Diesel bowser monitor

Good day Just a quick one my mate here in zululand South Africa has a sugar cane farm and has alot of plant running 24/7 when they harvest he has a gravity fed diesel bowser system he would like me to use nfc cards or tags assigned to each of the plant , so when they come to fill up they scan the card and the bowser will know what plant and how many liters the plant will take max I would like to use a x-bee to transmit the time date, plant nr and how many liters to a computer in the office , its about 300m away , i can manage most of the project its just getting the computer to record the data sent to it that i have never tried before any advise will be greatly appreciated as i am earthworks and civil guy and have been teaching myself arduino programming

To put this into American English. During harvest, you want to have a vehicle, come to any one of many fueling points. (bowsers) then : *identify the vehicle *monitor the fuel added *log the data *send the data

in order to do this, you will need some way to know how many liters of fuel are delivered

the heart of this is going to be in the bowser (fuel tank for dispensing fuel) and since that is the smallest common point, all the vehicles taking fuel only need the NFC Card.

do you have any sort of fuel metering device now so that you can know how many liters are being dispensed ?

also, the 300m, that would be 300 meters ? Xbee is a possible solution, but the newer LoRa can do the job as well.

Since this is a new thing, do you have to use any sort of device to allow fuel to flow now ? In order to force the use of a card, you could require the card be used in order to open a valve before they can take fuel.

The project as I see it has 3 main parts

Identify card / vehicle

Measure fuel delivered

Send data 300 m

the 4th part is to receive and record the data

As a note, there have been ESP8266 units, with directional antenna, and line of sight, that work at more than 300 meters.

Thanks Dave yes the system will be activated with the nfc card wich will identify which plant is going to fill up , operating a solenoid and metering diesel flow than transmitting data over to the office pc the whole aim is to keep track of diesel usage by each of the plant so at the end of the tax year a full report can be sent in for tax at the moment every thing is recorded by hand and his guys on the farm don’t always write down what’s been taken and by what plant he has lost a fourtune to date because he can’t prove that what he claims from the tax man is actually what has been used for work

The first step us to figure out what signals come from the flow meter.

Gettig the card data and the volume are key to the solution.

Also i would add an RTC [ real time clock ] and SD card for local data logging.

Once you have those things in place you would have the heart of a system

I would suggest that a key pad be included for times when there is no card.

What measures the flow of diesel?

You also need to know what the Tax man will accept as proof of usage -he may want signiatures for example, you need to check that first if you haven't already done so.

Weighing a tank is always a good method of measuring content

hammy:
You also need to know what the Tax man will accept as proof of usage -he may want signiatures for example, you need to check that first if you haven’t already done so.

Weighing a tank is always a good method of measuring content
[/quote

You need to spend more time on farms, Hammy.

Paul

Don’t like farms much ..

My point is you may need fiscal quality metering , written signatures etc as proof - just saying best to check first before you build something that is not accepted .

hammy: Don’t like farms much ..

My point is you may need fiscal quality metering , written signatures etc as proof - just saying best to check first before you build something that is not accepted .

Farms of any size buy their Diesel oil in bulk, thousand gallons or more at a time. There is no tax unless they start farming the roads and highways.

Paul

Oh dear my mistake !!! I read ‘max’ as ‘tax’ in the original post .

I’ll go stand in the corner for a while

hammy: Oh dear my mistake !!! I read ‘max’ as ‘tax’ in the original post .

I’ll go stand in the corner for a while

The driving issuse is tax. A farm may get 50.000 litres and on average use 20% for road. So the tax man wants his piece of flesh for 20% However at harvest 95 % might be farm use. If the written log is good enough then the electronic version should be acceptable. But it may be that the office will Transfer to the written log.

The first piece of the puzzle is the flow meter.

Every thing else is pretty clear and easy.

If i were to do this I would save to google sheets

Thanks guys . The S A tax man is happy if u have the invoices proving what was bought and a detailed records of where the diesel was used so a date and time stamp with a plant number and how many liters the reason he wants this is at 3 in morning when the fill up for the day , they dont always recorded what was taken so the tax man accepts that bulk diesel was bought but unless u can prove that it was used to fill plant for work on the farm , he takes it that it was used for private use

Google pages you say thanks ill have a look and see if i can get something working thanks again

google sheets.

it is a web based spreadsheet.

at some point you have the data sent with an ESP8266 to the web and save it to google sheets

One warning is that the larger the file, the longer it takes to open.
not sure how many transactions you would have in a year.
but once I get over about 2,000 I do have to wait about a minute.
The larger the file, the longer it takes for Google to open.

One good thing is that you can save the spreadsheet on your PC.
I usually save a copy, then delete all the data from rows 3 to the end.

here is one example of a BME280 with a high and low temperature every hour.
the first two temperatures are DS18B20 sensors. the next 3 are from the BME280

You can have more columns and could use Tag ID, liters, etc.
The time stamp is from Google based.

It is free from Google on their Google Docs
And, you can have multiple sheets.

Here is a link to a YouTube example. YOUTUBE EXAMPLE

Here is a link to the ESP8266. it can use the same sketch as an Arduino, but has a bit more memory and is a bit faster. however, it has less Digital inputs/outputs and only a single Analog input.

A Beginners Guide to the ESP8266

Just a thought.... since the IoT is changing all the time, it might be a lot easier to use something newer and more point and click. Google Sheets does require you to edit/modify a scrip on the sheet to set the columns.

Some of the IoT sites are not free, some only post what they see from now, and do not log when you are not on-line. I would assume you want to post every time you do a fill up, log the time, the date, the liters, the ID_tag, etc.

if you find google Sheets to be difficult, I would suggest you post to the forum for suggestions. in the year since I started with GoogleSheets, I think a lot has changed.

Thanks so much Dave I will try google sheets and see how it goes he has about 50 different plant from cane loaders to tractors , horse and trailors to pick-ups so it wount be alot of data daily and he must just back up the data once a week or fortnight

Sorry just one more the data logger shield will that capture and store data if the computer in the office is off and will it be able to send the captured data once the computer is back on the reason i ask is this country has random days that Eskom ,our only power supplier, can't keep up with demand and they have, what they call load sheadding where they shut down parts of the grid for a hour or two to ease the load on the the power plants. I know 2020 and we still in the dark ages

So if I can have the system operate even though the mains are off , the diesel bowser system ill run off a battery with mains supply If the pc system could give some sort of a kiss on when the power is restored so that the bowser picks this up and transmit any data that was gathered while the power was off ?