Energy optimisation of drinking water well field operation

Last decades the concern about energy consumption has globally arisen due to awareness on climate change and the increase of energy prices. In the water field the nexus between water and energy has been extensively studied, however, there has been little discussion about energy-efficient specific approaches. This master thesis is part of the OPTIWELLS project which addresses to determine more energy efficient techniques for water supply operation, in particular for water abstraction well fields. One option to optimize a well field preserving its structure or components is the “smart well field management”, which maximize the time during which the pumps are performing on their best efficiency point, guaranteeing the water demand. The smart well field management is complex and accounts for various integrated processes. The aim of the project is to develop a prototype of a software tool able to cope with this complex optimisation problem. In particular, this master thesis deals with the modelling of a case study, applying methodologies that will be implemented in the OPTIWELLS prototype tool. Results and methods of data analysis for a well field, including a site audit, are described. The well field modelling was carried out with EPANET software by means of its Programmer’s Toolkit. No reliable data to validate the energy consumption estimation of the model were available. However, the report shows that observed hydraulic conditions of an abstraction well field can be accurately reproduced. The impact of different modelling approaches and amount of data available on energy evaluation is also drawn. Some insight into the well field current conditions (current pump curve, drawdown, water quality, specific energy demand,..) are discussed and recommendations or the operation of the case study site will be given.

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