Petrol station Automatic Tank Gauge manufacturer.
A petrol station, filling station, gas station, fueling station, service station, garage, gasbar, petrol pump or petrol bunk (India) is a facility which sells fuel and lubricants for motor vehicles. The most common fuels sold are petrol (known as gasoline in Canada and the U.S.) or diesel fuel.
Fuel dispensers are used to pump petrol (gasoline in Canada and U.S.), diesel, CNG, CGH2, HCNG, LPG, LH2, ethanol fuel, biofuels like biodiesel, kerosene, or other types of fuel into vehicles. Fuel dispensers are also known as bowsers (in Australia)., petrol pumps (in Commonwealth countries), or gas pumps (in North America).
Many filling stations also have small "convenience stores", and some also sell propane or butane and have added shops to their primary business. Conversely, some chain stores—supermarkets, discount superstores, warehouse clubs, and traditional convenience stores—offer filling stations on premises.
The term "gas station" is mostly used in the Canada and the United States, where the fuel is known as "gasoline" or "gas". In some regions of Canada, the term "gas bar" is used. Elsewhere in the English-speaking world, where the fuel is usually known as "petrol", the form "petrol station" or "petrol pump" is used. In the United Kingdom and South Africa "garage" is still commonly used, even though the petrol station may have no service/maintenance facilities which would justify this description. Similarly, in Australia, the term service station ("servo") describes any petrol station. In Japanese English, it is called a "gasoline stand". In Indian English, it is called a petrol pump or a petrol bunk. In some regions of America and Australia, filling stations have a mechanic on duty, but this is uncommon in other parts of the world.
Number of petrol stations worldwide
●As of 2007, there were 9,271 petrol stations in the U.K, down from about 18,000 in 1992.
●The USA had 121,446 filling stations ( gas stations ) in 2002 according to the Census.
●In Canada, the number is on the decline to about 14,000.
●In Japan, the number is on the decline to about 50,000.
●In China, the number is on the decline to about 30,000.
●In following countries number of stations is rising.
●Turkey - 12,139 (2008)
●Mexico - 8,200 (2008)
●Nigeria has perhaps 4,700 PS (2007)
●South Africa - 6,500 PS
●Kenya perhaps - 1,300 PS
●Tanzania - 1,000
●Malawi – 500
History of filling stations
The first places that sold gasoline/petrol were pharmacies, as a side business. The first gas/petrol station was the city pharmacy in Wiesloch/Germany, where Bertha Benz refilled the tank of the first automobile on its maiden trip from Mannheim to Pforzheim and back in 1888. Since 2008 a Bertha Benz Memorial Route commemorates this event.
A typical filling station
Most filling stations are built in a similar manner, with most of the fueling installation underground, pump machines in the forecourt and a point of service inside a building. Single or multiple fuel tanks are usually deployed underground. Local regulations and environmental concerns may require a different method, with some stations storing their fuel in container tanks, entrenched surface tanks or unprotected fuel tanks deployed on the surface. Fuel is usually offloaded from a tanker truck into the tanks through a separate valve, located on the filling station's perimeter. Fuel from the tanks travels to the dispenser pumps through underground pipes. For every fuel tank, direct access must be available at all times. Most tanks can be accessed through a service canal directly from the forecourt.
Older stations tend to use a separate pipe for every kind of available fuel and for every dispenser. Newer stations may employ a single pipe for every dispenser. This pipe houses a number of smaller pipes for the individual fuel types. Fuel tanks, dispenser and nozzles used to fill car tanks employ vapor recovery systems, which prevents releases of vapor into the atmosphere with a system of pipes. The exhausts are placed as high as possible. A vapor recovery system may be employed at the exhaust pipe. This system collects the vapors, liquifies them and releases them back into the lowest grade fuel tank available.
The forecourt is the part of a filling station where vehicles are refueled. Fuel dispensers are placed on concrete plinths, as a precautionary measure. Additional elements may be employed, including metal barriers. The area around the fuel dispensers must have a drainage system. Since fuel sometimes spills on the ground, as little of it as possible should penetrate the soil. Drainage canals in the vicinity of the fuel pumps drain all fluids into a waste container.
If a filling station allows customers to pay at the register, the data from the dispensers may be transmitted via RS232 or ethernet to the point of sale, usually inside the filling station's building, and fed into the station's cash register operating system. The cash register system gives a limited control over the fuel dispenser, and is usually limited to allowing the clerks to turn the pumps on and off, though the process is usually automatic. A separate system is used to monitor the fuel tank's status and quantities of fuel. With sensors directly in the fuel tank, the data is fed to a terminal in the back room, where it can be downloaded or printed out. Sometimes this method is bypassed, with the fuel tank data transmitted directly into an external database.
Some filling stations include tire air pump and automatic car wash facilities with vacuum cleaners.
Underground filling stations
The underground modular filling station is a construction model for filling stations that was developed and patented by U-Cont Oy Ltd in Finland in 1993. Afterwards the same solution was developed in Florida, USA. Above-ground modular filling stations were built in the 1980's in eastern Europe and especially in Soviet Union, but for the stations' lack of fire safety they weren't built in other parts of Europe. The construction model for underground modular filling station makes the installation time shorter, designing easier and the manufacturing less expensive. As a proof of the model's installation speed an unofficial world record of filling station installation was made by U-Cont Oy Ltd when a modular filling station was built in Helsinki, Finland in less than three days, including groundwork. The safety of modular filling stations has been tested in a filling station simulator, in Kuopio, Finland. These tests have included for instance burning cars and explosions in the station simulator.
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