Sharing water network modelling expertise

Our senior hydraulic consultant, Robert Hale, recently delivered a paper to the Clean Water Modelling Advisory Group’s autumn conference 2016. Here, we discuss some key takeaways.

The CWMAG is an advisory group working across the water industry. Held in Derby during October, this was the group’s 5th autumn conference. Titled ‘Modelling a Path to Resilience’, the conference focused on resilience in our water networks and the role that modelling can play in addressing related issues.

Many of the delegates were consumer-focused, working with distribution networks from ‘reservoir to tap’. While we tend to work at the industrial, raw water to service reservoir, end of the process, as part of our drive to continually explore the diversity of opportunities available to us, we were keen to attend and contribute.

It was a fantastic opportunity for us to meet a new set of people and find out how “other modellers are tackling the challenges facing the water industry”.

Real-time network modelling and optimisation

At the conference, we presented our award-winning project focused on pump and network optimisation on the network supplying Melbourne WTW. A key part of Severn Trent Water’s infrastructure, the Melbourne Network is located near the conference venue in Derby.

We showed how we applied our patented pump performance monitoring systems across the Melbourne Network’s 8 pumping systems (25 pumps + 1 turbine), enabling us to assess individual pump and station efficiencies, and derive live network models.

We also talked delegates through the process from gathering data to implementing an automated Decision Support System, from which they have saved a minimum of 9% (~£400k pa) on an investment that was paid back in less than 1 year. This system is based on complex algorithms and now enables Severn Trent to accurately schedule pumping operations, meet demand and reduce costs.

Key takeaways from the conference

  • There was a good take up and lots of questions that followed our presentation. This positively highlighted the appetite for learning across disciplines and between different sections of the water industry.
  • There is a mature market for modelling of distribution networks but often there is not the real time data that ideally would optimise the accuracy of the outputs. In contrast Riventa can provide real time performance data for supply network modelling giving a reliable set of accurate recommendations that can project forward for the next 24 hours.
  • There are very significant challenges to produce real time data to many distribution networks. However, where pumps and pipework can be monitored economically, there will be mutually beneficial opportunities for both equipment supply, network optimisation and modelling software to give the best data integrity and confidence to decision makers.

Further reading

Explore our pump monitoring systems

Read our press release about winning the Pump Centre’s Project of the Year for our work on the Melbourne WTW network

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