Variable-speed pumps simulation in EPANET

ABSTRACT In water distribution systems, energy savings can be achieved by substituting fixed-speed pumps by variable-speed pumps (VSP). The high costs of installation and operation of VSP require a preliminary economic assessment of the project, which is usually complemented by the use of a computer simulation software for hydraulic analyses of the system. One of the most used software programs for this purpose is EPANET 2, which is inaccurate when computing VSP efficiency. This is because the software does not take into account the changes in the pump efficiency curve when the pump speed is changed. In this study, a routine for calculating VSP efficiency, based on literature methodology, was implemented in the source code of EPANET 2. The influence of the new routine on the results predicted by the software for efficiency, power and energy consumption of VSP was evaluated in simulations with a hypothetical network. The results show that the original version of EPANET 2 tends to underestimate the efficiency and thus overestimate the power and energy consumption of VSP. The modified version of EPANET 2 provides a better prediction of VSP behavior; thus, its use is recommended in the simulation of water distribution networks equipped with VSP.