Our client develops fuel management and fuel monitoring solutions for road-haulage and fleet vehicle companies. The requirement was for an automated system that could identify the vehicle being refuelled, accurately monitor fuel being dispensed and reduce the opportunity for fraud. Previous systems were either “paper and pen” based or used EEPROM based keys that were prone to contact damage, loss and fraud.
A system was needed that would automatically identify the vehicle being refuelled and allow the quantity of fuel dispensed to be automatically entered into a database and charged accordingly.
A range of moulded “ring tags” using passive RFID transponders were designed and manufactured. These incorporate “mount-on-metal” shielding and were designed to fit around the vehicle fuel tank filler tube. The “ring tags” were designed to be robust (to match the harsh environment they are used in) and chemical resistant, with anti-tamper features to prevent removal without destroying the tag. For the Reader system, a battery powered, very low current consumption reader system was required that fitted inside the nozzle handle with the reader antenna fitted around the neck of the aluminium pipe.. The low-energy reader was specifically required to comply with stringent safety standards for handling fuel and provide acceptable battery life. The nozzle “Reader” accesses the ID and data on the vehicle fuel tank “ring tag” and tr ansmits this infor mation to a data-logging system using a low-power radio system. For this application the RWD-QT-LP (low-power) reader module was used because it offered multi-tag support and can achieve an average current consumption down to 150uA (micro Amps) even when fully active and scanning for tags.