05 Sep 2016

New technology for real-time optimisation and control of water systems

Real-time operation of water infrastructure is an important element in managing water systems. This includes, amongst others, operation of river and reservoir systems for flood control, irrigation and hydropower production, and operation of urban drainage systems for storm and wastewater management. Traditionally, real-time operation of such systems is carried out using rule-based control of individual controllable elements. There is a significant potential for enhancing the operational efficiency of water systems by global, system-wide optimisation of all control structures.

In an on-going R&D project, DHI is developing a new technology that solves large system-wide optimisation and control problems in real-time. The technology is based on a Model Predictive Control (MPC) framework that uses a dynamic model of the system to optimise the operations. The framework combines MIKE Powered by DHI models with computationally efficient surrogate control models. This ensures transparent and cost-efficient solutions for implementation in real-time forecasting and operation systems. The generic basis of the MPC technology allows us to efficiently develop real-time control solutions for a wide range of different types of water problems.

The technology has been demonstrated with a prototype real-time forecasting and operations system of the Murrumbidgee River in New South Wales, Australia. With the new system, the irrigation scheduling in the Murrumbidgee River is optimised in order to support two major irrigation areas as well as over 700 individual users along the 1300 km river. In addition, the optimisation ensures that other operational goals in terms of environmental flow requirements and minimisation of losses of water are met. 

Burrinjuck Dam, one of the dams supplying water for the Murrumbidgee River system. © DHI

To learn more about the project, read the research article produced by our experts that was published by Procedia Engineering Journal for the 12th International Conference on Hydroinformatics 2016.