Solids handling can comprise over 50 percent of the cost of operating a wastewater treatment plant. Consequently, dewatering process optimization can have a significant affect on overall plant costs. In recent years, sensor manufacturers have begun to offer units for measuring both
input and output solids characteristics. These can be combined with control systems to automatically change operating parameters to improve operations which can include maintaining a minimum capture efficiency, producing a maximum solids concentration, optimizing polymer dose, increasing throughput,
or reducing power consumption. The eyes of any automation system are the devices used to measure changes as they occur. For dewatering centrifuges, they include the flow monitors and solids sensors. Hydraulic Flow monitors are very accurate and have been proven in many applications for
years. Sensors used to determine the solids concentration in either the sludge feed, centrate, or dewatered sludge are relatively new to the industry and are now gaining acceptance. This paper focuses on sensor technologies applied to biosolids dewatering centrifuges and will refer to a series
of major research projects and product development in the 1990s that has resulted in accurate and reliable technology. The authors will provide full scale test data obtained from Academia as well as operating facilities.
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