Flow control and energy efficiency optimization in water wells
Context - Problem
When designing the hydraulic system of a groundwater extraction well, the pump is generally oversized and, if no action is taken, the outlet flow will be higher than the target value.
Usually, a valve is placed in the outlet pipe, which is adjusted manually until the flow is the desired value.
This forced reduction in flow results in a reduction in the energy efficiency of the well and, as a result, the water cost is more expesive than is strictly necessary.
This problem led us to improve our extraction control system, which was developed in Chile in order to report the parameters required by the DGA (Water General Directory).
Today it is common to find wells that use a frequency variator to regulate the speed of the drive pump. This makes it possible to electronically regulate the flow and thus eliminate the regulating valve at the outlet. While this improves efficiency, it does not necessarily optimize it as the pump motor is most likely not working at the point of maximum efficiency.
To achieve this, in the RTU-X that is used to monitor the parameters of the well, a control loop was implemented that allows to achieve different objectives:
- Remotely set well outlet flow
- Maximize the energy efficiency of the system
In this way, the user can define the extraction parameters from their cell phone or computer without having to go to the well to manually adjust the speed variator, but also, if there is no urgent need for water, they can select to extract it at minimal cost.
In either case, the system automatically adapts to find the optimal frequency to minimize operating and water extraction costs.
We help our clients answer the following questions:
When water is needed, which wells should I use? The ones that give more water or the most efficient in terms of energy?
Is the aquifer drying up? Should I do other piercings?
What is the combination of wells that allows me to minimize extraction costs?