Norgas makes its LPG tanks smart
With an area of 1,139,000 km, Colombia is about three times the size of Germany. This confronts energy providers such as Norgas, who have to supply liquefied gas to customers in even the most remote locations in the country, with difficult tasks. To ensure a continuous gas supply, Norgas has been equipping its customers' gas tanks with smart remote monitoring technology from RCT across the country since October 2021.
"Geographical access to our gas customers is difficult due to their remote locations," explains Dr. Luis Carlos Peña Rincón, of Norgas in Bogota, Colombia. "But it is immensely important for us to know exactly the status of tank levels and the needs of our customers, who are located throughout Colombia," adds the Logistics Manager. The company's goal is clearly defined: The utility wants to be a leader in providing energy solutions to industrial, commercial and residential customers in Colombia – wants to offer end-users even better service and, in the process, improve its position compared to competitors. "We can only achieve this through an intelligent liquefied petroleum gas distribution network that makes our customers' needs transparent and creates the basis for a continuous gas supply."
Norgas evaluated many different types of tank monitoring technology and discovered RCT tank monitoring LEVELview technology provided the reliability and efficiency they were looking for.
In order to maintain a full overview of the customer tanks and be able to react quickly to any energy shortages, Norgas has been equipping a total of 200 liquefied gas tanks and 80 liquefied gas storage tanks with digital remote monitoring technology from RCT since October 2021. In this way, the energy supplier is creating new opportunities for itself in the management of its logistics and the distribution of liquefied gas. "In addition to maximum visibility into tank levels, we can now also detect any unconventional energy consumption," explains Dr. Luis Carlos Peña Rincón.
Full transparency through LEVELview
The new transparency is made possible by RCT's LEVELview.LPG, a modular remote monitoring system of tank levels that is easily installed on LPG tanks via plug & play. The monitoring system uses Sigfox transmission technology for this application – also features technologies such as Cellular 4G/3G/2G, LTE, NB-IoT, LoRa-WAN, Cat M1, RF or WiFi as required. The fill level is measured contact-free via a Hall-effect sensor.
With the web-based "RCT Monitor" platform, the fill levels can be precisely monitored locally and globally. With the Web App solution, Norgas can be informed automatically by mail, push message, SMS or directly via its proprietary ERP system when the tank content is nearing its end. Other smart services include history and consumption data at defined times, projections of remaining tank capacity, information on the best possible time for refueling, and emergency call functions in the event of malfunctions.
Access to customers at last
"All of our sales managers throughout Columbia are now using RCT technology, giving them direct access to their customer applications. The RCT system helps our sales team and creates significant sales advantages for us," enthuses Dr. Luis Carlos Peña Rincón of Norgas
The logistic in a country like Colombia represents a huge challenge, therefore NORGAS has investigated the new IoT technologies used to manage the distribution. The company's goal is clearly defined:
- The Gas provider wants to be a leader in providing energy solutions to industrial, commercial and residential customers in Colombia – wants to offer end-users even better service and, in the process, improve its position compared to competitors.
- They knew that they can achieve this through an intelligent liquefied petroleum gas distribution network that makes their customers' needs transparent and creates the basis for a continuous gas supply.
NORGAS evaluated many different types of tank monitoring technology and discovered RCT tank monitoring LEVELview technology provided the reliability and efficiency they were looking for.
Several IoT technologies were evaluated, and the best result was reached with the transmitter series LEVELview.
Specifications of solution installed:
- LEVELview.LPG transmitter including
- Hall effect sensor (comp. Rochester junior and Magnetel)
- Battery pack (fully encapsulated for Ex1),
- Magnetic base antenna
- Ex-Zone 1/0 TPS 19 ATEX 053142 0010
After 2 months, the customer highlighted the following benefits of the solution:
- Their LPG tanks were fully under control. They could automatically collect LPG tank fill levels, analyse consumptions, determine requirements, schedule fill times and routes, etc.
- All data available online on PC and smartphone – based on the RCT- Monitor platform.
- The RCT system helps to centrally monitor the tank levels of most remote customers.
- RCT provides a modular system that enables fast setup and safe operation. The “plug & play” principle makes installation quick and easy.
“RCT Monitor is a logistics managers dream because you know exactly what’s in the tanks, and you know it a week ahead of time. It’s just so simple to dispatch loads and keep bulk plants full”.
“What I am most thrilled about is how happy my customers are with the app! Using these tank monitors, I was able to provide a solution to a problem for a great customer and further solidify our relationship. This has been a total win-win for both my customer and my company”.
Dr. Luis Carlos Peña Rincón, from Norgas in Bogota, Kolumbien