Advanced modelling and simulation of water distribution systems with discontinuous control elements
Water distribution systems are large and complex structures. Hence, their construction, management and improvements are time consuming and expensive. But nearly all the optimisation methods, whether aimed at design or operation, suffer from the need for simulation models necessary to evaluate the performance of solutions to the problem. These simulation models, however, are increasing in size and complexity, and especially for operational control purposes, where there is a need to regularly update the control strategy to account for the fluctuations in demands, the combination of a hydraulic simulation model and optimisation is likely to be computationally excessive for all but the simplest of networks. The work presented in this thesis has been motivated by the need for reduced, whilst at the same time appropriately accurate, models to replicate the complex and nonlinear nature of water distribution systems in order to optimise their operation. This thesis attempts to establish the ground rules to form an underpinning basis for the formulation and subsequent evaluation of such models. Part I of this thesis introduces some of the modelling, simulation and optimisation problems currently faced by water industry. A case study is given to emphasise one particular subject, namely reduction of water distribution system models. A systematic research resulted in development of a new methodology which encapsulate not only the system mass balance but also the system energy distribution within the model reduction process. The methodology incorporates the energy audits concepts into the model reduction algorithm allowing the preservation of the original model energy distribution by imposing new pressure constraints in the reduced model. The appropriateness of the new methodology is illustrated on the theoretical and industrial case studies. Outcomes from these studies demonstrate that the new extension to the model reduction technique can simplify the inherent complexity of water networks while preserving the completeness of original information. An underlying premise which forms a common thread running through the thesis, linking Parts I and II, is in recognition of the need for the more efficient paradigm to model and simulate water networks; effectively accounting for the discontinuous behaviour exhibited by water network components. Motivated largely by the potential of contemplating a new paradigm to water distribution system modelling and simulation, a further major research area, which forms the basis of Part II, leads to a study of the discrete event specification formalism and quantised state systems to formulate a framework within which water distribution systems can be modelled and simulated. In contrast to the classic time-slicing simulators, depending on the numerical integration algorithms, the quantisation of system states would allow accounting for the discontinuities exhibited by control elements in a more efficient manner, and thereby, offer a significant increase in speed of the simulation of water network models. The proposed approach is evaluated on a number of case studies and compared with results obtained from the Epanet2 simulator and OpenModelica. Although the current state-of-art of the simulation tools utilising the quantised state systems do not allow to fully exploit their potential, the results from comparison demonstrate that, if the second or third order quantised-based integrations are used, the quantised state systems approach can outperform the conventional water network simulation methods in terms of simulation accuracy and run-time.
Research Institute : Institute of Artificial Intelligence (IAI)
- PhD