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Model-Based Optimization of Controller Settings at the WWTP of Oostende: Trade-off between N Removal and Energy Savings

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At the WWTP of Oostende, operated by Aquafin, an advanced aeration control is installed, based on online measurement of oxygen in the carrousel and of both nitrate and ammonium at the effluent of the activated sludge tanks. As the plant meets the discharge limits at all times, a model was set up to evaluate the possibilities to reduce the energy consumption of the plant. Based on data from the years 2006 and 2007, the model was calibrated and resulted in good agreement with the available data of daily aeration energy consumption. Monthly averages agree with differences around 5% and never more than 10%. The same conclusion could also be made for total energy.

A scenario analysis on the aeration controller settings (based on DO, NH4 and NO3 on-line sensors) revealed that an energy saving up to 5.5% can be obtained. Total nitrogen would slightly deteriorate (effluent NH4 increases but NO3 decreases). So, it is clear that – as the plant already has an advanced aeration controller – no gain in energy consumption can be achieved without giving up on effluent quality, and that an optimum combination of set-points can be selected whether energy or effluent consents are the target.
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Keywords: Aeration energy modeling; WWTP modelling; energy saving; scenario analysis

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2011

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