With Fuel it, the breakdown is over!

The Fuel it system allows you to know how long your oil tank will last in real time

Engineers from the Côte d’Or have developed a cap that allows you to know the reserve of an oil tank remotely, directly on your smartphone. An innovation 100% made in Burgundy which could seduce the food industry.

Let’s go back to 2015: Emmanuel, a father living in the vicinity of Dijon, runs out of fuel. On a Friday night in winter, there was nothing left to heat the house until Monday morning. An unfortunate story that gave him an idea: create a tank cap that would allow the heads in the air to be warned in real time of the level of fuel remaining in their tanks.

“That’s how the Fuel sens was born. Because until now, there was no connected cap of this type,” summarizes François du Garreau, director of innovation of the Dijon-based start-up Fuel it, whose offices are located on rue des Godrans in Dijon.

In fact, to know the volume of fuel remaining in the tank, there are two solutions: probe it with a stick or install a mechanical gauge. “But in both cases, you have to think about going down to the cellar to check the level. When you know that you have to fill up every eight months or so, it can go out of your mind…”, explains François du Garreau.

Fuel it’s promise is therefore to warn the homeowner, on their smartphone or tablet, when the remaining level becomes critical, giving an estimated time before failure. Fuel sensing also sends an “abnormal level drop” alert in case of theft or leakage, for example.

This sensor just replaces the original cap and requires no installer. It works by emitting an ultrasonic signal into the tank. The data collected is then sent to our servers via the Sigfox or LoRa low-frequency network system, and then redirected to the users’ phones,” explains the innovation director, who specifies that his product is entirely made in Burgundy – the name of the suppliers was not communicated.

What about data protection?

Fuel it engineers ensure that they are in compliance with European requirements and the General Data Protection Regulation ( RGPD). However, they recognize that the data collected by their start-up can be used – but only if the user authorizes it – to optimize the suppliers’ fuel rounds.

To date, Fuel it, which developed with less than €100,000 in budget, has won an innovation grant from the Public Investment Bank (BPI) and has sold about 100 pre-series of its connected sensor. It hopes to market nearly 10,000 units this year to individuals and fuel oil distributors. The start-up is also working on another version of the sensor for the food tank market.

Sigfox and LoRa networks: still waves around us?

Like Orange or SFR, Sigfox is a French cellular network, but only dedicated to the Internet of Things (IOT) which allows objects to communicate with each other, without the need for a cell phone network, or WiFi or Bluetooth. Thanks to low speed communication antennas, a bit like radio antennas, Sigfox receives the information communicated by these connected objects on its servers, before they are sent back to the user mobile applications. According to the operator, more than 2000 antennas have already been deployed in France. Sigfox IOT network covers 94% of the French population. Note that a competing operator is being deployed in the country, called LoRa.

Article written by Marie Morlot.

A huge thank you to the public good for this article, which helps us to make known our innovative solution for a connected oil tank!