The export product is an ingenious planning tool for renewal of the water supply network: simulation software that makes sure that the right pipelines are replaced at the right time; i.e. before they start to leak.
This is a tool that the SINTEF scientists can see a need for all over the world, and which they have already used in a number of Norwegian cities.
Saving both money and water
The “product” is an analytical tool called “Computer-Aided REhabilitation of Water networks (CARE-W), a software package that SINTEF Building Research and NTNU have helped to develop under the auspices of the EU.
The software assesses the condition and performance of the water supply grid in a new, systematic way, giving water engineers a tool that they have lacked until now, according to SINTEF's Leif Sigurd Hafskjold, who is leading the projects in the US.
“The system provides a basis for making decisions that ensure that water pipes are not renewed too late, but not too early either. This can save local authorities and other supply grid owners large amounts of unnecessary spending as well as saving water, which is a scarce resource in many parts of the world”, explains Hafskjold.
At the moment, the software exists only as a prototype version. According to Hafskjold, the contracts with Las Vegas and Tampa will function as full-scale trials.
Reactions usually too late
The CARE-W project is based on observations made by Norwegian and other scientists in their own countries, and which are described in the following terms by SINTEF's Leif Sigurd Hafskjold: “The usual situation is that owners of water supply grids react only when reports of faults begin to come in. But by that time, the leaks may well have been been frequent and serious enough to have caused damage and financial loss. And it is not unusual for a decision to dig up a pipeline to be made immediately after another department has been excavating in the same area and has just filled in its trenches.
The SINTEF scientists' optimism regarding the market potential for CARE-W is due to the fact that the “patch up the damage” philosophy is currently meeting a counter-current of opinion in many parts of the world: a growing interest in managing collective investments correctly, including the values laid down in the water and sewage network. It is not so strange that such a wave of interest has arrived; this sector is not handling small change.
“If Norway were to replace the whole of its local water and sewage networks all at once, it would cost NOK 400 billion, which is half of the national budget,” says Hafskjold.
Help to “see” beneath the surface
CARE-W is tailor-made for this wave of awareness. The software helps local authorities that wish to improve their water supply management and rehabilitation programmes. According to Hafskjold, analyses are alpha and omega for the people who watch over our subterranean infrastructure.
“People who assess the maintenance requirements of buildings can measure humidity and count cracks. But this is a much more expensive process where buried water and sewage pipelines are concerned.
Good management in the water supply and sewage sector is now in sharp focus on both sides of the Atlantic. In Norway, SINTEF Building Research has used the CARE-W software package to help around 20 local authorities to estimate their maintenance requirements.
Interest in asset management is also rapidly growing in the USA. This has led to SINTEF Building Research being invited to join projects with its CARE-W software in two cities of a million inhabitants over there.
The first order from the USA came to SINTEF Building Research just over a year ago from the desert gambling city of Las Vegas, a rapidly growing city with limited access to water, where there is a particularly strong desire to avoid leaky water pipes. As sub-contractors to New York's Polytechnic University, Hafskjold and his colleagues have been helping the Las Vegas Valley Water District to adopt the CARE-W package. The original contract has already been extended.
The second order recently came in from Hillsborough County, which surrounds Tampa, one of the largest cities in the State of Florida. This is a one-year project worth a million kroner. The project involves the SINTEF scientists using the CARE-W package on its own, as sub-contractors to the UK Halcrow Group consulting company. Now they have also been contacted by Tampa, which wishes to know more about the capabilities of the software.
Aase Dragland | alfa
Stable magnetic bit of three atoms
21.09.2017 | Sonderforschungsbereich 668
Drones can almost see in the dark
20.09.2017 | Universität Zürich
At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.
Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
25.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
25.09.2017 | Health and Medicine
25.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy