Non-invasive tank monitoring systems

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Peter Areson

Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2020
Messages
17
Location
USA
Vessel Name
Just So
Vessel Make
Mainship 40 Trawler
I know I saw a thread discussing non-invasive, new tank measuring systems for water, blackwater, and fuel in tanks that are hard to access. I believe several used Bluetooth to synch with smartphones for a rough idea of how full or empty the tank is.
Does this ring a bell with anyone?
 
I remember seeing that thread maybe last year or the year before. I don't recall all the options out there, but I installed a new plastic waste tank last year and a new SCAD TM1 to go with it. It has performed very well and very affordable.



It uses stick on strips of foil tape, which then connect to the sensor module. You then program the basic tank shape, empty and full levels, and away you go. The external sensors only work on plastic or fiberglass tanks though.
 
Check out the Phillipi system. Ultrasonic for the tanks Never had an issue in a nearly a decade of daily use. Complete system monitors batteries, alt energy, usage, generators and engines. German engineering and everything spot on. One and done.
 
Gobius Pro, Bluetooth Level Indicator $181 at Marine Sanitation in Seattle uses Bluetooth and external sensors.
 

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Thank you to all!

I am grateful for the suggestions, and am pursuing them.
They ALL seem much better than reinforcing and permanently attaching sensors to my aluminum tanks.
It would be very attractive to know when the fuel is LOW and when the blackwater tank (hard to see) is HIGH!
Stay tuned . . .
 
Thank you!
They MAY have a model that works with metal tanks.
Waiting to hear back from the dealer . . .
Peter A
 
Thank you!
Still trying to reach the dealer in Newport RI for more details, $, and availability.
It looks promising!
PA
 
Many thanks!
I will pursue this device also. Sounds just perfect!
PA
 
Non-Invasive tank monitors

Gobius Pro, Bluetooth Level Indicator $181 at Marine Sanitation in Seattle uses Bluetooth and external sensors.
With special thanks to SYJOS, I've signed up for 3 Gobius Pro units.
I'm not sure if a central unit is worth extra expense (compared with simple Bluetooth communication) but will try using just 3 units on 2 fuel and 1 blackwater tank.
 
Thanks, Cecil.
This would indeed be fine also.
We appreciate the suggestion!
PA
 
Check out the Phillipi system. Ultrasonic for the tanks Never had an issue in a nearly a decade of daily use. Complete system monitors batteries, alt energy, usage, generators and engines. German engineering and everything spot on. One and done.

Read that you have Phillipi onboard and this is maybe a strange question. When I bought the boat I was told I have Phillipi ultrasonic sensors as well. Unfortunately I cannot find which model I have and since they are lying somewhere on the tanks I cannot see them. I have exactly 3 to 4 cm between top of the tank and the deck.
I have found the displays howver, they have an indication, but they seem to change their mind all the time. One moment the display says tank 1 is full, next moment it is half empty etc etc. It does this on all 4 tanks, so am guessing it must be some electricity problem. It would be hard to believe all 4 sensors gave up at the same time. I have 2 displays and both of them have the same problem.
Unfortunately I have not found any manual and since I have no idea which sensors I have I can also not find them on the website of Phillipi.

Did you ever experience these type of problems with your Phillipi sensors and if so, what did you do to correct the problem ?
I know it is a long shot.
 
No it was perfect all the time. But initially you need to calibrate it. It only needed calibration once. Even with periods there was no shore power and the batteries disconnected.
We needed to do a bit of math as our tanks were not perfect rectangles. So as fluid level fell a different amount of fluid per inch of fall of the surface level. The manual is extremely helpful and straightforward. It’s in multiple languages to my memory.

Would suggest taking as many pictures as you can and send them to Phillipi. They will tell you exactly which unit you have, how to set it up and how to troubleshoot. We never needed any troubleshooting but did ned a small amount of advice doing the set up due to irregular shaped tanks. Ours monitored 4 fuel tanks, 2 water tanks, solar, wind and 3 different battery banks. I think they make simpler units as well
 
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Did you mean to say that your black water tank is aluminum? If so be prepared to replace because the urine will eat the aluminum and it will develop pinholes. That is a tank that you don’t want leaking…
 
I've been looking at the Mopeka brand of ultrasonic external water monitor. They have several types of monitors that work on steel propane tanks, etc. Reviews are generally good. Need access the tank bottom to replace a battery every year 3-5 years. Not a problem for my application on my SS water tanks with no sight tubes. They are not intended to work on black water tanks (too many solids) but some have used them for that and claim success. For $70 and a quick stick-on, I may have to just try one and see where it works. Supposedly, it will even work on a steel diesel tank if one has access to the bottom.
 
No it was perfect all the time. But initially you need to calibrate it. It only needed calibration once. Even with periods there was no shore power and the batteries disconnected.
We needed to do a bit of math as our tanks were not perfect rectangles. So as fluid level fell a different amount of fluid per inch of fall of the surface level. The manual is extremely helpful and straightforward. It’s in multiple languages to my memory.
The broker told me they have been installed in 2011 and I can see they have been set up. The total volume is identical to what the display gives as well when the tanks are full.
Problem with the sensors is that I cannot see them at all. The space between the tank and the deck is next to nothing, am still trying to figure out how I can see something between that space. I have the idea they installed them when the (then) new tanks were installed. Probably they were working fine for a while, but now I am having problems with them.
Will try to contact Phillipi and see if they can figure something out.
 
I been been speaking of a prior boat. In her (an Outbound 46) all tanks were integral to the boat and grp. Current boat is a NT42 other than the Al fuel tanks the rest aren’t metal. They are integral and grp (black and grey water).
 
Spoke with Philippi today and got some bad news. According to them the ultra sonic sensors are not for diesel, they are only for clean, grey and black water. So for some reason I have ultra sonic sensors installed on my tanks which were not meant to be for diesel at all. The former owner of the boat did this, he is dead, so no further information possible.
So am thinking about another solution. Has anyone installed glass looking glass tubes as an add on to the tanks ? Would this be a viable option or is it better not to go that direction ?
 
Have you considered a pressure transducer? You can attach it to a fitting on the bottom of the tank and they are incredibly accurate. Maretron sells them but this is something you can also diy.
 

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