Pressure Management by Combining Pressure Reducing Valves and Pumps As Turbines for Water Loss Reduction and Energy Recovery

Pressure Management by Combining Pressure Reducing Valves and Pumps As Turbines for Water Loss Reduction and Energy Recovery

S. Parra S. Krause

Sanitary Engineering and Waste Management, University of the Federal Armed Forces Munich, Germany.

1 February 2017
| Citation



Conventional pressure reducing valves (PRVs) are often used in water distribution systems for pressure control and water loss reduction. Nevertheless, depending on the conditions in the network, advanced pressure management approaches might be more suitable. In this study, the potential water loss reduction for an intelligent system that combines PRVs and pumps as turbines (PATs) in a pilot study in Germany was estimated. The aim of the proposed system is to recover the pressure energy in the supply network by transforming it into electricity and, at the same time, contribute to the reduction of water losses and material stress. In order to evaluate the pressure situation and predict the water savings of the different pressure management strategies in the studied supply area, hydraulic modelling was used. Using the calibrated model, the optimal outlet pressure for the installed PRV and for the intelligent pressure control system was calculated, taking into account the pressure at the critical point as a boundary condition. Furthermore, the pressure-dependant leakage flow was simulated using the emitter coefficient feature in EPANET. Here, a pressure exponent of 1.5 was used, assuming uniform background leakage along the distribution system. For the analysed network, 28.5% and 45% water savings are expected for the fixed and for the advanced pressure management strategy, respectively. The predicted water savings and the leakage assumptions are to be verified either on field or experimentally. This study concludes that hydraulic modelling is essential for assessing water supply networks, as well as for optimizing current pressure management strategies and predicting its benefits.


EPANET, hydraulic modelling, pressure management, pressure reducing valve, pump as turbine, water loss reduction


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