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SimuWorks™: A Cost-Effective Model-Based Wastewater Treatment Plant “Flight Simulator” and Training Tool for WWTP Operators

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Simulation-based training tools represent a new and sophisticated method for investing in plant personnel resources and gaining insight into plant operations over both short-term and long-term periods. SimuWorks™ is a model-based WWTP flight-simulator for operator training and plant analysis that represents an evolution in the use of wastewater treatment simulation and modelling technology, extending its use beyond the engineering offices. SimuWorks™ can be deployed as a full-scale replica of an actual control room, set-up as a mobile control room, used in more traditional multi-station classroom environment or implemented on individual workstations/computers. Working with a user-friendly, customized interface allows instructors to train and evaluate new or existing operators while WWTP staff can use this tool to analysis and evaluate different operating scenarios and strategies. The training can offer exposure to many simple or highly complex scenarios within a realistic environment but with no risk to actual plant performance.

The next generation of a simulation-based operator training tool is currently being developed by Hydromantis for the Woodward Avenue Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) located in the City of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The Woodward WWTP Simulator utilizes the SCADA screens that are currently implemented at the plant. The underlying GPS-X™ process model has been extensively customized to replicate the functionality of the existing SCADA control system at the plant and the user can navigate between over 20 SCADA screens to the various sections of the plant (i.e. influent pumping station, preliminary treatment, primary clarifiers, aeration tanks, secondary clarifiers, RAS/WAS pumping station, sludge thickening, anaerobic digesters etc.) as if they were operating the real plant. This unique SimuWorks™ application is the first of its kind and presents views and functionality familiar to operators and administrators alike in a platform that accurately simulates the behavior of the Woodward Avenue WWTP.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2012

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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