Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 12-03-2019, 09:55 AM   #1
Guru
 
CaptTom's Avatar
 
City: Southern Maine
Country: USA
Vessel Model: Prairie 36 Coastal Cruiser
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 1,910
Fuel Flow Monitoring Equipment - Why So Expensive?

The FlowScan thread reminded me of a question I've always had, but I didn't want to hijack that thread.

Why are these sensors so expensive? OK, I get that the computers to tally up the pulses and spit out N2K require a lot of design and coding work, even thought the parts are dirt cheap.

But surely flow sensors which do nothing but send out a pulse shouldn't cost more than a few bucks.

These are the kinds of things I ponder when I'm stuck inside on a snowy day...
__________________
Advertisement

CaptTom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2019, 09:58 AM   #2
Guru
 
tiltrider1's Avatar
 
City: Seattle
Country: USA
Vessel Name: AZZURRA
Vessel Model: Ocean Alexander 54
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 1,607
No demand and no competition. Other words, Supply and Demand, no demand so very little supply.
__________________

tiltrider1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2019, 10:39 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
stevemitchell's Avatar
 
City: Seattle
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Rendezvous
Vessel Model: Ocean Alexander 420 Sundeck
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 316
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiltrider1 View Post
No demand and no competition. Other words, Supply and Demand, no demand so very little supply.
I had just been thinking about the same thing over the last week (and bought a system last night!) but you have it in one. Stand alone systems can't be a huge business, especially since most new engines come with this built in.
__________________
Steve Mitchell - Editor SeaBits.com
m/v Rendezvous
1988 Ocean Alexander 420 Sundeck
stevemitchell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2019, 03:49 PM   #4
Guru
 
CaptTom's Avatar
 
City: Southern Maine
Country: USA
Vessel Model: Prairie 36 Coastal Cruiser
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 1,910
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevemitchell View Post
Stand alone systems can't be a huge business, especially since most new engines come with this built in.
Good point, I'd forgotten that. I always figured that's why FlowScan went out of business in the first place.

So I guess there's no market for a fairly priced monitor which uses inexpensive off-the-shelf sensors. Another business plan down the tubes!
CaptTom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2019, 04:12 PM   #5
Guru
 
Pau Hana's Avatar


 
City: Seattle, WA
Country: Good Ol' US of A!
Vessel Name: Pau Hana
Vessel Model: 1989 PT52 Overseas Yachtfisher
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 2,109
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptTom View Post
Good point, I'd forgotten that. I always figured that's why FlowScan went out of business in the first place.

So I guess there's no market for a fairly priced monitor which uses inexpensive off-the-shelf sensors. Another business plan down the tubes!
Nope- I think there's a huge market for that idea. While most modern diesels (say, post 2000 or so) have the fuel low data available internally, there are far more boats that have mechanical diesels that have a need for a good system that won't break the bank.
__________________
Peter- Marine Insurance Guru & tuna fishing addict!

1989 52' PT Overseas yachtfisher
Pau Hana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2019, 05:06 PM   #6
TF Site Team
 
Larry M's Avatar
 
City: JAX, FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Hobo
Vessel Model: Krogen 42-120
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 8,212
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pau Hana View Post
...mechanical diesels that have a need for a good system that won't break the bank.
Yup. When we went looking to replace our FloScan system that was damaged, I looked at systems that had good support and/or had been around for awhile. You still have to install it. We have a single engine so only 2 fuel sensors (supply and return) but you have to cut into the fuel system, plus power and data to the helm. As they say, “you only want to do it once”.

There’s not much out there. We looked at Maretron but with the 2 sensors plus the fuel flow monitor it was north of $1,000 on a deal. FloScan was south of that at the time and that’s who went with. It was still expensive but it’s a boat and no regrets.
Larry M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2019, 05:42 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
stevemitchell's Avatar
 
City: Seattle
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Rendezvous
Vessel Model: Ocean Alexander 420 Sundeck
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 316
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pau Hana View Post
Nope- I think there's a huge market for that idea. While most modern diesels (say, post 2000 or so) have the fuel low data available internally, there are far more boats that have mechanical diesels that have a need for a good system that won't break the bank.
Really? A huge market? Maybe huge for old boats, but that market itself is not that huge when it comes to comparing it to non-marine electronics. The marine industry in general is small, and you can find many companies that have had electronics of some type which have tried to make something for much cheaper than the status quo who are now out of business. I have at least 10 different devices that I can think of that fall into this category...

It's definitely a market, just not huge in the grand scheme of things. The other big thing that generally kills these smaller businesses is support.
__________________
Steve Mitchell - Editor SeaBits.com
m/v Rendezvous
1988 Ocean Alexander 420 Sundeck
stevemitchell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2019, 05:51 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
City: Seattle, WA
Country: USA
Vessel Model: Willard 47' Dover Trawler
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 108
The major reason they are so expensive for diesel engines is because they have to be extremely accurate. You are not just measuring flow in one direction, you are measuring it in two directions and subtracting that to get the number in which you are interested. For engines like Detroits, where the return is huge, the actual net flow is but a small percentage of of the total flow. So, if you have a reasonable 3% positive error going in and a reasonable 3% negative error in the return, the net error will be huge.

Plus, you have hot fuel coming out of the engine and you have to compensate for that as well. And you need to add pulsation dampeners.

I paid a lot for the floscans on my Detroits. I wouldn't do it again.
__________________

SteveD is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:40 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012
×