Water Journal : Water Journal December 2012
intelligent water networks refereed paper technical features 106 DECEMBER 2012 water During the trial period, 26 meter failures were detected and classified, on average six days earlier than previous identification measures. Of these, six were detected from abnormal behaviour, which would have been impossible to detect using thresholds or existing methods. The trial, however, did emphasise the importance of reliable and working meters. The models did not depend on meter ‘accuracy’ or calibration, but rather relative shifts compared to expected prior behaviour. However, meters do still need to be operational for the system to work well. Burst prevention by detecting leakage earlier TaKaDu promotes the idea that the earlier you detect leakage, the more likely you are to identify bursts before they happen, and that abnormal pressure behaviour in a zone can lead to bursts. This common view that unattended leaks can turn into large-scale bursts has recently been seen in the Bellevue main failure in 2009 (Marney and Sharma, 2012). To test this view, burst information was recorded and compared against existing behaviour in a zone. This analysis did not show any conclusive proof of this hypothesis. In some cases, bursts were shown to be preceded by gradual increases in flows (indicated by flow increase alerts). However, this was not a universally seen phenomenon across bursts and the different zones in the system. When analysed, the alerts in the system did show that a burst will often cause subsequent clustering of bursts in a zone. Clear evidence supporting or disproving the hypothesis of unattended leaks turning into bursts in all cases was not seen. efficiency savings TaKaDu alleges to save money by increasing efficiencies in reducing costs, time and losses of water. To assess TaKaDu’s efficiency claims, costing information was recorded against the volumes of water identified and other savings found. This was used to perform cost-benefit analysis on the system. In consideration of the efficiencies gained, Yarra Valley Water assessed the performance of the system in improving the entire Network Operations space. Preliminary results of this trial and sensitivity analysis suggest that a return on investment increase of -10 % to 40% on top of business as usual performance could be achieved, despite the additional expense for the running and operating of the system. However, given the rapid evolution and development of the tool, and the potential improvements in system performance from a wider scale adoption, a pilot trial was commissioned to gauge more accurately the business benefits. limitations and further investigation While the pilot program of the TaKaDu system identified the potential for significant benefits, the limited size and scope did not allow for the long- term business benefits to be accurately measured due to the following factors: • The trial only covered one-third of Yarra Valley Water’s area, therefore reducing any combined benefits; • The system was not fully integrated into workflow monitoring; • The trial itself was not done in near real time due to SCADA infrastructure delays. The limited nature of the trial also further limited the investigation of wholesale bulk water billing possibilities or valve configuration testing. Therefore, in order to value the long-term benefits of the system and, in particular, to measure additional savings areas in new applications such as wholesale bulk water billing, a further trial was commissioned on Yarra Valley Water’s full network. full Network pilot Trial in 2012 and features in Development To appropriately gauge the long-term business return on investment, Yarra Valley Water adopted the TaKaDu system on the full network. The purpose of this trial was to also expand the assessment beyond leak detection to encompass the impacts on the wholesale water bill estimation, hydraulic model calibration, works management and management of Class A recycled water networks. This trial commenced in February 2012 and will run until February 2013. While this trial has only just commenced, the TaKaDu system has had substantial improvements during this period as the functionality is rapidly developing with bi-monthly updates. This comes at zero impact to Yarra Valley Water. This has included enhanced geolocation features as well as finer event classification and grouping. The trial also coincided with an upgrade to Clear SCADA, enabling events to be issued in hourly intervals. Of key importance to Yarra Valley Water is the ability to capture operations understanding and be able to assist with the estimation of the wholesale water bill. The future of Intelligent Water Networks at yarra Valley Water Ultimately, Yarra Valley Water supports IWN software solutions for the Australian environment. The experience with TaKaDu demonstrates that it is possible to use IWN software, advanced metering and skilled operators to gain even more efficiency. It was identified that such systems can save time, cost and, importantly, water above and beyond the already high standards of Australian water utilities. Yarra Valley Water’s experience has also shown that reliable metering is essential to any IWN solution, but software can still help you diagnose and identify these issues. If you have sufficient metering deployed and accessible in your SCADA system, then you are really able to make the most of these opportunities. TaKaDu also presents the ability for operators to quickly get a feel for what normal operation of the network looks like. This soft benefit of understanding behaviour and expected operations is quite beneficial. Currently, Yarra Valley Water is working with TaKaDu in applying these methodologies to its wholesale water bill estimation to help assist with the verification of the bill. At this stage this benefit has not been fully proven. Figure 10. Demonstration of the accuracy of the geolocation algorithm for a burst in Glenroy during the 2011 proof-of-concept trial. 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Water Journal February 2013
Water Journal November 2012-1