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Old 10-16-14, 12:45 PM   #1
ethan_b
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Default Device offers solutions to propane issues

Hello Everyone,

I have been working with a new energy startup in Boston called Tank Utility. We have developed a WiFi-connected smart meter which allows people to remotely monitor their propane usage through a mobile-first, web-based app on their smartphone or computer.

We are in the early stages of our production, but our device is market ready and we are really interested in gaining some feedback and your general impressions of how this could possibly help you.

Our founder came up with this idea after he ran out of propane last winter and had to pay quite a price due to the resulting water damage his home endured. Our main goal is to make sure propane users and suppliers operate more efficiently.

Take some time to Google Tank Utility and check us out. Feel free to share any thoughts you may have. We really want to get a conversation started so that we can add some images of the device onto the forum.

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Old 10-16-14, 12:57 PM   #2
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Default Image of Tank Utility's propane monitor

Here is a look at our propane smart meter prototype:
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Old 10-16-14, 05:21 PM   #3
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I really like the idea behind this product. Propane has traditionally been the one fuel that is hard to determine the remaining quantity of, especially with large home heating tanks. With fuel oil you can check the level, with methane you can check your usage on the meter, with electric heat(heat pump, et al) you've got your meter there and plenty of other options such as a TED. Until you posted this, I hadn't seen an easy way to keep track of usage or determine the tank quantity. Weighing the tank isn't practical and trying the 'heat up the tank to measure see where the liquid level is' method would be a serious pain in sub zero weather.

..and I thought it was a nuisance when my gas grill runs out of propane. That would be rough calling the propane guy late January when propane is expensive and you've run out and you've got a nagging wuss wife and kids complaining about the temperature.
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Old 10-16-14, 05:43 PM   #4
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Does it read tank pressure or does it meter the volume used ?

If the device meters the consumption then I am sold on it.

If it does a pressure guesstimate does it employ temperature and altitude compensation in its measurements ?

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Old 10-17-14, 09:06 AM   #5
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Default Response to ecomodded

It is great to hear you have such an interest in the device! To answer your question: The propane monitor uses the mechanical float inside your existing tank to measure the volume of your liquid propane. The monitor is automatically calibrated, so you don't have to worry about that issue.

Let us know if you have any other questions you would like answered.
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Old 10-19-14, 02:38 PM   #6
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Our winters are quite a bit warmer here. I advise most folks with propane to go with heat pump hybrid. Primary heat from heat pump and propane for auxillary back up. Operating cost of a good 14 seer heat pump is cheaper than propane, especially if you refill in the heating season. Plus it reduces most of your propane use.
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Old 10-19-14, 08:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ethan_b View Post
It is great to hear you have such an interest in the device! To answer your question: The propane monitor uses the mechanical float inside your existing tank to measure the volume of your liquid propane. The monitor is automatically calibrated, so you don't have to worry about that issue.

Let us know if you have any other questions you would like answered.
That is what I do. Use the mechanical float inside my tank, hooked to the guage on my tank, to measure the volume of my liquid propane. I just can't do it from my Lazy Boy. lt190b
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Old 10-20-14, 09:40 AM   #8
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I am really appreciating the interaction so far. I wanted to pose a question here, though.

I would like to hear from a broader spectrum of you all letting us know if you truly see a need for this type of technology. If it were to be available on the market, would you be interested in purchasing one and at one kind of price point.

We feel our smart meter is market ready, so we want to see what the market is like out there.
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Old 10-21-14, 04:00 PM   #9
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We have really enjoyed the viewership on this forum and want to thank you for the feedback you have provided.

For those of you who are interested, our Kickstarter campaign is live!
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Old 10-21-14, 04:01 PM   #10
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You can check out the Kickstarter by visiting http://kck.st/1yVTj56

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