One man with an energy saving vision

The story of Derceto and Aquadapt began with one man and his vision of how New Zealand’s capital city – Wellington – could achieve major energy savings in its water reticulation by applying sophisticated modeling techniques developed for New Zealand’s national hydroelectricity generation system.

Back in the late 1990s, Murray Kennedy, then a senior manager for Wellington’s Regional Council (now known as Greater Wellington Regional Council), drew on his experience gained in the electricity industry when low water levels in the country’s hydro lakes precipitated a national power crisis. In response, an existing modeling system was further developed so storage of hydro water could be more effectively and efficiently managed and accurate forecasts could be made to ensure supply could meet demand.

“Applying these learnings to the water industry I could see that our current practice of using expensive peak electricity during the day to keep reservoirs topped up was not cost-efficient. There had to be a better way,” Murray Kennedy recalls.  

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FAQ

Q: How can a reservoir level be predicted to go up when it is below minimum and no pumps/valves are scheduled on to fill it?

Oct 19 2010

A: If a reservoir level is below the minimum limit this breaches a primary constraint. There could be many reasons for this including bringing a tank back into service or recovery after pipeline or pump station failure. To allow the Aquadapt Solver to find a solution we make it assume the storage tank it is at minimum level at the start of the solve period. Aquadapt software may then show the tank level at this level which is greater than the actual level for the next period even when nothing is actually filling the reservoir. Normally back up level control will ensure the tank stays above minimum. We indicate that this is not a true indication of level by shading all of the level values on the screen grey instead of blue to make it more obvious that this level data is invalid.

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