Tank Utility: Keeping you warm all winter long
Tank Utility: Keeping you warm all winter long
Our smart meter gives you visibility to monitor your propane tank level and usage. Rest assured you won't be left out in the cold.
Our smart meter gives you visibility to monitor your propane tank level and usage. Rest assured you won't be left out in the cold. Read more
About this project
The smart meter for your propane tank
If you use propane, you know what a pain deliveries can be. Or even worse, you or someone you know has probably had a propane-related disaster. Running out is not only a risk of being uncomfortable, it can lead to a costly and frustrating nightmare of frozen pipes and flooding.
We've engineered the first consumer-centric remote propane monitor to ensure that you always know your tank's fuel level and get alerts when you are running low. It will also give you visibility into your consumption history and help you identify usage anomalies and leaks.
We're offering discounted pricing through kickstarter to pre-purchase way below the expected retail price tag of $199.
The app enables you to see pricing options and order a delivery directly from your smart phone or computer.
We’ve already tested several prototypes and have a proven, market-ready propane smart meter design. Now it's time to make it available to you so that you're in control of your fuel.
What the smart meter does
Connecting to your existing WiFi network, the smart meter allows you to track your propane usage through an app on your smartphone or by logging in through the web. You will also be able to personally tailor when and how you'll receive alerts when your fuel is running low, as alerts can be sent through email or text message.
Allowing you to leverage your tank level data is our goal. As such, we've also created an open rest API. If you're working to automate your home, we're here for you.
How it works
The propane smart meter was built to be as simple as possible.
Each unit employs a Hall effect sensor which clicks into your existing propane gauge. Check out the compatibility graphic below to find out if your existing gauge face will support the smart meter. If you don't have a compatible gauge face, they are easy to replace and R3D gauge faces cost around $10.
Now that we've discussed the basics of how the technology works, here are some aspects highlighting the simplicity and reliability of the device.
- Self-installation takes just a few minutes. Mount to your tank surface with built-in magnets or use through-holes for other surfaces.
- Operating temperatures from -40 degrees Farenheit to 120 degrees Farenheit
- The water-tight enclosure meets NEMA-4X rating specifications, meaning it is fully waterproof
- 3+ years of battery life (You will be alerted when your battery life reaches 20%)
- 2.4GHz 802.11 b/g/n WiFi range is up to 300 ft
What do you get from purchasing a smart meter?
- Tank Utility's remote propane smart meter
- 15-foot cable connecting Hall effect sensor and transmitter enclosure
- 3 AA batteries
- Peace of mind knowing you won't run out of propane
Who is Tank Utility for?
- Homeowners who rely on propane fuel to heat their home
- Second homeowners who want to monitor their property's fuel levels when they're not there
- Home automation enthusiasts
"It’s a potentially useful innovation for anyone who doesn’t make it a habit of checking their fuel levels daily. And it’s a potential life-saver for owners of seasonal vacation homes, with frozen pipes and flooding posing big risks to that investment." -- Jessica Van Sack / Boston Herald
Why are we doing Kickstarter?
We decided to turn to Kickstarter because we're confident that we have developed a smart meter that is ready for manufacturing. We're using it on our homes, and it's time to share it with you.
By setting a goal of $20,000, we'll be able to cover the costs of certifications and manufacturing your smart meter.
What to expect during and after Tank Utility's Kickstarter launch
From the entire team at Tank Utility, we want to thank you for your support. We can't wait to deliver your propane smart meter to you.
It's taken a huge collaborative effort to develop this smart meter, but you have given us so much motivation and always pushed us past every deadline and obstacle. We are excited about our future working to bring you all the services and expertise necessary to get the most out of your propane usage.
Again, we could not have come this far without you.
Risks and challenges
We're very confident in the functionality of the smart meter since we've already been testing and refining our design. However, as a supporter of other Kickstarter projects, we've seen other projects experience delays due to FCC/UL certification delays, securing a partner for manufacturing, or even component fulfillment. We know that can be frustrating, so we're already working to address those issues in advance of meeting our goal. Rest assured that we'll be thorough in our communication of any unforeseen setbacks.
Additionally, we're aware that there may be some kinks to work out after the original batch of the devices are shipped, so that's why we're leveraging a beta tester program. The hardware we are using is solid and tested and will be leveraged for our beta testers. Our user interface is functional, but additional work is needed to make it more secure and intuitive.
Another obstacle that we're prepared to deal with is that of a very high demand. We'll be working with new teammates as we transition into large-scale manufacturing. While the team we'll use for manufacturing will be selected based on quality and timeliness, teaming with new people always brings risk.
The most obvious challenge we face is missing our funding goal. We certainly don't have any plan on falling short, but if we do, that is by no means the end to Tank Utility's effort. We believe in the need for this device, and we'll continue to find a way to make it available to you.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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