Special Issue "Application of Innovative Technologies for Active Control and Energy Efficiency in Water Supply Systems"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Urban Water Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 October 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Armando Carravetta
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, University of Naples Federico II, via Claudio, 21, Napoli 80125, Italy
Interests: hydropower; efficiency of pumping systems; eco-design of water pumps; water and energy nexus; fluid dynamics modeling
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Maurizio Giugni
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, Università di Napoli Federico II, via Claudio, 21, Napoli 80125, Italy
Interests: water distribution networks, pumping systems, pressure management, energy recovery, PAT, hydropower, water consumptions
Prof. Dr. Stefano Malavasi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Piazza Leonardo da Vinci 32, Milano 80133, Italy
Interests: fluid–structure interaction, hydraulic devices, energy harvesting, multiphase flows, fluid dynamic noise, cavitation, solid particle erosion

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The sustainable use of energy in water trasfer and distribution is one of the key issues in hydraulic and mechanical research and is part of the world’s challenge for the reduction of CO2 emissions in the atmosphere. Under the water–energy–food nexus, the attention of the water managers has been devoted to the development of  innovative strategies for the sustainable use of water resources, for the reduction of water leakages, for the increase in efficiency of pumping systems, and for energy recovery. New technologies can be of help in implementing such strategies and in obtaining the prevented target system efficiency. In reference to water supply systems, small-scale hydropower generation can be beneficially coupled with the active control of pressure to effectively reduce water losses. This Special Issue is focused on the application of PAT and innovative technologies in water resources management in water distribution systems as well as other application fields such as  irrigation,  manufactoring, mining, oil and gas, etc., representing a convergence point to share research and experiences on models, technologies, and technical approaches.

Prof. Dr. Armando Carravetta
Prof. Maurizio Giugni
Prof. Dr. Stefano Malavasi
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • water resources management
  • water distribution networks
  • water–energy–food nexus
  • system efficiency
  • pumping systems
  • hydro power
  • active control

Published Papers (13 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Application of Innovative Technologies for Active Control and Energy Efficiency in Water Supply Systems
Water 2020, 12(11), 3278; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113278 - 22 Nov 2020
Viewed by 430
Abstract
The larger anthropic pressure on the Water Supply Systems (WSS) and the increasing concern for the sustainability of the large energy use for water supply, transportation, distribution, drainage and treatment are determining a new perspective in the management of water systems [...] Full article
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Research

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Experimental and Numerical Assessment of Water Leakages in a PVC-A Pipe
Water 2020, 12(6), 1804; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12061804 - 24 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 691
Abstract
Nowadays, in the definition of effective approaches for the sustainable management of water pressurized systems, the assessment of water leakages in water supply and distribution systems represents a key aspect. Indeed, the large water volumes dispersed yearly provoke relevant environmental, technical and socio-economic [...] Read more.
Nowadays, in the definition of effective approaches for the sustainable management of water pressurized systems, the assessment of water leakages in water supply and distribution systems represents a key aspect. Indeed, the large water volumes dispersed yearly provoke relevant environmental, technical and socio-economic costs. Worldwide, many water systems show alarming levels of water losses, due to both the poor sealing of joints and the presence of cracks, enhanced by a high pressure level greater than that strictly required for assuring a proper service level to users. With the aim of analysing the correlation between pressure and leakages, in this work the results of an experimental and a numerical Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) investigation are provided and discussed. With reference to a drilled PVC-A (Polyvinyl Chloride-Alloy) pipe, a new-generation plastic material for water systems use, an experimental investigation was first carried out at the Laboratory of Hydraulics of the University of Naples Federico II, aimed at assessing the leakage-pressure relation for transversal rectangular orifices. A CFD model was then implemented and calibrated with experimental results, to different geometric configurations of the orifice, with the aim of assessing the dependence of the orifice geometry and orientation on the calibration of leakage law parameters. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Perspectives of Water Distribution Networks with the GreenValve System
Water 2020, 12(6), 1579; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12061579 - 01 Jun 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 768
Abstract
In recent years, water utilities have made worldwide investments targeted to the implementation of an effective monitoring system and the installation of pressure-reducing valves in strategic nodes of water distribution networks. In fact, these interventions are considered fast and effective solutions to address [...] Read more.
