Development of a Soft Sensor for Flow Estimation in Water Supply Systems Using Artificial Neural Networks

Sensors (Basel). 2022 Apr 18;22(8):3084. doi: 10.3390/s22083084.


A water supply system is considered an essential service to the population as it is about providing an essential good for life. This system typically consists of several sensors, transducers, pumps, etc., and some of these elements have high costs and/or complex installation. The indirect measurement of a quantity can be used to obtain a desired variable, dispensing with the use of a specific sensor in the plant. Among the contributions of this technique is the design of the pressure controller using the adaptive control, as well as the use of an artificial neural network for the construction of nonlinear models using inherent system parameters such as pressure, engine rotation frequency and control valve angle, with the purpose of estimating the flow. Among the various contributions of the research, we can highlight the suppression in the acquisition of physical flow meters, the elimination of physical installation and others. The validation was carried out through tests in an experimental bench located in the Laboratory of Energy and Hydraulic Efficiency in Sanitation of the Federal University of Paraiba. The results of the soft sensor were compared with those of an electromagnetic flux sensor, obtaining a maximum error of 10%.

Keywords: artificial neural networks; indirect measurement; soft sensor; water supply systems.

MeSH terms

  • Neural Networks, Computer*
  • Nonlinear Dynamics
  • Transducers
  • Water Supply
  • Water*


  • Water