Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

SINTEF goes underground in Las Vegas and Florida

25.01.2008
SINTEF scientists are currently helping two major US cities to manage “buried treasure” worth billions of dollars. They have helped to develop planning tools that are used to manage and rehabilitate water supply grids – on both sides of the Atlantic.

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
Further information:
http://www.sintef.no/care-w

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Bursting the clouds for better communication
18.10.2018 | Université de Genève

nachricht Research on light-matter interaction could improve electronic and optoelectronic devices
11.10.2018 | Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Goodbye, silicon? On the way to new electronic materials with metal-organic networks

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz (Germany) together with scientists from Dresden, Leipzig, Sofia (Bulgaria) and Madrid (Spain) have now developed and characterized a novel, metal-organic material which displays electrical properties mimicking those of highly crystalline silicon. The material which can easily be fabricated at room temperature could serve as a replacement for expensive conventional inorganic materials used in optoelectronics.

Silicon, a so called semiconductor, is currently widely employed for the development of components such as solar cells, LEDs or computer chips. High purity...

Im Focus: Storage & Transport of highly volatile Gases made safer & cheaper by the use of “Kinetic Trapping"

Augsburg chemists present a new technology for compressing, storing and transporting highly volatile gases in porous frameworks/New prospects for gas-powered vehicles

Storage of highly volatile gases has always been a major technological challenge, not least for use in the automotive sector, for, for example, methane or...

Im Focus: Disrupting crystalline order to restore superfluidity

When we put water in a freezer, water molecules crystallize and form ice. This change from one phase of matter to another is called a phase transition. While this transition, and countless others that occur in nature, typically takes place at the same fixed conditions, such as the freezing point, one can ask how it can be influenced in a controlled way.

We are all familiar with such control of the freezing transition, as it is an essential ingredient in the art of making a sorbet or a slushy. To make a cold...

Im Focus: Micro energy harvesters for the Internet of Things

Fraunhofer IWS Dresden scientists print electronic layers with polymer ink

Thin organic layers provide machines and equipment with new functions. They enable, for example, tiny energy recuperators. In future, these will be installed...

Im Focus: Dynamik einzelner Proteine

Neue Messmethode erlaubt es Forschenden, die Bewegung von Molekülen lange und genau zu verfolgen

Das Zusammenspiel aus Struktur und Dynamik bestimmt die Funktion von Proteinen, den molekularen Werkzeugen der Zelle. Durch Fortschritte in der...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Conference to pave the way for new therapies

17.10.2018 | Event News

Berlin5GWeek: Private industrial networks and temporary 5G connectivity islands

16.10.2018 | Event News

5th International Conference on Cellular Materials (CellMAT), Scientific Programme online

02.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

RUDN chemist tested a new nanocatalyst for obtaining hydrogen

18.10.2018 | Life Sciences

Massive organism is crashing on our watch

18.10.2018 | Earth Sciences

Electrical enhancement: Engineers speed up electrons in semiconductors

18.10.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>