In recent years, water utilities have made worldwide investments targeted to the implementation of an effective monitoring system and the installation of pressure-reducing valves in strategic nodes of water distribution networks. In fact, these interventions are considered fast and effective solutions to address at least two main concerns of modern water utilities: leakage reduction and energy efficiency. The present paper, on the basis of a database of working conditions of installed pressure-reducing valves, discusses the range of applicability of the GreenValve system (GVS) as an alternative solution to improving standard pressure-reducing valve capabilities. The device is able to recover energy, and it can be used to create a stand-alone monitoring node with remote control ability, optimizing the network from an energetic, functional, and hydraulic point of view. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of a Large Maintenance Journal of the Sewer Networks of Three Apulian Provinces in Southern Italy
Water 2020, 12(5), 1417; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12051417 - 16 May 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 736
Abstract
Sewage systems play a crucial role in the framework of the water resources cycle. The detection of the causes and typologies of their malfunction is essential not only for guaranteeing correct hydraulic management of the network but also because it can prevent environmental [...] Read more.
Sewage systems play a crucial role in the framework of the water resources cycle. The detection of the causes and typologies of their malfunction is essential not only for guaranteeing correct hydraulic management of the network but also because it can prevent environmental contamination. In this study, a reconnaissance on the typologies and causes of intervention in sewer networks located in three Apulian provinces (Southern Italy) was carried out. The results showed that pipe occlusions with exfiltration are the main cause of intervention, followed by manhole occlusions. Data about pipe material highlighted that stoneware is absolutely the most used material and also the main object of maintenance for obstructions and breakages. Its correlation with the density of inhabitants was also investigated. The absence of detailed information about the age of any single pipe does not permit us to exclude the aging of pipes as a cause of major intervention. However, the frequency of some interventions in the same towns and often on the same trunks of pipes leads to the belief that criticalities occurring in the network could be addressed to incorrect use or bad hydraulic functioning. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Performance Prediction Model for Pumps as Turbines (PATs)
Water 2020, 12(4), 1175; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12041175 - 20 Apr 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 978
Abstract
In recent years, the interest towards the use of pumps operating as turbines (PATs) for the generation of electrical energy has increased, due to the low cost of implementation and maintenance. The main issue that inhibits a wider use of PATs is the [...] Read more.
In recent years, the interest towards the use of pumps operating as turbines (PATs) for the generation of electrical energy has increased, due to the low cost of implementation and maintenance. The main issue that inhibits a wider use of PATs is the lack of corresponding characteristic curves, because manufacturers usually provide only the pump-mode performance characteristics. In the PAT selection phase, the lack of turbine-mode characteristic curves forces users to expend expensive and time-consuming efforts in laboratory testing. In the technical literature, numerous methods are available for the prediction of PAT turbine-mode performance based on the pump-mode characteristics, but these models are usually calibrated making use of few devices. To overcome this limit, a performance database called Redawn is presented and the data collected are used to calibrate novel PAT performance models. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Hydropower Generation Through Pump as Turbine: Experimental Study and Potential Application to Small-Scale WDN
Water 2020, 12(4), 958; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12040958 - 28 Mar 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1128
Abstract
Pump-As-Turbine (PAT) technology is a smart solution to produce energy in a sustainable way at small scale, e.g., through its exploitation in classical Water Distribution Networks (WDNs). PAT application may actually represent a suitable solution to obtain both pressure regulation and electrical energy [...] Read more.
