Integrated Management of Water Systems: Energy Recovery, Pressure Control, and Smart Solutions

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 July 2022) | Viewed by 23294

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Edile e Ambientale, Università degli Studi di Napoli “Federico II”, Napoli, Italy
Interests: energy-efficiency of hydraulic systems; optimization of water systems; computational fluid dynamics; theoretical and experimental study of hydraulic machines
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Guest Editor
Department of Engineering (DING), University of Sannio, Benevento, Italy
Interests: environmental science; civil engineering; water engineering; hydraulics; energy; water resource management; RTC; water distribution network; PAT; entropy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The water supply, distribution and sewage systems are often scarcely efficient and energy demanding. The increasing demand and the decreasing availability of water, due to the climate change, the economic development and the increase of population, push to a more intelligent use of the resource, in order to save water and decrease the energy demand of the water industry.

The aim of this special issue is to collect new studies to investigate innovative solutions for the integrated management of water systems. Among the others, new studies on the following topics are welcome:

  • New devices to save energy and water
  • New control techniques/algorithms of devices/systems for an efficient management of the water utilities
  • New design and or operation solutions for a more intelligent use of the water resource
  • Smart management of the water utilities, involving artificial intelligence and/or IoT solutions
  • Multidisciplinary studies investigating the water/energy/food/carbon nexus and the global effect of local initiatives
  • Life cycle assessments and circular economy studies to investigate the social and environmental impact of the water systems and the benefits resulting from a smart management

Prof. Dr. Oreste Fecarotta
Prof. Dr. Gustavo Marini
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • Water-food-energy nexus
  • Water policy
  • Energy efficiency
  • Water Resources Management
  • Smart control of water systems
  • Energy recovery
  • Energy saving
  • Efficiency of water systems

