Penn State students to evaluate propane grill tank gauges

September 13, 2013 By    

Sophomore engineering students at Penn State University have set out to evaluate commercially available products used to measure the amount of propane remaining in a barbecue grill cylinder.

James Hendrickson, instructor of engineering at Penn State’s Beaver Campus in Monaca, Pa., assigned the semester project, part of the requirements of the students’ engineering thermodynamics course.

Students are asking manufacturers to submit samples for the study. The Propane GasGenie, distributed by Creative Electronic Products, is one such product involved in the study. The GasGenie, through electronics and temperature sensors, is designed to detect low propane levels in a cylinder with enough time remaining for the user to finish grilling.

Students have identified basic product types for use in the study and are soliciting manufacturers for samples. Students also have been tasked with identifying and contacting a local propane supplier to help with the testing program.

“We are excited about this project here at Penn State as this appears to be a market segment with a low level of awareness and/or technical understanding by consumers,” Hendrickson wrote in an email.

The final report is due in December.

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