Experimental tests were performed to demonstrate applicability of remote real time control (RTC) of pressures for leakage reduction in water distribution networks (WDNs). The experimental tests were carried out in a laboratory pilot system equipped with a motorized plunger valve. A RTC system with the adoption of an integral-type control algorithm was implemented in order to adjust the valve on the basis of pressure measurements acquired in real time. A numerical model of the pilot system was used to verify the suitability of the hypothesis of steady-state conditions in simulating the laboratory tests. The results of the experiments show that, under appropriate calibration of the control algorithm, the RTC system is able to perform effective control of the pressure. Comparison between results of the simulations and experiments reveals that the steady-state model describes correctly the evolution of the pressure control processes observed in the laboratory pilot system, thus opening perspectives for testing remote RTC schemes for leakage management in real WDNs.
Keywords: Control valve; Pressure control; Remote real time control; Water distribution systems.
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