Revolutionary Particle Swarm Optimization and Real-Time Data Management Maximizes Energy Savings for Water Utility Industry
MWH Soft, a global provider of environmental and water resources applications software, announced the newest version of its acclaimed energy management solution for water distribution systems, H2OMAP Scheduler. This major software release offers sophisticated, customer-driven capabilities that enable water utilities worldwide to leverage the power of real-time data management and advanced nature-based optimization technologies. These powerful advantages enable users to move to higher levels of productivity and efficiency by quickly developing sound, cost-effective pumping policies that reduce operational and chemical costs and enable more reliable operations.
Energy costs generally constitute the largest expenditure for nearly all water utilities worldwide, consuming as much as 65% of their annual operating budgets. One of the greatest avenues for energy cost savings is improved scheduling of daily pump operations. The new Scheduler module is expressly designed to help water distribution system operators (and train new operators) to manage energy consumption more effectively and improve overall operations with optimized pumping strategies and reservoir control. Using real-time data, the program automatically pinpoints the daily pump scheduling that best meets target hydraulic and water quality performance requirements at maximum cost savings.
First introduced in 1999, MWH Soft Scheduler has changed the way utility operators and engineering professionals around the world make informed decisions on managing their water distribution systems to maximize energy savings and optimize system performance.
The operation policy for a pump station represents a set of temporal rules or guidelines (pump operating times) that indicate when a particular pump or group of pumps should be turned on and off over a specified period of time, typically 24 hours. The optimal pump policy is the schedule of pump operations that will yield the lowest operating cost while satisfying the desired operational performance of the water system: maintaining an adequate pressure range and meeting water turnover and storage requirements. Both energy consumption and demand charges are explicitly considered.
The new version of H2OMAP Scheduler is designed for on-line applications with various SCADA systems and can be dynamically driven by an external process or computer program for high-end custom applications. This enables users to directly build, access and modify model parameters, launch the application, retrieve results and customize model software to suit their application-specific needs.
Scheduler also employs the latest advances in nature-based Particle Swarm Optimization and Genetic Algorithm optimization technology, enriched with global search control strategies to automatically determine the optimal pump operation policy for each pump station in the system. By quickly pinpointing the scheduling that best meets target hydraulic and water quality performance requirements, the program facilitates greater productivity with fewer errors, reducing operational and chemical costs and maximizing energy savings.
The new Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) is the latest advancement in population based stochastic optimization techniques inspired by social behavior of birds. PSO shares many similarities with evolutionary computation techniques such as Genetic Algorithms (GA). The system is initialized with a population of random solutions and searches for global minima/maxima by updating generations. However, unlike GA, PSO has no evolution operators such as crossover and mutation. In PSO, the potential solutions, called particles, fly through the problem space by following the current optimum particles and land on the best solution. Compared to GA, the main advantages of PSO are that it requires fewer parameters to be adjusted and exhibits faster convergence characteristics.
"The new H2OMAP Scheduler is an invaluable water distribution planning and operations tool," said Paul F. Boulos, Ph.D, president and CEO of MWH Soft. "It will greatly aid water utilities in improving the efficiency of their distribution systems by evaluating various rate schedules, optimizing residence times and storage/pumping trade-offs and ensuring more reliable operations. Since day one, our mission has been to bring powerful product development capabilities to the engineering modeling community and foster its expansion in the process. This new version is a significant leap - one that exemplifies our ongoing commitment to delivering superior value to our customers who manage and operate safe, reliable drinking water distribution systems. It greatly enhances their ability to produce the best possible pumping schedules with minimum effort, reduced labor requirements and significant cost savings. MWH Soft is very proud to offer this revolutionary new power tool to our clients."