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Technology enables interconnection among autogas refueling locations

January 26, 2024 By    
Connecting multiple autogas stations via the cloud helps propane retailers better serve long-range fleets. (Photo courtesy of Superior Energy Systems )

Connecting multiple autogas stations via the cloud helps propane retailers better serve long-range fleets. (Photo courtesy of Superior Energy Systems)

QUESTION: What’s the value of interconnection for propane marketers? Is there true value in connecting propane autogas refueling locations in a given city – or even multiple states – that are tied into the same cloud-based network?

ANSWER:

Of course. The idea is that a propane marketer can furnish a fleet operator with a singular billing account with price-specific parameters that they are able to use in multiple refueling locations for fleets with extended ranges. Cloud-based service allows access from anywhere on multiple platforms, allowing the marketer to monitor multiple refueling locations at the click of a button, including updating pricing and monitoring fuel levels.

Now compare that with a traditional fleet refueling system that is connected to the dispenser but only accessible on-site. That’s the true value of interconnection, but there is something to be said about convenience as well.

Scott Dougherty

Dougherty

Because software is integrated into an autogas dispenser, it greatly streamlines infrastructure installation and removes “third-party blame,” meaning any issues that arise during use are attributed to one manufacturer, right or wrong. The cloud-based aspect of the system eliminates costly service trips by giving the manufacturer the ability to remotely log into the equipment for troubleshooting.

Another aspect of the troubleshooting benefits of an interconnected system is an integrated log with direct communication to the fueling portion of the dispenser. This gives the service technician insight into what occurred in previous fueling transactions in the instance of a user error. The integration also eliminates the additional footprint of the fuel management pedestal that is otherwise needed, allowing for a more user-friendly approach for the drivers and avoiding fuel management system timeouts.

One example of fleet success with such a system involves a national distribution chain that is utilizing it in multiple states with numerous locations. With this software, the company can generate fueling reports on a national, regional and local level, giving it a large-scale view of its fuel usage and vehicle mileage accumulated.

All of this helps our industry grow, as the fleet can accurately compare its autogas usage to conventional fuels like gasoline and diesel and calculate its overall savings. In addition, it can easily compare vehicle longevity and required maintenance for each of the fuels.

Propane marketers have the opportunity to increase convenience for their customers through the value of interconnection. The key is to engage with a technology partner that can ensure the efficacy of the system.


Scott Dougherty is a sales engineer at Superior Energy Systems. Contact him at scott@superiornrg.com.

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