IoT Blog
IoT Blog

Nube Uses IoT Technology to Simplify Gas Tank Refills

by Cyril Hullin, Vice President Product Marketing, Cloud & Connectivity Services

Nube is a startup company with a vision: to use the latest IoT technologies to build a smarter connected world and enhance communities through better energy management.

When Chris Gnanakone bought a house in scenic Cabo San Lucas on the Mexican coast, he didn’t have plans to start a company. But when he learned how liquid petroleum gas would be delivered to the house, it got him thinking.

In Mexico, as in most of Central and Latin America, liquid petroleum gas used by commercial, industrial businesses and residences is almost unanimously stored on building roof tops. This frees up space on the ground, takes advantage of an area that might otherwise go unused, and gives buildings a more attractive appearance…but the tanks are hard to access. It can be difficult, even dangerous, to reach a tank to take a meter reading. Without meter readings, it’s almost impossible for the gas company and the consumer to know when tanks need a refill.

In order to avoid gas outages when the household tank is unexpectedly empty, some people install two tanks and need to climb onto the roof to switch pipes between tanks. For others, the outage means no gas, no hot water, and no hot cooking until a refill appointment can be scheduled.

Gnanakone had an idea. With cloud-based remote monitoring, gas companies could know exactly who needed a refill and when. The setup would increase efficiency and deliver significant benefits to everyone involved. It was simply too compelling to resist. He started a company and called it Nube, Spanish for cloud.

Nube delivers a complete end-to-end solution that comprises “Telemetry As a Service (TaaS)” seamlessly integrated with Sierra Wireless’s Device-to-Cloud solution. In addition, they provide a cloud Gas Admin Portal for gas companies and a mobile app for the consumers. Gas companies can use the admin portal to monitor customer demand (orders) and integrate the information to plan, schedule and develop delivery schedules in advance. This enables gas companies to optimize their procurement and inventory management and provide better customer service. Where they once had to climb up onto the roof, consumers can use the mobile app on their smartphones or tablet to measure their gas consumption level and place orders in a timely manner.

Read the case study to see how Nube built their IoT vision.