Fuel monitoring: looking for answers inside the tank

CCHRC researcher Vanessa Spencer dips the tank to check the fuel level.

CCHRC researchers are taking advantage of the last few months of winter to test several methods to monitor fuel use at the household level.  The study, funded by the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, is an attempt to identify a cost-effective and accurate method to monitor heating oil consumption across Alaska.  That data could then be used to evaluate whether state energy efficiency targets are being met.

Several different monitoring systems have been set up on both a boiler and a Toyo stove.  The systems vary in price and level of complexity. They include a floating gauge, ultrasonic fuel level sensors, electrical monitoring equipment, pressure transducers, flowmeters, scales and more.  Researchers will collect data from all the systems for one month before beginning to analyze and compare the systems. This summer, CCHRC will prepare a research report detailing how each system worked, how to set it up and collect data, how much the system cost, and the pros and cons of using it.