Design Challenges in the water industry
In recent years, climate change and increasing awareness of sustainability are pushing water and wastewater utilities, government industries, and engineering organizations worldwide to rethink water infrastructure management and set new actions for the future.The crucial issues of drainage and flooding risk assessment and the efficient management of water and wastewater distribution networks are the water industry's biggest worries. Usually plans of this kind involve several factors: from the constraints deriving from the morphological and urban arrangement of an area to the environmental and social impact of the proposed interventions to budget limitations, regulations etc.
As with other industries dealing with complex project management, the "Optioneering" approach has been increasingly adopted in the water industry; multidisciplinary optimization significantly broadens the range of possible solutions considered and helps teams manage them rationally. Coupled with simulation tools it can in fact provide an effective support for informed decision making and enable not only better efficiency standards for water infrastructures but also remarkable enhancements in safety in addition to savings in costs of recovering from flooding.
modeFRONTIER has been successfully used in combination with CFD and water distribution network tools to help solve the challenges faced in the water industry globally. Additionally, the ad-hoc interface built by EnginSoft bridging InfoWorks CS - a software for the analysis and management of water distribution network models - and modeFRONTIER, represent a valid framework for process automation, acting as a layer between the two software and enabling InfoWorks CS to be run automatically. Engineers can thus avoid labor intensive processes and accurately calibrate slow runoff parameters without manual effort.
Flooding and Drainage
One of the biggest problems in many cities around the world is the threat of flooding. Numerical simulation returns estimate losses by giving realistic flood projections. However, accurately modeling the dynamic propagation of floods in real 3D urban area models is still very challenging; the irregular path created by obstacles require huge computing effort and an in-depth knowledge on parameter calibration.
Multi-Objective Optimization techniques are very effective in improving flood propagation modeling by integrating with 3D CFD tools and allowing analysts to investigate different failure scenarios for artificial structures.
Improving the Efficiency of Water Distribution Networks
Water distribution networks serve many purposes: in addition to the provision of water for human consumption, piped water is used for washing, sanitation, irrigation and fire fighting. Meeting peak demands is an essential requirement of network design as is an adequate pressure of the supply, the minimization of water losses, the safety at chemical and biological level and many other strict constraints. With such a complex scenario, the rationalization of infrastructures and the setting of optimal flow conditions is no easy task. Again, multidisciplinary optimization combined with specific analysis tools, provides effective support to engineers working with these issues.
A few examples
The case study explores through a multiobjective optimization method, the options for improving the performance of the CFD model to adapt it to model with accuracy and efficiency the flood propagation problems, in urban areas.
This study was conducted utilizing computational fluid dynamics (CFD) coupled with modeFRONTIER to optimize the selection of the best Waste Stabilization Pond configuration based on cost and treatment efficiency.
Automated design space exploration using modeFRONTIER can be applied to real-world wastewater flood relief engineering, moreover significant design time and capital cost savings can thereby be realized.