Articles

MachineTalkers to Monitor Fuel Storage Tanks

Wirelessly linking multiple remote sensors provides solution for petroleum industry.

by / January 12, 2007
MachineTalker, Inc., developer of smart wireless security networks and tracking systems, has been selected to provide the wireless network to monitor fluid level sensors in multiple fuel storage tanks at one of the country's largest petroleum refining and storage facilities. This initial installation, sold by and under the name of the company's OEM Sense-Comm Technology, LLC, will be the prototype for extending the Talkers into all related areas of measurement, process control and security for the Petroleum Industry.

"Using a Java-based API, MachineTalkers can be programmed to monitor events, maintain records and service all types of sensors," according to Roland F. Bryan, company president and CEO. "In one application they monitor and report on goods in transit and the shipping containers themselves; in another, they permit external connection of industrial sensing devices. In both applications the same Talker product is used, differing only in their respective software."

The MachineTalker can read sensors, assess values, log results and report over network connections from remote sites. External access can be through modems, Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection to industrial networks, satellite links or gateways to the Internet.

For certain applications the large-pin gold contact connectors allow the sealed units to service low voltage analog and digital signals produced by the different sensors. In addition, Sense-Comm's product versions include specialized enclosures for hazardous locations with industrial grade connectors to protect against water and corrosive agents in harsh environments. These latter enclosures meet Class 1, Div 1 & 2 requirements.

The first series of sensors include radar-based fluid level detectors, readings from power-factor meters, current probes, flow, pressure and motion detectors. The Talkers have also been made to record vibration and presence of certain gases.

Bryan concluded, "We are very excited to have MachineTalkers that will perform in these applications. By monitoring levels and other parameters in fuel tanks, and sending that information via satellite to a central monitoring facility, huge tank farms will be made safer and managed in a more environmentally aware fashion -- all at a cost savings to the industry."