Here is the answer to this question now:
Gasometer is a solution to a problem the majority of households in the arab world and emerging markets face frequently. Here is the problem, the solution and why it is innovative.
In the Arab world, Africa and other emerging markets, gas is consumed via tanks. There are no pipes that distribute propane/ butane gas to households like in developed countries. In order to turn on our ovens, heaters, smokers, we use gas provided by heavy big tanks that weight 13 to 35 Kg on average. These tanks are opaque (not transparent) and therefore, one cannot see how much gas is left in his tank. Frequently, what happens is that while we are in the middle of cooking or consuming gas in any other way, suddenly, our tanks run out of gas.
The current solution to this problem is one of the following: 1) Call the local gas tank distributor and wait for 20 to 40 minutes for him to come and fill/ replace the tank with a filled one. 2) For the fortunate ones, they will have a backup filled tank and it will take them 5 to 10 minutes to swap their tanks.
In addition, low safety standards are present in emerging markets in general. For example, in Lebanon, tanks have been used for 20 years on average and little or no safety checks have been made on these tanks before being refilled and delivered by distributors. Because of this, it is common to hear from time to time of a fire erupting due to gas leakage from old tanks.
With this short story being told for readers that never experienced this way of consuming gas, Gasometer is mainly a solution to 2 problems in the MENA:
1. “Running suddenly out of gas” in the middle of a dinner invitation or while cooking any meal is an annoying issue that occurs frequently and Gasometer will definitely solve this issue. Even if the tank is opaque, the user will know how much is left in his tank. And most importantly, he will no longer wait 20 to 40’ for the gas tank distributor to pass by. The gas distributor will be constantly monitoring your gas tanks levels and will come right on time when your tank run out of gas.
2. “Gas tank leakage” can occur while you are sleeping, eating or even out of your house. Gas tanks are rated as being one of the most dangerous items present in every house. In the unfortunate even of gas leakage, a random spark is sufficient to turn it into fire. Gasometer will alert you if any leakage is happening and will escalate the situation to the required emergency authorities to prevent any dramatic consequences that might result
Our product, Gasometer, will allow all households using “Gas Tanks” to know the percentage of gas left in their tanks. With Gasometer, the amount of gas left is no longer a mystery. Gasometer will insure that users will never run out of gas neither while they’re cooking nor when they are in the middle of a fancy dinner they are hosting. With a 0.5% of accuracy, Gasometer will be constantly displaying the gas percentage remaining and will alert the user whenever 15, 10 and 5% of the gas level has been reached. In addition, Gasometer is a smart device, part of the internet of things, that will allow gas distributors to know when the tank is about to run out of gas, let them contact users on their smart phones and deliver a filled tank right on time and to the exact location! No more waiting!
But, that’s not all. Gasometer also offers a security function and will notify the user whenever a gas leakage is happening. It is equipped with a gas sensor that can sense the concentration of propane gas in the air and instantaneously alerts users whenever their tank is leaking regardless where they are. Gasometer will first beep, allowing for households to stop the leakage by turning off the tank. If leakage is still there, Gasometer will notify users on their smartphones and directly contact emergency authorities if need be.
Now how does it look like? Gasometer consists of: 1) a scale over which we place the tank and measure its weight to estimate how much gas is left, and 2) an indicator that you can stick on top or next to any gas consuming application. This indicator, connected wirelessly to the scale, will display the percentage of gas left in the tank while having the gas sensing technology also embedded in it. Moreover, the indicator will be connected to the cloud allowing for direct communication of information with gas distributors, emergency authorities and users’ registered phones. From the user side, all what is required is to input one information specified by the distributor: the initial weight of the liquefied gas present in that tank, if the tank is newly bought. If users want to install Gasometer on an already used tank, users would also need to input the empty weight of the tank. That’s it, Gasometer will take care of the rest.
3. Uniqueness and Innovation
Our solution is unique and innovative for the following 6 reasons:
1. Continuous measurement: Gasometer provides continuous measurement of the gas level within your tank. It will beep when 15, 10 and 5% levels are reached and a red led light will turn on when 5% has been reached alerting the user to change his gas as soon as possible.
2. Wireless Connection: One can put the gas tanks outside his kitchen (i.e. on the balcony) and stick the indicator above or next to his oven and have the percentage of gas remaining displayed. One would not have to open the balcony on a cold weather to check his gas level
3. Measurement with 0.5% accuracy: Ability to detect small changes in the gas level allowing the user to know his exact gas level with high accuracy.
4. Internet of Things: Gasometer will connect to 3 parties – gas tank distributors, emergency authorities and registered users’ phones and will ensure continuous exchange of information between these 3 parties
5. Highly Safe: Gasometer involves 0 risk since there is no connection to the tank, hence 0 chances of gas leakage.
6. Universal Usage: Gasometer could be used for any tank, regardless of its size. User only needs to input 2 information in the beginning.