Increasing prices of fuel and oil alone should be a good reason for fleet managers to adopt accurate dispensing systems. In addition to protecting producers from theft and providing accurate accounting, there's an even more important reason for accurate monitoring.

Some of the largest fines levied against producers have been for violations resulting from spills and leaks. In addition, the producer must pay to clean the site.

Fortunately for producers who still maintain their own fueling and lube centers, there's a new safeguard that can alert managers of leaks. OPW Fuel Management Systems, a Hodgkins, Ill., manufacturer of fuel dispensing equipment, recently introduced a high-tech hydrocarbon sensor suited for the harsh conditions of a concrete plant. Using a newly developed technology, the sensor almost instantaneously detects the unwanted presence of hydrocarbons and/or water.

The new Mag Sump Sensor, which is sold as a component to the manufacturer's SiteSentinel iSite automatic tank gauge system, uses a patented magnetostrictive technology. The sensor features a patent-pending float design allowing for early float liftoff for either water or fuel. In field tests, engineers discovered their technology provides faster reaction times than other sensor systems.

Engineers designed this sensor to be quickly returned to service. It is durable so techs can reuse it immediately after the detection process, and its design eliminates costly replacements and expensive service calls.

Constant vigilance

When the sensor detects any type of liquid in the containment sump, it notifies the iSite system. The system then alerts the designated site contact person of a problem. For remote plants, managers can also program the system to shut down the dispensing operation if hydrocarbons are detected or continue the operation when only water is detected.

It also provides a full range of warnings. Site owners can be immediately notified if the sensor has been moved from its original installation position on the bottom of the containment sump or dispenser pan. This assures the site is under continuous monitoring if a leak occurs.

It warns for fuel, water, improper position, and sensor disconnect. These irregularities are indicated by an audible alarm and visual indication, as well as a printed message on the iSite console. They are also recorded as part of the iSite console Alarm History Report.

OPW's Mag Sump Sensors limit the number of wires needed for connection to the console. The VSmart module, the line leak detector, and any additional system devices such as a sensor and probe can be connected to the iSite console through a wireless Ethernet or a single, twisted-pair wire interface.

The VSmart module automatically detects if the device is connected and sends the connection configuration directly to the iSite console.

A configuration flowchart used by the Automatic Detection Configuration (ADC) feature is built directly into the iSite.

For more information on the Mag Sump Sensors or SiteSentinel iSite system, visit the OPW Fuel Management Systems' Web site atwww.opwfms.com.