Our pioneering technology project scoops Pump Centre award

We’re delighted to have been awarded ‘Project of the Year 2016’ by the Pump Centre, a leading light within the UK’s pump industry. Read more in our press release

Official press release:

Water and wastewater pump energy specialists, Riventa, scooped the Pump Centre’s annual award for its pioneering and highly successful approach to reducing energy costs at Severn Trent Water’s Melbourne Network, part of the water company’s Midlands and mid-Wales area.

The project – at the forefront of a new real-time information-driven approach to water network optimisation – is the first example of using machine-level efficiency and performance measurements for the minimisation of energy costs. These form the foundation for a ‘Decision Support System’ – one that’s able to translate huge volumes of real time data to accurately optimise an entire sub network.

At the centre of the Support System is some of Riventa’s most innovative patent-protected technology, comprising Artificial Neural Networks – to measure variable speed drive efficiency – and Genetic Algorithms – to compute lowest cost pump schedules, with accuracy, across a network. The British-made technology has been developed to vastly improve best practice in water distribution and address modern challenges in the UK water industry.

The project, which focused on the Melbourne Network near Derby, measured pump and turbine (hydraulic) efficiency using a thermodynamic method (according to ISO5198:1999). The aim was to provide real-time measurements of pump, station and network performance in terms of efficiency and specific cost to better inform future decision making.

While savings are never easy to achieve, the project was able to deliver a 10%+ saving (totalling a £450,000 annual saving, resulting in an impressive <1 year payback). There have also been other spin-off benefits, with data used to inform other Severn Trent Water investment decisions and improve understanding of the behavior of the whole network.

Ian Patterson at Severn Trent Water said:

“The Melbourne Area Network has always suffered from large variations in energy use and numerous historic investigations had not uncovered the reasons or best operating policies. This project is a first for Severn Trent Water and has revealed many hitherto unknown features of the Melbourne local network.

“As the system is driven by machine-level measurements we can be confident that the results are not unduly influenced by assumptions which have caused us issues in the past. The complex algorithms enable us to accurately schedule operation over a set horizon, such as 24 hours, meeting the demand with appreciable energy cost reductions and meaning we can now operate the Melbourne and the local network in a very different way – a process simply too difficult for our operational staff to do by experience alone.”

“The impressive results mean we are very likely to be rolling this out to other sites and local networks across the AMP6 period and see this new information-driven approach as a key feature in targeting resources.”

Tom Clifford, Consultancy Director at Riventa, said:

“What this project demonstrates is that through accurate data collection and, more importantly, through the use of advanced algorithms that convert data to useful information the water company is not burdened with big data – they simply get actions and then the results.

“It is this information-driven approach that we use to help minimise operational energy costs and target investment for maximum long term savings, fulfilling OFWAT’s TOTEX mandate.”

About the Pump Centre

  • The Pump Centre is an independent membership organisation that is predominantly, but not exclusively, associated with the water Industry.
  • Its members come from across the whole supply chain and include end users, consultants, contractors, manufacturers and suppliers.
  • The aim of the Pump Centre is to provide its members with cost effective help and support via events, training, consultancy and projects.
  • Their annual Project of the Year award recognises outstanding work associated with pumps, pumping systems and related plant and equipment.

Further reading

Pump Centre conference keynote paper detailing the Project of the Year 2016

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