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

14 pages, 2583 KiB  
Article
A Novel Approach to Avoiding Technically Unfeasible Solutions in the Pump Scheduling Problem
by Gustavo Marini, Nicola Fontana, Marco Maio, Francesco Di Menna and Maurizio Giugni
Water 2023, 15(2), 286; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15020286 - 10 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1516
Abstract
Optimizing pump operation in water networks can effectively reduce the cost of energy. To this end, the literature provides many methodologies, generally based on an optimization problem, that provide the optimal operation of the pumps. However, a persistent shortcoming in the literature is [...] Read more.
Optimizing pump operation in water networks can effectively reduce the cost of energy. To this end, the literature provides many methodologies, generally based on an optimization problem, that provide the optimal operation of the pumps. However, a persistent shortcoming in the literature is the lack of further analysis to assess if the obtained solutions are feasible from the technical point of view. This paper first showed that some of these available methodologies identify solutions that are technically unfeasible because they induce tank overflow or continuous pump switching, and consequently, proposed a novel approach to avoiding such unfeasible solutions. This consisted in comparing the number of time-steps performed by the hydraulic simulator with the predicted value, calculated as the ratio between the simulation duration and the hydraulic time-step. Finally, we developed a new model which couples Epanet 2.0 with Pikaia Genetic Algorithm using the energy cost as an objective function. The proposed method, being easily exportable into existing methodologies to overcome the limitations thereof, thus represents a substantial contribution to the field of pump scheduling for optimal operation of water distribution networks. The new method, tested on two case studies in the literature, proved its reliability in both cases, returning technically feasible solutions. Full article
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14 pages, 2812 KiB  
Article
A New Low-Cost Technology Based on Pump as Turbines for Energy Recovery in Peripheral Water Networks Branches
by Armando Carravetta, Giuseppe Del Giudice, Oreste Fecarotta, Maria Cristina Morani and Helena M. Ramos
Water 2022, 14(10), 1526; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14101526 - 10 May 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2619
Abstract
The recovery of excess energy in water supply networks has been a topic of paramount importance in recent literature. In pressurized systems, a pump used in inverse mode (Pump As Turbine, PAT) demonstrated to be a very economical and reliable solution, compared to [...] Read more.
The recovery of excess energy in water supply networks has been a topic of paramount importance in recent literature. In pressurized systems, a pump used in inverse mode (Pump As Turbine, PAT) demonstrated to be a very economical and reliable solution, compared to traditional energy production devices (EPDs). Due to the large variability of flow rate and head drop within water distribution networks, the operation of PATs could be performed by a series-parallel regulation system based on an electronic or a hydraulic principle. Despite the low cost of the PATs and of regulation and control systems, a great barrier to the diffusion of a small hydro power plant in water distribution is represented by the necessity of additional civil works to host the whole plant. Based on laboratory and numerical experiments, the present paper proposes a new low-cost technology, overcoming most of the limitations of the present technologies when low energy is available and high discharge variation occurs. The operating conditions of the plant are properly optimized with reference to the working conditions of a case study. Despite the laboratory prototype having exhibited a significantly low efficiency (i.e., 16%), due to the use of small centrifugal pumps suitable for the analyzed case study, in larger power plants relying on more efficient semi-axial submersed pumps, the energy conversion ratio can increase up to 40%. The results of this research could be useful for network managers and technicians interested in increasing the energy efficiency of the network and in recovering energy in the peripheral branches of the network were a large variability of small flow rates are present. Full article
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17 pages, 2751 KiB  
Article
Open-Source Application for Water Supply System Management: Implementation in a Water Transmission System in Southern Spain
by José Pérez-Padillo, Jorge García Morillo, Emilio Camacho Poyato and Pilar Montesinos
Water 2021, 13(24), 3652; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13243652 - 20 Dec 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 5825
Abstract
Sustainable water use has become a critical issue for the future of the planet in face of highly probable climate change. The drinking water supply sector has made significant progress over the last 20 years, although improvements in the management of urban hydraulic [...] Read more.
Sustainable water use has become a critical issue for the future of the planet in face of highly probable climate change. The drinking water supply sector has made significant progress over the last 20 years, although improvements in the management of urban hydraulic infrastructures are still required. The proposed system, Integrated Tool for Water Supply Systems Management (ITWSM), built on three interconnected modules (QGIS database, Epanet hydraulic model, and Google My Maps app), was developed on open-source software. The core of ITWSM allows analyzing the behavior of water supply systems under several operation/failure scenarios. It facilitates decision making supported by the mobile application ITWSM-app. Information flows easily through the different decision levels involved in the management process, keeping updated the georeferenced database after system changes. ITWSM has been implemented in a real public water supply company and applied to manage breakdown repairs in water transmission systems. The use of the proposed methodology reduces the average cost of failure repair by 13.6%, mainly due to the optimal planning of the resources involved. Full article
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25 pages, 4894 KiB  
Article
Leakage Management and Pipe System Efficiency. Its Influence in the Improvement of the Efficiency Indexes
by Carlos Andrés Macías Ávila, Francisco-Javier Sánchez-Romero, P. Amparo López-Jiménez and Modesto Pérez-Sánchez
Water 2021, 13(14), 1909; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13141909 - 9 Jul 2021
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 8044
Abstract
Water is one of the most valuable resources for humans. Worldwide, leakage levels in water distribution systems oscillate between 10% and 55%. This causes the need for constant repairs, economic losses, and risk to the health of users due to possible pathogenic intrusion. [...] Read more.
Water is one of the most valuable resources for humans. Worldwide, leakage levels in water distribution systems oscillate between 10% and 55%. This causes the need for constant repairs, economic losses, and risk to the health of users due to possible pathogenic intrusion. There are different methods for estimating the level of leakage in a network, depending on parameters such as service pressure, orifice size, age and pipe material. Sixty-two water distribution networks were analyzed to determine the leakage method used, the calibration method, and the percentage of existing leaks. Different efficiency indicators were proposed and evaluated using this database. Several cases of installation of pumps working as turbines (PATs) in water distribution networks were analyzed in which the use of these recovery systems caused a pressure drop, reducing the level of leaks and recovering energy. Full article
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14 pages, 3003 KiB  
Article
Energy Recovery Potential in Industrial and Municipal Wastewater Networks Using Micro-Hydropower in Spain
by Aida Mérida García, Juan Antonio Rodríguez Díaz, Jorge García Morillo and Aonghus McNabola
Water 2021, 13(5), 691; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13050691 - 4 Mar 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3781
Abstract
The use of micro-hydropower (MHP) for energy recovery in water distribution networks is becoming increasingly widespread. The incorporation of this technology, which offers low-cost solutions, allows for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions linked to energy consumption. In this work, the MHP energy [...] Read more.
The use of micro-hydropower (MHP) for energy recovery in water distribution networks is becoming increasingly widespread. The incorporation of this technology, which offers low-cost solutions, allows for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions linked to energy consumption. In this work, the MHP energy recovery potential in Spain from all available wastewater discharges, both municipal and private industrial, was assessed, based on discharge licenses. From a total of 16,778 licenses, less than 1% of the sites presented an MHP potential higher than 2 kW, with a total power potential between 3.31 and 3.54 MW. This total was distributed between industry, fish farms and municipal wastewater treatment plants following the proportion 51–54%, 14–13% and 35–33%, respectively. The total energy production estimated reached 29 GWh∙year−1, from which 80% corresponded to sites with power potential over 15 kW. Energy-related industries, not included in previous investigations, amounted to 45% of the total energy potential for Spain, a finding which could greatly influence MHP potential estimates across the world. The estimated energy production represented a potential CO2 emission savings of around 11 thousand tonnes, with a corresponding reduction between M€ 2.11 and M€ 4.24 in the total energy consumption in the country. Full article
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