Cities, Industrial water, Research & development, Technology & innovation

The digital future of industrial water

Industrial water and surrounding water environments are going virtual

Industrial water and surrounding water environments are going virtual

Whatever can be digitised, automated and virtualised…will be. Industrial water and surrounding water environments are going virtual; it’s a matter of time and investment. The technology is here.

What is ‘Digitisation’ and what can it do?

Digitisation of a water system is the development of its virtual copy – a numerical simulation model – which has most of the features of the physical system. These simulation models can then be used for system analysis and optimisation, both within desktop studies as well as in online applications. For example, a recent modelling study on a large industrial cooling system revealed potential to:

  • increase cooling water flow by 18% at current pumping cost; or
  • reduce pumping costs by 23% while maintaining current flows

The internal rate of return for the investment was 16% based on energy cost savings alone, without taking into account the additional, potential production gains. These can be huge and often easily accessible. The model showed that the mentioned 18% flow increase would allow for a 9,2% increase of heat rejection at the same hot water temperature! What would such an improvement mean to your plant?

The future of industrial water management

When you digitise your water systems, you gain a competitive edge. Not only do your processes become safer and more reliable, you also start to make better use of your resources – water, energy, environment, products.

Technology building blocks – which enable virtualisation of water systems – can be put together after a hydraulic analysis of your industrial plant. Substantial improvements can be expected, with digital technologies being the catalyst for your productivity and energy savings. To achieve the full gains, you will have to go through a process with several stages which could be extended in time – so it may be worth to start now.