We present you one more project recognised by Bentley Systems’ 2021 Going Digital Awards in Infrastructure. This is part of our cycle of interviews with the winners and finalists in the water categories: Water and Wastewater Treatment Plants and Water, Wastewater and Stormwater Networks.
In this interview we hear about the project Pump Operation Optimization Through Hydraulic Modeling Using OpenFlows WaterGEMS, by Maynilad Water Services Inc. A finalist in the Water, Wastewater and Stormwater Networks category, the project location was the city Muntinlupa, part of Metro Manila, in the Philippines, where Maynilad Water Services operates 67 active pump-fed areas with 1.08 million water service connections.
Pumping operations in the west zone of Metro Manila were managed with manual processes, something which often resulted in high non-revenue water due to excessive pressure. With this project, the company sought a digital solution to optimize their pumping operations. OpenFlows WaterGEMS was chosen to digitalize the pump operation optimization process in a priority facility used as a pilot. Bentley’s interoperable, open application simplified data integration enabled the creation of a digital twin of the facility network. The model helped identify pumping inefficiencies an implement corrective maintenance, with a projected power reduction of 13% and annual savings of USD 4,000.
Question: To what extent can digital tools help improve water infrastructure projects’ design, construction and operations?
Answer: As digital tools emerged in the field of water infrastructure projects, processes done from planning up to implementation of projects have become a lot easier and more manageable. Through the use of these tools, we were given opportunities to identify the most efficient and sustainable approach to the design, construction, and operations, with less time consumed due to its innovative approach to accomplish projects. Digital tools have enabled automation of the once manual processes, thus eliminating excessive manpower, time, and resources.
Q: What capabilities of Bentley’s tools do you think have been key for the success of your project?
A: Using OpenFlows WaterGEMS, digitizing the West Zone of Metro Manila became a lot easier because of its user-friendly interface and multi-platform feature. In pump operation optimization, data from different platforms were easily integrated into the hydraulic model using OpenFlows WaterGEMS, thus creating a digital twin of the pump station and its influence area which enabled detailed analysis with less manpower, time, and resources.
In addition, another capability of Bentley’s tools that helped in the success of our project is the function which easily provides alternative solutions to different scenarios that you can compare within the software to choose the best option that will provide a more efficient and cost-effective result.
Q: Could you briefly explain what have been the social, economic and environmental impacts of your project?
A: Pump operation optimization provides benefits in the form of increased savings for the company, improved pressure and supply availability for the community, and reduced carbon footprint for a sustainable environment. Looking forward into the future, optimizing pump facilities can greatly help in the following:
- First is the potential power consumption reduction for facilities found out to be operating inefficiently.
- Second, reducing the power consumption of facilities also has a positive environmental impact as it also reduces the carbon footprint of the company.
- Third, since optimization considers all aspects of water supply management, improvement in supply management is also expected.
- Fourth, the reduced power consumption of optimized pump facilities can also turn into increased revenues and monetary savings.
- And lastly, improving water supply management will result in better customer service.
Q: What benefits would you highlight from the use of digital tools in terms of collaboration between the different teams and the clients?
A: Through the use of digital tools in water infrastructure projects, we have continuously identified the best solutions and project proposals to the various problems that we have encountered in the water network. With this, we have built the trust of the teams and clients with regard to the reliability of the hydraulic models that we’ve created. This in turn have resulted to a more harmonious interaction and agreement with different teams because of the reliable results of the simulations.
Q: Can you comment on the overall cost-effectiveness of using Bentley’s tools in the project?
A: Using OpenFlows WaterGEMS we were able to perform hydraulic simulations and generate reliable results or options to decide on the most economical approach to do a project or operational scheme. Therefore, we can always choose the most cost-effective option for every scenario with less manpower, time, and resources.