This year’s trade show of petroleum equipment at the Las Vegas Convention Center was the typical smorgasbord of everything you could ever imagine being associated with USTs: tanks, pipes, fittings, sumps, flanges, monitors, pumps, sumps, nozzles, connectors, leak detectors, liners, the works. If you’ve never been to a PEI/NACS Show, you owe it to yourself to see it at least once.
UST technology is not unlike airplanes and iPhones. When they first appeared, we saw lots of fundamental changes and innovations and each year something brand new appeared on the market. But as the markets matured, the major “gee whiz” stuff seemed to slacken off. It’s natural in a market that matures and stabilizes after years of marvelous innovations. So it goes with a UST trade show. That being said however, they are a few things that caught my eye and are worth sharing. We don’t officially endorse products per se but we’re happy to share what we think is cool and upcoming.
Veeder Root’s TLS 450 Plus. Veeder Root, along with other tank monitor manufacturers, is moving away from the old key pad ATG and developing monitors more akin to iPads. A few years back Veeder Root came out with the TLS 450 and this November they’re launching the TLS 450 PLUS. What I noticed right off the bat is the redesign of the navigational layout and the adding of a color screen. It seems much more user friendly than the straight 450. Also the 450 and 450 Plus have a smart phone app you can use to monitor your system remotely. The 450 Plus boasts customized alarms (long overdue) and easy access for government compliance reporting. We’d love to hear your experience when you start coming across these new models.
Franklin Fueling Overfill Prevention Valve Defender Series. Franklin Fueling has developed a new automatic shut off device or “flapper” valve that has the benefit of being able to have the flap function tested per the proposed new EPA rules. It’s also supposed to be vapor tight in the drop tube because it’s held in by magnets versus the old drill-and-bolt method. It doesn’t appear on their web page yet but I suspect they’ll be available shortly.
Vaporless Safety Port. We still see evidence of lazy or foolish line testers who leave a permanent test port BELOW the shear valve so when they come back next year to test again they simply attach to the to port, rather than unthread the plug like they’re supposed to. If a car hits the dispenser and damages the test port, the shear valve is worthless and can fuel leak out BELOW the port. Vaporless has very smartly invented a quick connect port ABOVE the shear valve so in the event of dispenser impact, the Safety Port won’t bypass the shear valve. Operators and testers alike should welcome this device as a time saving measure and inspectors should make sure not to confuse these with the bad ones BELOW the shear valve. Plus you can now test above shear valve to the nozzle tip, a place where many tests do not extend to.