Companies with large vehicle fleets often utilize dedicated fueling depots distributed across the country for their fueling needs. These differ from typical gas stations because the fuel is sold at a negotiated rate and the payment is handled separately from the fueling. This strategy reduces fuel costs and speeds up the fueling process.
In order for this process to operate efficiently, the fuel pumps must be connected to a central management system that monitors the fuel dispensed and allows authorized drivers to dispense fuel. DMC developed an automated system to provide access control and monitor fuel dispensed. We selected an industrial embedded Linux module (BeagleBone Black) for the main processor because it provided a good balance between performance and cost. It easily met the high-level requirements for internet connectivity (via a cellular modem), local database storage and serial communications. The BeagleBone was also a good candidate for the low-level requirements of controlling pumps and interfacing with pulsed totalizing flow meters.
DMC also developed an embedded main board that features a wide variety of communication interfaces as well as a supercapacitor-based backup power system. This provides enough stored energy to safely shut down the system after sending a warning message to the backend server when power is lost. The new system will streamline the fueling process and greatly improve the administration and management of hundreds of fueling stations across the USA.
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