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Journal of Energy
Volume 2013, Article ID 620698, 9 pages
Research Article

Energy Cost Optimization in a Water Supply System Case Study

1CEHIDRO, Instituto Superior Técnico, 1049-001 Lisbon, Portugal
2Instituto Superior Técnico, 1049-001 Lisbon, Portugal

Received 21 December 2012; Revised 19 March 2013; Accepted 19 March 2013

Academic Editor: S. Venkata Mohan

Copyright © 2013 Daniel F. Moreira and Helena M. Ramos. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The majority of the life cycle costs (LCC) of a pump are related to the energy spent in pumping, with the rest being related to the purchase and maintenance of the equipment. Any optimizations in the energy efficiency of the pumps result in a considerable reduction of the total operational cost. The Fátima water supply system in Portugal was analyzed in order to minimize its operational energy costs. Different pump characteristic curves were analyzed and modeled in order to achieve the most efficient operation point. To determine the best daily pumping operational scheduling pattern, genetic algorithm (GA) optimization embedded in the modeling software was considered in contrast with a manual override (MO) approach. The main goal was to determine which pumps and what daily scheduling allowed the best economical solution. At the end of the analysis it was possible to reduce the original daily energy costs by 43.7%. This was achieved by introducing more appropriate pumps and by intelligent programming of their operation. Given the heuristic nature of GAs, different approaches were employed and the most common errors were pinpointed, whereby this investigation can be used as a reference for similar future developments.