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Water-Energy Nexus in Air Entrained Pressurised Pipelines and Air Control/Removal Strategies

Academic lead
Mohsen Besharat, Civil Eng
Duncan Borman, Civil Eng, Arash Rabbani, Computing, Helena Margarida Ramos, Instituto Superior Técnico University of Lisbon
Project themes
Energy and Transport, Environmental Flows, Other: Sustainable Water Infrastructure, Underpinning Methods for Fluid Dynamics
The water sector is facing crucial challenges because of climate change and population growth, compromising serviceability. The demand for water and energy is expected to respectively increase by 55 and 80 per cent by 2050. Special considerations of the water-energy nexus are required in the design and operation of water systems. The conveyance capacity of a pipeline and its operating energy expenditure is strongly influenced by factors like friction and pressure variations but also by air entrainment. Entrapped air in pressurized lines often results in various operational and technical problems, which have been frequently ignored. This project will look at negative effects of entrapped air on water-energy nexus and strategies to control negative effects or remove air. The research will
be a combination of experimental (with the potential to be developed at University of Lisbon) and numerical studies based on latest findings in 1D/CFD techniques and automated image analysis coupled with machine learning. Outcomes will feed into the current standards and policies toward more reliable and sustainable design. The project will explore widely used international standards like the M51 manual by AWWA making the research comprehensively industry aligned. Findings can be directly used in both design and operation of water systems, which interests not only design engineers but also practitioners. The theoretical findings can support the development of digital simulation tools as well.