As reports of fuel theft increase across the UK, leading fuel management firm Vectec is offering an innovative, comprehensive solution to counteract the growing use of powerful pumps capable of lifting hundreds of litres of diesel every minute.
The first of its
kind, the new Metron4 24-hour fuel theft detection system is making waves for
its groundbreaking technology which measures fuel through rate of change
functionality, rather than simple quantity sensors.
The revolutionary Metron4 system has been introduce in response to a growing number of Vectec clients storing diesel at unmanned sites, leaving themselves vulnerable to attack. The fully customisable system enables users to configure the trigger sensor based on individual usage levels on site, sparking a site-based beacon and klaxon, along with email notifications to designated staff, upon the pre-defined rate of change being witnessed. The integrated UPS ensures that the system continues to operate as normal even in the absence of mains power for effective and efficient response to theft.
Vectec notes that the impact of fuel theft can extend far beyond the cost of the fuel itself. The advanced drilling techniques utilised by thieves today can create an urgent need for site cleanup which can, in many cases, amount to more than the cost of the lost fuel due to the potential severity of flooding.
Vectec’s Simon Fowler said, “When we heard about this growing problem from our clients, our first response was to identify an existing solution that would tick all the boxes, yet we found that a solution that met our strict standards didn’t seem to exist. We found that many of the pre-existing solutions out there were known for their false alerts caused by external factors, so as fuel management experts we came together to design and develop our very own detection system that looks at the rate of fuel change over a set period.”
The new system comes at a time when thieves are understood to be taking between 1,000 and 30,000 litres of fuel at a time from often unmanned sites such as ambulance stations, fire stations, and council premises.
“We heard of one site that had 20,000 litres taken on a single night, and given the circumstances they were actually very lucky,” added Fowler, who notes that had the thieves targeted the tank from the side, an additional 10,000 litres would have been lost and left to drain across the site, and eventually into the drains.
Fowler believes that, prior to the new Metron4 system, options for addressing this growing problem had been limited. Standard anti-theft devices typically feature float switches or ultrasonic sensors which, while suitable for addressing drop level, can be affected by factors such as vibration or wind, causing unnecessary time, money, and stress through false alerts and notifications.
The new system utilises rate of change technology which ensures that alerts are only sent in instances of real risk. Simple to install, Vectec’s new solution can be used on existing above ground and below ground tanks, requiring only a 1” BSP socket, making it easy to install across a selection of sites.