Energy use in water supply systems represents a significant portion of the global energy consumption. The electricity consumption due to the water pumping represents the highest proportion of the energy costs in these systems. This paper presents several comparative studies of energy efficiency in water distribution systems considering distinct configurations of the networks and also considers implementation of the variable-speed pumps. The main objective of this study is the energy optimisation of urban systems using optimal network configurations that reduce energy consumption and improve energy efficiency. The paper describes in detail four strategies for improving energy efficiency of water pumping: control systems to vary pump speed drive according to water demand, pumped storage tanks, intermediary pumping stations integrated in the network, and elevated storage tanks floating on the system. The improving energy efficiency of water pumping is briefly reviewed providing a representative real case study. In addition, a different approach for the hydraulic analysis of the networks and the determination of the optimal location of a pumped storage tank is provided. Finally, this study compares the results of the application of four water supply strategies to a real case in Romania. The results indicate high potential operating costs savings.
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