The Water Research Foundation (WRF) has announced a request for proposals for “Integrating Energy Data into Water Utility Operations: Energy Management Challenges and Best Practices”.
Many water utilities (drinking water, wastewater, distribution systems, collection systems) have goals to reduce energy consumption, become energy neutral, or even become net energy producers. Although previous research has highlighted energy reduction strategies, such as installing sensors, optimizing treatment processes, and using time-of-use power schemes, these strategies rely on data-driven systems and decision making. Innovations in sensor technology, the expansion of IoT (internet of things), and continual price reductions in these technologies have resulted in more sensor and IoT systems being implemented in water utilities. Key systems being monitored include chemical dosing, treatment process monitoring, aeration blowers, pumping, and others. Although data collection activities are growing, there are few concrete examples of how big data can help reduce energy consumption.
This study would document established practices and develop guidelines for implementing and utilizing big-data projects for reducing energy consumption in a cost-efficient manner. It would also document successful implementations of IoT sensor deployment and integration into current supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) environments leading to predictive decision-making systems.
- Establish a proposed universal approach for identifying/developing strategies and best practices with supporting system components involved in optimizing utility operations using energy data (i.e., power monitors, sensors, sensor data, communications, centralized data storage and management, data analytics, process decision modeling and controls, correlation of data sets, data collection parameters, administrative ownership, and management, etc.).
- The maximum funding available from WRF for this project is $200,000. The applicant must contribute additional resources equivalent to at least 33% of the project award.
- Project Duration: The anticipated period of performance for this project is 18 months from the contract start date.
- With both established and emerging technologies, there are multiple levels to the research approach. This project would likely require an extensive literature review (potentially building on WRF projects 4978 and 5091) and a survey to capture best practices that water and wastewater utilities have been using. Emerging technologies or approaches should also be tested at the pilot scale to demonstrate steps necessary for implementation. The goal of the project i to establish standards and guidelines for water utilities to rely on when implementing sensors and systems to optimize energy management. WRF encourages creativity and originality from the proposers. Proposers should describe how they will conduct research to meet the objectives listed above. The approach mentioned here is merely a starting point.
- A final report that includes, but is not limited to, a literature review and case studies of successful implementations.
- A pilot/demonstration of optimized process control using dynamic real-time energy data.
- A webcast (WRF-sponsored) towards the end of the project to showcase the findings.
- Proposals will be accepted from both U.S.-based and non-U.S.-based entities, including educational institutions, research organizations, governmental agencies, and consultants or other for-profit entities.
For more information, visit Water Research Foundation.