Water analytics and Intelligent Sensing for Demand Optimised Management
WISDOM is a project funded by the European Community as part of the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7): it belongs to the category of projects that study Information and Communications Technology (ICT) for the management of water resources. The project was submitted and approved by the European Community in “Call FP7 — ICT — 2013—11”.
The consortium consisted of 11 partners from four European countries (Italy, France, Spain and the United Kingdom). There were two operators and two Authorities from the water sector (Società Acquedotti Tirreni, Dwr Cymru Welsh Water, ATO Idrico EST Province of La Spezia and Cardiff City Council), a research center (CSTB – Centre Scientifique et Technique du Batiment), two engineering consultancy firms (D'Appolonia S.p.A. and IDRAN) and two universities (Imperial College of London and the Faculty of Engineering of Cardiff University).
SAT, as pilot of the Italian Cluster, made its infrastructure available to its partners in order to test the solutions theorised during the project. In particular, SAT worked to improve the “Water/Energy Nexus” and the search and localisation of leaks.
After the installation of a SCADA system and numerous intelligent sensors for the real-time management of the aqueduct, inverters connected to the electric pumps used for the withdrawal of water from the subsoil were installed.
The aim of this part of the project was to demonstrate that the installation of ad hoc equipment made it possible to reduce the cost of energy used for water withdrawal and, at the same time, reduce the number of leaks by optimizing the management of the operating pressure of the aqueduct.
After the installations and the set-up of the operating conditions of the new system, we detected a reduction of the energy used per cubic metre of water withdrawn equal to 15%: the management of the operating pressures, on the other hand, drastically reduced the number of leaks, which decreased by 27% compared to what was recorded in the previous year for new installations.
Search and localisation of leaks
Thanks to the installation of digital pressure and flow meters both at the outlet of the well areas and at the main water delivery points to ACAM, the data collected and sent in real time to the SCADA system made it possible to monitor the operating conditions of the aqueduct.
An innovative software by Consorzio Milano Ricerche was tested during the project. The software uses an algorithm to search for leaks by analysing the differences between the ideal conditions for managing pressures and flows, deriving from the EPANET model created for our network, and actual data collected by the SCADA system.
The results obtained in this case were also very positive, leading to a reduction in the time required to search for leaks equal to about 30%.