Using digital twins enables operators to look beyond asset snapshots frozen in time and receive timely data that communicates real-time updates. Having immediate access to this data helps operators and engineers make more timely and better-informed decisions when it comes to maintenance, optimizing operations, conducting repairs and responding to issues. It also allows experts to consider the entire water supply system when planning upgrades, assessing the best way to repair or improve the system and responding to unusual situations. Without such tools, simpler and conservative predictions drive up capital and operating costs as they limit engineers from quantifying the extent to which the network is its own protection, as loops can split and dissipate transient energy.
To develop such a model, it is essential to have the right platform and solver capable of carrying out millions of calculations in a matter of seconds accurately. Bentley HAMMER, developed by EHG (now WSP-Hydraulics), used a Method of Characteristic (MOC) solver that calculated the transient pressure/HGL at the nodes and along with the intermediate points.
The enhanced models are now information assets that the in-house hydraulic engineers will maintain at Toronto Water and York Region and used to answer operational questions such as how to grow the system. Over the next few years, the models will also ‘grow’ and connect, forming a single model representing the large-scale system at the highest accuracy to pinpoint problem areas.