Pump-As-Turbine (PAT) technology is a smart solution to produce energy in a sustainable way at small scale, e.g., through its exploitation in classical Water Distribution Networks (WDNs). PAT application may actually represent a suitable solution to obtain both pressure regulation and electrical energy production. This technology enables one to significantly reduce both design and maintenance costs if compared to traditional turbine applications. In this work, the potential hydropower generation was evaluated through laboratory tests focused on the characterization of a pump working in reverse mode, i.e., as a PAT. Both hydrodynamic (pressure and discharge) and mechanical (rotational speed and torque) conditions were varied during the tests, with the aim to identify the most efficient PAT configurations and provide useful hints for possible real-world applications. The experimental findings confirm the good performances of the PAT system, especially when rotational speed and water demand are, respectively, larger than 850 rpm and 8 L/s, thus leading to efficiencies greater than 50%. Such findings were applied to a small municipality, where daily distribution of pressure and discharge were recorded upstream of the local WDN, where a Pressure Reducing Valve (PRV) is installed. Under the hypothesis of PRV replacement with the tested PAT, three different scenarios were studied, based on the mean recorded water demand and each characterized by specific values of PAT rotational speed. The best performances were observed for the largest tested speeds (1050 and 1250 rpm), which lead to pressure drops smaller than those actually due to the PRV, thus guaranteeing the minimum pressure for users, but also to mechanical powers smaller than 100 W. When a larger mean water demand is assumed, much better performances are reached, especially for large speeds (1250 rpm) that lead to mechanical powers larger than 1 kW combined to head drops a bit larger than those observed using the PRV. A suitable design is thus fundamental for the real-world PAT application. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Comparison of Bottom-Up and Top-Down Procedures for Water Demand Reconstruction
Water 2020, 12(3), 922; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12030922 - 24 Mar 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 940
Abstract
This paper presents a comparison between two procedures for the generation of water demand time series at both single user and nodal scales, a top-down and a bottom-up procedure respectively. Both procedures are made up of two phases. The top-down procedure adopted includes [...] Read more.
This paper presents a comparison between two procedures for the generation of water demand time series at both single user and nodal scales, a top-down and a bottom-up procedure respectively. Both procedures are made up of two phases. The top-down procedure adopted includes a non-parametric disaggregation based on the K-nearest neighbours approach. Therefore, once the temporal aggregated water demand patterns have been defined (first phase), the disaggregation is used to generate water demand time series at lower levels of spatial aggregation (second phase). In the bottom-up procedure adopted, demand time series for each user and for each time step are generated applying a beta probability distribution with tunable bounds or a gamma distribution with shift parameter (first phase). Then, a Copula based re-sort is applied to the demand time series generated to impose existing rank cross-correlations between users and at all temporal lags (second phase). For the sake of comparison, two case studies were considered, both of which are related to a smart water network in Naples (Italy). The results obtained show that the bottom-up procedure performs significantly better than the top-down procedure in terms of rank-cross correlations at fine scale. However, the top-down procedure showed a better performance in terms of skewness and rank cross-correlation when the aggregated demands were considered. Finally, the level of aggregation in nodes was found to affect the performance of both the procedures considered. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Energy Transfer from the Freshwater to the Wastewater Network Using a PAT-Equipped Turbopump
Water 2020, 12(1), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12010038 - 20 Dec 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 749
Abstract
A new strategy to increase the energy efficiency in a water network exists using turbo pumps, which are systems consisting of a pump and a turbine directly coupled on a same shaft. In a turbo pump, the pump is fed by a turbine [...] Read more.
A new strategy to increase the energy efficiency in a water network exists using turbo pumps, which are systems consisting of a pump and a turbine directly coupled on a same shaft. In a turbo pump, the pump is fed by a turbine that exploits a surplus head in a freshwater network in order to produce energy for one system (wastewater) and reduce the excess pressure in another (drinking water). A pump as turbine (PAT) may be preferred over a classic turbine here due to its lower cost. The result of such a coupling is a PAT–pump turbocharger (P&P). In this research, the theoretical performance of a P&P plant is employed using data from a real water distribution network to exploit the excess pressure of a freshwater stream and to feed a pump conveying wastewater toward a treatment plant. Therefore, the P&P plant is a mixed PAT–pump turbocharger, operating with both fresh and wastewater. A new method to perform a preliminary geometric selection of the machines constituting the P&P plant has been developed. Furthermore, the plant operation has been described by means of a new mathematical model under different boundary conditions. Moreover, the economic viability of the plant has been assessed by comparison with a conventional wastewater pumping system working in ON/OFF mode. Therefore, the net present value (NPV) of the investment has been evaluated in both situations for different time periods. According to the economical comparison, the PAT–pump turbocharger represents the most economically advantageous configuration, at least until the useful life of the plant. Such convenience amounts to 175% up to a time period equal to 20 years. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Automatic Control of the Middle Route Project for South-to-North Water Transfer Based on Linear Model Predictive Control Algorithm
Water 2019, 11(9), 1873; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11091873 - 09 Sep 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 881
Abstract
The application of automatic control to irrigation canals is an important means of improving the efficiency of water delivery. The Middle Route Project (MRP) for South-to-North Water Transfer, the largest water transfer project in China, is currently under manual control. Given the complexity [...] Read more.
