Water utilities constantly make decisions and take action in an attempt to meet high standards of service with minimal costs and disruption. It’s a difficult, ongoing balancing act. As long as there is a population to serve, water systems must be effective and efficient.
Naturally, everyone wants to be smart about the choices and trade-offs they make. Infrastructure decisions have an impact that affects utilities’ customers and their systems, both currently and for decades to come.
Large or established water utilities often have engineering staff devoted to hydraulic analysis, or they hire consultants with extensive expertise in modeling. Growing utilities typically do not have these luxuries. If they have an engineer on staff who can perform hydraulic analysis, they often spend most of their time with several day-to-day responsibilities maintaining and repairing the network leaving very little time for operational planning and optimization.
To do that one must build, update, and maintain a hydraulic model – which will consume a lot of time, when using inferior software with unintuitive GUI and lacking features and technical support.
Similarly, consultants working with these utilities must also be extremely cost-efficient. They often need to deliver projects within tight deadlines. The faster they learn using the tool, the faster they deliver the projects, and eventually, they can spend more time prospecting or working on newer projects.
This is where a small investment in highly efficient software like Bentley Systems’ OpenFlows WaterGEMS can deliver a very quick return on investment. Read further to learn how.
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Below are the primary challenges growing water utilities face when it comes to building and maintaining water network systems for their customers.
OpenFlows WaterGEMS is a stand-alone hydraulic modeling application for water distribution systems with advanced interoperability, geospatial model building, optimization, and asset management capabilities.
From fire flow and water quality analyses to energy consumption and capital cost management, OpenFlows WaterGEMS provides an easy-to-use environment for engineers to analyze, design, and optimize water distribution systems. It allows you to reduce non-revenue water significantly.
Hydraulic modeling can be used as a reliable decision-support tool, across a wide range of projects, from the design of a new system and pipe replacement to operation and emergency response.
Integration of your hydraulic modeling software with the leading GIS and CAD platforms will enable your staff to work in an already familiar environment and expedite both learning the software and generating useful results.
Are you spending time on water distribution network modeling tasks that you wish could be automated or simplified?
With technology innovations, engineers can save hundreds of hours of time on repetitive modeling tasks and avoid inefficiencies.
Among the optimization features, OpenFlows WaterGEMS comprises a module called ‘Darwin Designer’. This module allows users to easily evaluate and identify the most optimal design and rehabilitation strategies based on three objectives: minimization of costs, maximization of benefits, or multi-objectives.
Additionally, you can enter restrictions, allowed pipe sizes, and associated unit costs to execute manual or automatic designs. The underlying technology uses a genetic algorithm for optimization.
Darwin Scheduler in OpenFlows WaterGEMS allows you to optimize pump operations. By using genetic algorithm optimization to control nominated pumps during an extended period simulation (EPS), it avoids a manual trial and error approach to finding the most efficient operating schedule. Solutions and costs calculated using Darwin Scheduler can be exported back to the selected scenario.
Previously, the only way to optimize pump operations in a model was to use trial and error, changing settings in the model manually and then computing the model. Darwin Scheduler allows for optimized solutions to be calculated with a genetic algorithm similar to that found in Darwin Calibrator.
This tool allows for a more efficient analysis of a model. The optimization only knows the best solution relative to other solutions already found during computation. The power of this is in that the study runs through a large number of possible solutions and can often find a very good solution to fit the model.
Darwin Scheduler is used in EPS models only. It is recommended that the model is well-calibrated so that you get the best results.
Here are some of the analysis features that are being used by growing utilities to save time and money:
Water utilities that have invested in OpenFlows WaterGEMS are realizing great success with their water projects. Read their success stories.
If you are interested to learn more about OpenFlows WaterGEMS – here are three handpicked webinar videos for you and a comprehensive product demo video that will show you how easy it is to get started and work on OpenFlows WaterGEMS. Watch them here.