Evaluating Energy Dynamics in Small to Medium-Sized Water Distribution Systems in Ontario, Canada
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Water distribution systems (WDSs) are responsible for delivering potable water to millions of consumers in urban centers around the globe. These systems consist of a multitude of interconnected components, including pipes, pumps, tanks, and reservoirs. The intent of this thesis was to characterize the energy dynamics of four real WDSs located in Ontario, Canada. First, a critical review of the existing body of research related to energy indicators for WDSs was completed. The review focused on two main themes: the relationship between water distribution and energy consumption and the application of energy indicators to provide meaningful guidance to WDS operators and owners regarding energy use. Previously developed energy indicators were then used to evaluate and compare the energy efficiency, energy lost to friction, energy lost to leakage, and the surplus energy of the four systems. Hypothesis testing was completed to identify statistically significant correlations between system characteristics (topography, hydraulic redundancy, peak demand) and energy use patterns in each system. The test systems were found to have a high energy efficiency ranging from 75-94% (leak-free) and 58-70% (leaky). Friction losses comprised 3-22% of the total energy input to the systems. Energy lost to leakage comprised 23-26% of total energy input to the test systems. The standard deviation of node elevation and hydraulic redundancy did not have a statistically significant correlation with the energy use indicators. High frictional energy losses during peak demand periods was identified as the cause of a strong and statistically significant correlation between peak hour factor and energy use in the four systems for the leak-free scenario.