United Utilities were looking to trial a novel dynamic pressure management solution to assist with network calming within a particularly challenging DMA. The DMA was a mixture of domestic and commercial properties with large elevation variance and pressure fluctuations thought to be the result of fast demand changes caused by industrial users and a pumping station located to the north of the DMA.
The objective was to ‘calm’ the DMA whilst maintaining the network’s critical point (CP) in an automated manner to extend asset life and eradicate burst events. This required the building of an equivalent network (EN International Patent Application No: PCT/GB2019/052992) model, accurately computed algorithms using principal variables (flow, pressure, elevation, high frequency (HF) spatial coverage/sampling) in conjunction with the Cla-Val PRV and self powered PRV D12 Controller.
Upon the completion of due diligence and planning, a number of InflowSense™ High Frequency (HF) pressure monitoring devices were deployed (with GPS measured elevations) linked to the InflowSolve™ data analytics platform. Additionally, the existing PRV was replaced with a Cla-Val 100mm GE-D12-99- 01 Pressure Management valve linked to the Cla-Val Link2Valves™ web platform via the Cla-Val D12 intelligent valve controller. The valve was initially set to a fixed outlet pressure in order to gather baseline data (pre-modulation).
The key data points (pressure/flow/HF data, elevation) from the InflowSense™ HF devices and Cla-Val D12 controller created an EN model enabling the production of a series of PRV flow/control curves. The close proximity of the PRV to the CP required a further creative approach of translating the CP target to the nearest monitored asset. By doing this, an optimal ‘flight-path’ of PRV flow/control curves using a ‘relative hydraulic relationship’ were successively issued to the Cla-Val D12 controller for actuation which achieved network calming.
Working collaboratively with Inflowmatix and Cla-Val gave considerable insight into a challenging area of our distribution network. This enabled us to improve performance beyond what could be achieved with typical network calming approaches. This is already delivering service benefits for customers and – by extending asset life – will continue to do so for the future
Matthew HolmesUnited Utilities Network Performance Engineer
Using a combination of InflowSys™ analytics, the Cla-Val Link2Valves™ platform and an optimally sized PRV, enabled:
- The hydraulic conditions of the network to be clearly understood and optimised (see graph) through the creation and acceptance of a number of pressure/flow control curves.
- ‘Network calming’ achieved whilst maintaining the Critical Point (CP) at its target pressure through dynamic modulation of the DMA. 3. Transitioning from a fixed outlet to dynamic modulation reduced the night flow l/s by 20% and the Average Zonal Pressure (AZP) by 5%.