Effective fuel management for remote locations from Bell Flow Systems

2 min read
Bell Flow Systems supplied a reliable monitoring and secure fuel management system in Africa.
Bell Flow Systems supplied a reliable monitoring and secure fuel management system in Africa.

Effective fuel management is essential to any organisation wanting to successfully monitor their fuel levels and prevent fuel thefts occurring especially in third world countries. When completed properly, it can make a vitally important contribution to the profitability of such organisations. The cost of fuel and its usage is a significant overhead for any commercial establishment.

Bell Flow Systems were approached by Telecomms specialist, Alan Dick Company in Africa to provide a solution to problems surrounding supply, delivery, remote reporting and security that they were facing.

Integrated products and services

There was currently no one single solution on the market to help them and so they commissioned Bell Flow Systems to supply various integrated products and services. The company successfully installed oil flow meters, remote telemetry equipment, fuel management hardware and software plus accessories and commissioning for this bespoke fuel monitoring project in Gabon, Africa.

Operating a network of mobile telephone communications masts within the Congo which provides vital Cell-phone infra-structure to widespread rural communities in this third-world country, Alan Dick Company has been facing an ongoing struggle to keep the masts’ diesel fuel based electricity supplies running.  Fuel theft and generator fuel supply failure have become increasing problems to the company in recent times, leading to frequent network outages.

Remote monitoring

The client required a reliable monitoring system to remotely provide information on the generator fuel levels at fourteen of their sites to ensure fuel re-supply was accomplished at the correct intervals. They suggested that these deliveries should be recorded using tamper resistant equipment as it was suspected that the delivery drivers were not delivering all of the fuel documented.

Bell Flow Systems successfully developed a lockable and rugged enclosure based system, housing an accurate supply line Macnaught fuel flow meter, an independently powered local volume display register for back-up verification and the AquaLink II; an autonomously powered remote telemetry device providing M2M data transfer over WiFi/GSM/GPRS to the head office. Access is via a cloud based portal with monitoring, reporting and alarm based functionality.

Fuel theft

Another problem the client faced was frequent fuel theft, potentially from current employees. The client required the facility at all of his sites to dispense this stored fuel securely and accurately into containers by approved users. Logging all transfers and recording this information locally as well as reporting this information remotely to the head office. The current manual transfer ‘trust based’ system was open to abuse by corrupt or negligent staff so a new secure solution was needed.

A secure fuel management system was installed for each of the sites featuring lockable cabinets, hard wired fuel and data lines, remote telemetry over GSM/GPRS and independent user access logging via RFID key fobs controlled by the system administrator. The use of these user allocated key fobs, unique to each user has prevented unwanted fuel dispensing by unauthorised individuals.