Real-time Operational Response Methodology for Reducing Failure Impacts in Water Distribution Systems
Mahmoud, Herman Abdulqadir Mahmoud
Date: 28 March 2018
University of Exeter
PhD in Engineering
Interruption to water services and low water pressure conditions are commonly observed problems in water distribution systems (WDSs). Of particular concern are the unplanned events, such as pipe bursts. The current regulation in the UK requires water utilities to provide reliable water service to consumers resulting in as little as ...
Interruption to water services and low water pressure conditions are commonly observed problems in water distribution systems (WDSs). Of particular concern are the unplanned events, such as pipe bursts. The current regulation in the UK requires water utilities to provide reliable water service to consumers resulting in as little as possible interruptions and of as short possible duration. All this pushes water utilities toward developing and using smarter responses to these events, based on advanced tools and solutions. All with the aim to change network management style from reactive to a proactive, and reduce water losses, optimize energy use and provide better services for consumers. This thesis presents a novel methodology for efficient and effective operational, short time response to an unplanned failure event (such as pipe burst) in a WDS. The proposed automated, near real-time operational response methodology consists of isolating the failure event followed by the recovery of the affected system area by restoring the flows and pressures to normal conditions. The isolation is typically achieved by manipulating the relevant on/off valves that are located closely to the event location. The recovery involves selecting an optimal combination of suitable operational network interventions. These are selected from a number of possible options with the aim to reduce the negative impact of the failure over a pre-specified time horizon. The intervention options considered here include isolation valve manipulations, changing the pressure reducing valve’s (PRV) outlet pressure and installation and use of temporary overland bypasses from a nearby hydrant(s) in an adjacent, unaffected part of the network. The optimal mix of interventions is identified by using a multi-objective optimization approach driven by the minimization of the negative impact on the consumers and the minimization of the corresponding number of operational interventions (which acts as a surrogate for operational costs). The negative impact of a failure event was quantified here as a volume of water undelivered to consumers and was estimated by using a newly developed pressure-driven model (PDM) based hydraulic solver. The PDM based hydraulic solver was validated on a number of benchmark and real-life networks under different flow conditions. The results obtained clearly demonstrate its advantages when compared to a number of existing methods. The key advantages include the simplicity of its implementation and the ability to predict network pressures and flows in a consistently accurate, numerically stable and computationally efficient manner under both pressure-deficient and normal-flow conditions and in both steady-state and extended period simulations. The new real-time operational response methodology was applied to a real world water distribution network of D-Town. The results obtained demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed methodology in identifying the Pareto optimal network type intervention strategies that could be ultimately presented to the control room operator for making a suitable decision in near real-time.
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