Water and Energy – and Even More Energy

May 11, 2010 at 6:58 pm Leave a comment

Guy Horowitz

Blogging from the IWA Utilities Conference in Barcelona, courtesy of Anna Norén Bodotter of the Agbar Foundation (thanks again, Anna!).

IWA Utility Conference Barcelona

IWA Utility Conference Barcelona

The morning session dealt with Water and Energy. Yes, there are obvious interdependencies between water supply / treatment / wastewater and energy production / expenditure. But Roelof Kruize of WaterNet, a Dutch water supply and sanitation company, drew attention to some ‘hidden’ energy encapsulated within the water.

Take, for example, residential waste-water. The average temperature of the domestically-used water is 28 degrees centigrade…  No real surprise there, as a high percentage of this water comes from washing machines, hot showers and dishwashers. Turning this heat into reusable energy enables the utility to save hundreds of megawatts annually, on top of standard turbines, biogas production and other byproducts.

But advanced energy management does not stop there. Pump optimization and smart pressure management are also used for optimizing expenditure – moving energy-heavy pumping events to off-peak, and ensuring well-calibrated pressure to reduce unnecessary power expenditure. This corresponds well with TaKaDu’s Infrastructure Monitoring approach, as the real-time data on flow and pressure can be readily transposed into smart decisions – automatic or human-moderated – yielding energy efficient operation of the utility as a whole.

Some utilities are deploying smarter valves at the entrance to the DMA – I spoke to Ana Meira of I2O, a young UK-based company developing such valves, and heard about their nice progress), but in many cases deploying new equipment does not make economic or operational sense, and that’s where the power of TaKaDu’s model manifests itself most clearly.

There’s still a long way to go for realizing the full Smart Water Grid vision, nevertheless it is encouraging to see utilities as well as vendors taking initial steps in this direction.

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Entry filed under: Industry events. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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