The application of automatic control to irrigation canals is an important means of improving the efficiency of water delivery. The Middle Route Project (MRP) for South-to-North Water Transfer, the largest water transfer project in China, is currently under manual control. Given the complexity of the MRP, there is an urgent need to adopt some form of automatic control. This paper describes the application of model predictive control (MPC), a popular real time control algorithm particularly suited to the automatic control of multi-pool irrigation water delivery systems, to the MRP using a linear control model. This control system is tested in part of the MRP by means of numerical simulations. The results show that the control system can deal with both known and unknown disturbances, albeit with a degree of resonance in some short pools. However, it takes a long time for the MRP to reach a stable state under the MPC system and the calculation time for the whole MRP network would be too long to satisfy the requirements of real-time control. Suggestions are presented for the construction of an automatic control system for the MRP. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Wastewater Pump Control under Mechanical Wear
Water 2019, 11(6), 1210; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11061210 - 10 Jun 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1065
Abstract
With reference to a classical wet tank equipped with a wastewater submersible pump, in this research, an advanced numerical model has been used in order to obtain the optimal pump scheduling of on/off operation and variable pump speed. Then, in order to evaluate [...] Read more.
With reference to a classical wet tank equipped with a wastewater submersible pump, in this research, an advanced numerical model has been used in order to obtain the optimal pump scheduling of on/off operation and variable pump speed. Then, in order to evaluate the time decay of pump performances, the mechanical wear has been artificially simulated and the performance curves have been experimentally obtained for different rotational speeds. Finally, the benefits, as well as the feasibility, of pump scheduling have been evaluated for differing operating conditions. According to the results, the optimal pump scheduling achieves large energy savings up to 43%, for soft mechanical wear. If the mechanical wear is considered, the energy savings are large as well, between 35.60% and 26.70%, for medium and hard mechanical wear, respectively. On the other hand, the limitation of such a strategy has been highlighted: the feasibility of pump scheduling is limited by the elevation of the downstream tank. According to the results, energy savings can be achieved until the elevation of the downstream tank is 67% of the pressure head at the best efficiency point, whereas such percentage decreases to 50% for hard mechanical wear. Finally, the results show that plant efficiency is strongly affected by the mechanical wear: an accurate maintenance of the pumping system is therefore recommended in order to attenuate the time decay of pump performances. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Identifying Data Dependencies as First Step to Obtain a Proactive Historian: Test Scenario in the Water Industry 4.0
Water 2019, 11(6), 1144; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11061144 - 31 May 2019
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1694
Abstract
Current efforts towards achieving better connectivity and increasing intelligence in functioning of industrial processes are guided by the Industrial Internet of Things paradigm and implicitly stimulate occurrence of data accumulation. In recent years, several researchers and industrial products have presented Historian application solutions [...] Read more.
