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Improving Energy-Efficiency of Pumping Operations in Waterways: A Combined Laboratory and Computational Approach

Author(s): Joris Hardy; Pierre Dewallef; Sebastien Erpicum; Pierre Archambeau; Michel Piroton; Chris Barnett; Darren Parkinson; Nigel Taylor; Benjamin Dewals

Linked Author(s): Joris Hardy, Sébastien Erpicum, Pierre Archambeau

Keywords: Pump; Optimisation; Network; Energy-saving; VSD

Abstract: Pumping is extensively used in waterways, particularly in artificial canals. Pumping enables maintaining the water level within a suitable range for navigation, by compensating for water transferred by lock operations and for other losses (leakages, infiltration, evaporation). Across Europe, pumping in waterways represents 25-33% of annual electricity use by WMOs (Waterway-Management-Organisation). A CO2 emissions reduction of 195 tonnes is expected for each WMOs. Here, we present an international, interdisciplinary and intersectoral research, in which a strategy has been developed for assessing the performance of pumping technologies and for improving the enhancing the energy-efficiency of pumping systems in waterways. In this research, scientists and practitioners have worked synergistically with the overall goal of reducing electricity consumption while preserving a comparable level of service. The developed strategy involves a large laboratory test bench as well as a series of computational models operating at multiple scales. The laboratory test bench is designed for both submersible and dry-action radial pumps driven by an electrical motor. It operates in closed loop and includes a large cylindrical tank of 3.5 m in diameter and 4.5 m in height (27 m³), in which submersible pumps may be positioned. It covers a range of discharge between 0 and 300 l/s and a range of heads between 0 and 96 m. The maximal admissible power is 160 kW. A regulating valve as well as the rotation speed of the pump are electronically steered to browse a range of operating points. Several driving technologies will be evaluated: soft starter, VSD, smart drivers. Several sensors (flowmeter, pressure transmitter, wattmeter) are used to compute the efficiency of the pump for different configuration and to characterize the off-nominal pump operation. In parallel, computational modelling of the VSD-engine-pump system is run and guides a step-by-step optimization of the system. While the laboratory test bench and the digital twin of the VSD-engine-pump are focused on the level of a single pump or a single pumping station, another avenue for improving the energy-efficiency of a network of waterways is to coordinate the operation of several pumping stations. Therefore, the computational model of the pumps is coupled with a model of the network of waterways (open channels) and the management of the pumps is optimized at the level of the whole network. As a case study, we consider the Kennet & Avon canal in the UK which is used for recreational purpose. A SCADA system gives access to an extensive dataset including the number of lock operations, the flow rate at pumps and by-passes, water levels as well as the voltage and current applied to the pumps (time resolution of five minutes). Acknowledgment._This_research_is_partly_supported_by_ERDF_funding_in_the_framework_of_the_Interreg_NWE_project_Green Win. Canal_&_River_Trust_is_gratefully_acknowledged_for_sharing_data_on_the_operation_of_the_Kennet_and_Avon_canal.


Year: 2022

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