect against costly run outs.

The cost of installation of such a system could range between $1000.00 and $1,800.00 (buried tanks excluded). This is not inclusive of the monthly monitoring fee of $20.00. Since fuel oil will be available to many buildings for many years to come, it makes sense to improve your ability to manage your energy resources in a more precise way. In an age where checks and balances are common place, why would we turn a blind eye to oil consumption and delivery? If you are interested in discussing the sonar gauge and what it has to offer feel free to call Jim Slattery, President of Original Energy at (914)847-0317