5 Ways IoT Is Innovating The Tank & Storage Industry

Tanks and storage are one of the oldest, most fundamental industries to mankind, and the most recent to see a revolution through IoT Technology.  At the dawn of agriculture, tanks and storage allowed humans were able to store food during throughout the year, initiate commerce, and protect their assets.  Today, this age old technology helps protect everything from fuels and fertilizers to clean or waste water management. Innovators in the industry are using digital-twin IoT Technology to revolutionize this space 


Protect from theft.

Theft in the industry is rampant.  Victims include owners of personal storage tanks as well as industrial size tanks.  Siphoning assets from the tank is commonplace, with the Associate Press reporting that Mexico lost up to $3.5 billion in 2018 from siphoning of its oil tanks and pipes.  With IoT technology, real-time monitoring, and machine learning algorithms, you can know when someone is tapping into your assets. Algorithms that check abnormalities in flow, pressure changes, and other factors can indicate that someone is redirecting your investment elsewhere. 


Monitor the Linings. 

The steel shell of a tank is not the only critical element of the structure. Tank linings, often made with polyurethane or PVC, can be compromised too, and often need regular changing.  Using IoT technology, you can find out when your lining starts to leak, preventing valuable assets from being lost, as well as maintaining safety and regulatory compliance for your organization.


Watch for overflow.

Overflow is a hazard to be remote-monitored as well.  Tanks may be filled improperly and the dimensions of the tank can change with season and temperature.  An overflowing tank can cause leaks, loss of assets or even lead to fires. Remote-monitoring, standardized data collection and machine learning can help you better understand how third parties are interacting with you tanks, so you don’t need to be there monitoring in person.


Monitor for depreciation in the steel, leaks with EDGE-IoT.

The tanks themselves change slightly with the stress of seasons and weather. By using EDGE-IoT & AIoT (Artificial Intelligence of Things) connectivity, you can monitor the change in volume of the tank to see if the changes are attributed to cyclical changes in the tank because of temperature, or if a more hazardous leak has occurred. 


Watch for degradation in the contents of the tank.

Contents within the tanks can change over time.  Instead of sending a diagnostic technician to take samples year-round with expensive lab tests, use a real-time remote monitoring to check to see whether the what you put in the tank months ago, is what you’re getting back out of the tank when it comes to delivery.  Factors like climate change, seasonal temperature variation, or small contaminants can all affect the value of what is stored in your tanks.

Success & Use cases for Digital Twins in IoT Space

Below are 6 success use-cases where Ekatra has made a difference with it digital twin technology.

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ENERGOTOM (Ukraine): Fuel and lubricant Storage: System for Prevention and Detection of Emergencies. Remote Nuclear Power Generator Monitoring 15 Units. Corporate Diagnostic System for seventeen NPP Turbo Generators.

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CHERNOBYL: Remote Compliance Monitoring of ChNPP Radioactive Liquid Radwaste System of Treatment Plant

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NOVARKA (France): Construction Monitoring System and Seismic Monitoring System for the New Safe Confinement of 4th Chornobyl NPP destroyed Unit

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HOLTEC (USA): Remote Monitoring of Storage Facility of Spent Fuel of Chornobyl NPP Process Control and Monitoring System for Intermediate Storage Facility of Spent Fuel of Chornobyl NPP

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ELECTRICITE DE FRANCE (France): Emergency Response Centre for Energoatom

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PACIFIC NORTH-WEST NATIONAL LABORATORY (USA):  Information System of NPP KPIs

Four Ways EDGE-IoT Will Help Executives Improve Their Bottom Line

Compliance is an oft dreaded word in any industry, and have kept many an executive awake at night. Most managers certainly do not think of profitability when they think of the word “compliance”. Traditionally, the term “compliance” refers to a cost-center in your company that is mandated through some sort of regulation. That monitoring of regulation, which Ekatra specializes in, while well intentioned in oft promoting safety in a company. In the past could have been seen as a roadblock, instead of an opportunity, for strengthening of your income statement's and team's bottom line, as well as securing the logistics of the company. However, the risk of Cascading Consequences, shows how managing risk has turned into a multidimensional opportunity for companies to automate their compliance management.

