Enhancing DEWA system operational flexibility by eliminating surge risks
How can a utility address low-probability, high-impact events? In Dubai, a single facility produces almost all the potable water; many large pipes transport that water, acting as the lifelines of the city. A rupture in one of these—however unlikely—would have massive consequences.
Working closely with the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), Stantec examined Dubai’s entire water network, including pipe materials and failure modes. We found that DEWA’s pipes, as designed, were more than strong enough; they exceeded international standards.
Our solution? We showed that the risk of breakage could be greatly reduced by eliminating the peak surge pressures that the pipes have to withstand.
The result? We designed surge protection devices that smooth out the peak pressures, or surges, that happen when valves open/close and pumps start/stop for Dubai’s entire system. This was a total of 18 compressor- and bladder-type surge vessels with capacities of up to a 100 cubic-metre at all of DEWA’s pumping stations.
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