Large investments will be needed within water and wastewater facilities the coming years. Digital twins of wastewater treatment plants can facilitate more efficient systems for better utilization of resources, lower emissions of pullutants to air and water as well as reduced operational and capital costs.
Wastewater treatment plants (WTTPs) are producers of clean water, energy, heat and nutrients. Sweden is on the forefront within the area but the water and wastewater sector faces great challenges such as aging infrastructure, stricter effluent demands and climate change, which leads to a substantial need for investment. At the same time there are large potential benefits from increased automation and digitalization of the water systems. It is important that the needed investments are done in a smart way.
To develop and implement digital twins within wastewater treatment is an innovative and radical change in how the plants are operated and controlled. It facilitates a substantially increased overview over the resources that are handled (in the wastewater as well as those that are added to the process, such as chemicals) through the use of different types of models as well as data quality control. In the end it gives the user the possibility to operate the plant in a better way which also contributes to optimal design of new plants.
Within this project, a method for developing digital twins at wastewater treatment plants will be developed, including real time process simulation and data validation. The method will be verified by implementation of a digital twin for the WWTP Öresundsverket in Helsingborg, Sweden, where results will be evaluated and benefits quantified. Since the method that is developed will be generic, there is great potential to reuse the knowledge for other process industries with the need to treat water, such as the high water demand paper and pulp industries.
Magnus Arnell is project manager for the project from RISE. Partners in the project are Lund University, Nordvästra Skånes Vatten och Avlopp (NSVA) and Gemit Solutions.
Digital twin WWTP
Coordinator, project management and industrial PhD-student
8 158 270
Formas Smart Built Environment, Nordvästra Skånes Vatten och Avlopp AB (NSVA), Svenskt Vatten Utveckling