Ekatra’s numerous case studies, which I will present in an upcoming series of articles, illustrates the profound partner IoT can make when it comes to changing our mentality around compliance from an unavoidable cost, to a growth investment. The goal is to make sure your enterprise is not suffering from a missed opportunity cost.

By looking at the value shifts in the industry, we identify four ways Ekatra has already helped its customers, by avoiding a costly Cascade of Consequences -- helping your business move into the future. This is the passive way to raise your quadruple bottom line, without worry about receiving a phone call in the wee hours of the night, to put out fires, both metaphorical and actual:

1. Avoid negative revenue shocks with predictive maintenance

       Your IoT monitoring system is your 21st century insurance policy against operational disruption, which immediately affects your bottom line. 

We saw this value in Ekatra’s EDGE-IoT Technology public utility case study of Consumers Energy. The ability to predict and navigate potential operational issues, like predict if a transformer will stop operating, enables you to be pro-active in the face of impending issues and plan around it, instead of reacting after the damage is done and questions need to be answered. EDGE network technology also monitors the cascade of consequences, and signals the appropriate stakeholder in your company to make sure the right person’s phone rings to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.

2. Avoid negative balance sheet shocks: Protect against asset depreciation

       IoT can help delay depreciation of your tangible assets. In Ekatra’s Case Study of Transformer and Critical Asset Depreciation, we identified three immediate factors where IoT sensing helped actually create value to the balance sheet. Most depreciation tables are not dynamically adjusted at all from the day they are put in place. Thus, there is a missed opportunity to adjust those tables with real-time information to capitalize on if the asset is operating better than it otherwise was expected.

3. Avoid positive cost shocks: Protect against Load Losses and No-Load Losses

       Through Digital Twin technology & case study of critical infrastructure, management teams do no need to worry about receiving a call at 2 a.m. to delegate how a break in the system needs to be managed. With EDGE-IoT technology, the fabric of the IoT technologies are continuously in communication and accountable to each other, efficiently notifying only the relevant stakeholder when issues arise, instead of sounding alarms to the whole company. This means that if a sensor senses something wrong, IoT systems are designed to know who next in the chain of communication needs to be informed, isolating the potential damage and leading automatically to contacting the technical person who is responsible for initiating the immediate work.

4. Avoid negative reputation risk: Twitter and LinkedIn comments can be just as damaging to your business as a disrupted factory.

In the age of digital social media, repetitional risk is just as much a cost risk as a defective device. When it comes to Twitter for example, the greatest risk to companies and the confidence in their service is for consumer to be ahead of the company when it comes to critical news, like a power outage or a safety hazard nearby. The end consumer is almost always aware of issues in real-time, like when the power goes out in a residential house, or your cellular service breakdown, but it is the delay in minutes between the consumers real-time knowledge and your companies awareness that determines how much repetitional loss you have. In fact the only way to guarantee minimizing that loss is to become as real-time aware through sensing as possible.

       In fact, Consumer Power has turned social media into a positive factor in their business, immediately alerting those who might be affected, and even documenting the hard work of their workers who brave weather events and hazardous conditions to help their customers.

Ultimately, to prevent the Cascade of Consequences, compliance needs to be thought of as a necessary pro-active part of every enterprise built for the future.


Nima Veiseh is a thought leader in the space of sustainability, data and distributed technology. He started his career in IoT 15 years ago while a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and holds patents in the fields of IoT, data security, and sustainable infrastructure. He is currently the Director of IoT for Ekatra, and is on the advisory board of several firms. He is an academic researcher who has degrees from Columbia University, The George Washington University, Georgetown University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.