Monitoring Generator Fuel Usage Results in Savings for Nex-Tech
Nex-Tech is no different than most Telcos, and performs generator run tests on a regular basis. This practice ensures generators are within operational standards in the event of a power outage. During these tests, we have seen our share of generators fail. Common failures are not starting as scheduled, not turning off after the run test, or even running low on fuel. These can result in network downtime in the event of a power outage.
Documenting generator information has become a regular practice for us over the years and the data can often lead to the detection of issues.
For example, we document:
→ kW size, fuel type, and battery information,
→ GPS coordinates,
→ serial numbers, manufacturer, and engine type,
→ oil filter and oil quality,
→ electric company and electric meter number,
→ start and stop times,
→ start and stop hour meter and fuel levels.
By evaluating generator data, we have been able to uncover trends, such as unusual fuel loss before it becomes service affecting or expensive. When seeing unusual fuel loss and not finding leaks you instantly think of theft.
In one instance we were seeing unusually high propane usage at one of our remote sites. Our propane delivery guy even suggested he had not delivered fuel to a neighbor in a while and that maybe he was stealing our propane.
With this being a remote site in an unpopulated area, we went as far as setting up a game camera, so if he was pilfering fuel, we could catch him in action. However, upon further investigation, we eventually found a leak in the buried line. This leak equated to about a 20% monthly loss, which in a 500-gallon tank easily calculates to a 100-gallon loss per month. Even though we had a 100-gallon fuel loss each month, the data allowed us to identify the issue early, resulting in a much smaller loss.
Until recently, recording fuel levels required someone onsite to read and report the levels. Nex-Tech has since installed Cordell Model 2000 Remote Terminal Units (RTUs) for environmental monitoring and added their sonic fuel sensors.
The fuel sensors work with propane and diesel, providing fuel levels based on tank volume percentage from full to empty, and even alarm when high usage (theft) and other programmable conditions occur.
In September of 2019, Nex-Tech acquired Cordell, Inc. The Cordell team is comprised of network monitoring solution experts that pair nicely with Nex-Tech 24x7x365 network monitoring. Cordell is a leading provider of network solutions for alarms management, engineering, network operational management, and provides contact, analog and environmental monitoring and controls to over 80 network control and traffic centers, and 10,000 field units nationwide. Headquartered in La Verne, California, Cordell is celebrating 41 years of supporting the telecommunication industry
If you would like more information on how Nex-Tech implemented Cordell's GenRun system and fuel sensors to save company money, please contact me, Doug Kuntz, Carrier Access Manager, at 785-754-3100 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.