Case Studies

Market: Electronic Fuel Controllers
Customer Name: Multiforce Systems Corporation
Business Description: Founded in 1981, Multiforce Systems pioneered the concept of an automated fueling system requiring no cards, keys, or other input devices for authorization. A unique blend of software, hardware, and high-speed communications provides easy access to all important fuel data and its simple keypad entry input terminal remains the standard for ease of use and reliability. Today, its FuelForce fueling systems are used by hundreds of customers at more than 1,000 sites across the country.
Problem: Virtually every modern electronic device and system is susceptible to damage from electrical surges. No matter how advanced a system may be, without proper surge protection, it is entirely defenseless against fluctuations in the power it relies on. The more complex and costly the electronics in question are, the more costly the damage that can result from unexpected surges. Understanding the risk at hand, Multiforce Systems turned to Zero Surge to help protect its FuelForce automated fueling systems from the potentially devastating impacts of unexpected surges.
FuelForce controllers are located on fuel islands outdoors where they are susceptible to frequent power fluctuations on a daily basis. Additionally, the controller is typically configured to turn on and off ½ to ¾ horse powered motors located inside the fuel dispenser, essentially creating and exposing the system to its own transient power surges.
Zero Surge Product Used: By utilizing Zero Surge’s OEM open chassis modules, Multiforce was able to effortlessly integrate surge protection directly into the electronics of the controller, offering its customers total peace of mind when it comes to quality surge protection.
Application Details: “Highly advanced electronics are at the heart of all our FuelForce fuel controllers,” said Barry Wennagel of Multiforce Systems. “As Director of Engineering, I’m responsible for the design and manufacture of all FuelForce systems, and after analyzing previous models, I soon realized that surge protection was not incorporated into our controllers – a problem that needed to be addressed immediately. Considering the demanding applications for which FuelForce is utilized and the electronics that needed to be protected, only the most reliable, highest performance surge protection would do. Zero Surge was the only option for us,” added Wennegal.
Further enhancing the feature set of its fuel management system, Multiforce redesigned all of its FuelForce controllers to incorporate Zero Surge’s technology.
Benefits: Unlike inferior surge suppression solutions that shunt excess energy to the “ground” wire and utilize tiny, inexpensive metal oxide varistors (MOVs) to divert surge current, Zero Surge’s power quality filters perform as a tranquilizer on the surge current and absorb even the most destructive strikes, dissipating them harmlessly over the neutral wire, repeatedly. In addition, Zero surge’s non-MOV filters preserve ground wire integrity, which when used with servers and software and communication systems like those in the FuelForce controllers, can help eliminate unwanted and annoying interferences that can corrupt data.
In addition, Zero Surge’s patented Spectrum WVR technology enables operation over a wide voltage range, providing powerline protection from 85 to 265 volts. Fixed clamping voltage components, such as sacrificial metal oxide varistors (MOVs), limit the functionality of surge suppressors, only allowing them to operate over a very narrow voltage range, typically +/- 10%. Moreover, MOV-based surge suppressors have a history of overheating and causing fires. When hit with powerful surges, MOVs have been known to explode, and they deteriorate with use, completely losing their effectiveness with no outward sign of degradation. Zero Surge’s power quality filters are UL certified to withstand up to 10 years of the worst case surge conditions (1,000 surges of 6,000 Volts/3,000 Amps) without failure, and divert surges to the neutral wire rather than the ground.
Testimonial Quote: “The fuel controller environment is very demanding as electronics are exposed to motors being turned on and off and are powered up and down in both hot and cold temperatures. Since incorporating Zero Surge’s high-performance surge suppression technology into our fuel controllers, we have had no reported failures due to power surges. Multiforce now uses approximately 350-400 units per year in its fuel controllers and any new design moving forward will definitely include Zero Surge technology for power protection.” Barry Wennagel, Director of Engineering, Multiforce Systems