Current efforts towards achieving better connectivity and increasing intelligence in functioning of industrial processes are guided by the Industrial Internet of Things paradigm and implicitly stimulate occurrence of data accumulation. In recent years, several researchers and industrial products have presented Historian application solutions for data accumulation. The large amounts of data that are gathered by these Historians remains mostly unused or used only for reporting purposes. So far, Historians have been focused on connectivity, data manipulation possibilities, and sometimes on low-cost solutions in order to gain higher applicability or to integrate multiple SCADA servers (e.g. Siemens–WinCC, Schneider Electric – Vijeo Citect, IGSS, Wonderware, InduSoft Web Studio, Inductive Automation – Ignition, etc.), etc. Both literature and industry are currently unable to identify a Historian solution that functions in fog and efficiently applies and is built upon Industry 4.0 ideas. The future is to conceive a proactive Historian that is able to, besides gathering data, identify dependencies and patterns for particular processes and elaborate strategies to increase performance in order to provide feedback through corrective action on the functional system. Using available solutions, determining patterns by the Historian operator in the context of big data is a tremendous effort. The motivation of this research is provided by the currently unoptimized and partly inefficient systems in the water industry that can benefit from cost reduction and quality indicator improvements through IIoT concepts related to data processing and process adjustments. As the first part of more complex research to obtain a proactive Historian, the current paper wishes to propose a reference architecture and to address the issue of data dependency analyses as part of pattern identification structures. The conceptual approach targets a highly customizable solution considering the variety of industrial processes, but it also underlines basic software modules as generally applicable for the same reason. To prove the efficiency of the obtained solution in the context of real industrial processes, and their corresponding monitoring and control solutions, the paper presents a test scenario in the water industry. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Model Predictive Water-Level Difference Control Method for Automatic Control of Irrigation Canals
Water 2019, 11(4), 762; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11040762 - 12 Apr 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 930
Abstract
In this paper, automatic control of the water level in an irrigation canal by automatic regulation of intermediate gates was studied. Previous scholars have proposed a water level difference control strategy that works to keep relative deviations in all pools the same for [...] Read more.
In this paper, automatic control of the water level in an irrigation canal by automatic regulation of intermediate gates was studied. Previous scholars have proposed a water level difference control strategy that works to keep relative deviations in all pools the same for a particular situation where the operator does not have full control over the canal inflow, with the centralized linear quadratic regulator (LQR) control method used. While in practice, the deviation tolerance of pools may differ in some canals which limits the applicability of the control strategy. In this work, a weight coefficient was added to the deviation and the algorithm was improved to keep the relative deviations to certain proportions. The model predictive control (MPC) method was then used with this improved control strategy and was compared to the LQR control method using the same control strategy. The results showed that the improved strategy can keep the water level deviations in all pools to certain proportions, as is our objective. Also, under this difference control strategy, the MPC method greatly improved the control performance compared to the LQR control method. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Toward a Sustainable Decentralized Water Supply: Review of Adsorption Desorption Desalination (ADD) and Current Technologies: Saudi Arabia (SA) as a Case Study
Water 2020, 12(4), 1111; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12041111 - 14 Apr 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1300
Abstract
Several regions are confronting a severe scarcity of fresh water due to the gap between supply and demand. They strive to bridge that gap by depleting nonrenewable water aquifers and expanding centralized energy-intensive desalination technologies. Continuing to adopt the same unsustainable approach could [...] Read more.
Several regions are confronting a severe scarcity of fresh water due to the gap between supply and demand. They strive to bridge that gap by depleting nonrenewable water aquifers and expanding centralized energy-intensive desalination technologies. Continuing to adopt the same unsustainable approach could deplete the water aquifers and increase the consumption of fossil fuel and the ecological impact on air, water, and land. However, the traditional paradigm of centralized desalination systems could be shifted by increasing the utilization of renewable distributed generation, which can be coupled with emerging desalination technology such as adsorption desorption desalination (ADD), which has autonomous and resilient attributes that can contribute to the sustainability of decentralized fresh water supply in the future. In this work, three commercialized desalination technologies were reviewed and compared with emerging ones to explore the most economically and environmentally efficient systems within the context of decentralized water production. The well-known configurations of ADD were evaluated and compared with sea water reverse osmosis (SWRO), which is recognized as the principal commercialized desalination technology worldwide. The quantitative case study methodology was used by investigating four centralized seawater desalination plants in Saudi Arabia (SA) with their associated pipeline systems from the energy consumption point of view to determine the applicability of implementing ADD technology in SA and similar arid areas. The study reveals that adopting decentralized ADD technology coupled with renewable energy sources could reduce the specific energy consumption from 4 kWh/m3 to less than 1.38 kWh/m3. Combining reduced energy consumption from desalination plants and elimination of supply pipelines could potentially result in a significant reduction in energy consumption and carbon emissions. Finally, the study may be useful for researchers working on enhancing ADD processes, as well as technology users who would like to implement the most efficient ADD configurations. Additionally, it may initiate a direction of utilizing the results of original critical reviews as a methodology to develop the applied technologies. Full article
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