Demand Driven Distribution

Discover how significant financial savings can be realised by pressure managing with the intelligent pumping system solution Demand Driven Distribution. DDD can reduce leakage loss as well as operating and maintenance costs while increasing efficiency and comfort.

Pressure management represents a great opportunity for water utilities to realise significant financial savings. 

In this module you will hear about how effective pressure management can be achieved using an intelligent pumping system solution to reduce Non-Revenue Water (NRW) and save on pumping energy cost.

Let us look at how the Grundfos intelligent pumping system solution called Demand Driven Distribution, or DDD, works. 

DDD integrates the Grundfos CU 354 pump controller into an advanced pressure management system. 

When you combine continuous measurements of the network pressure with an intelligent pump control, you get effective pressure management in your water distribution system. 

As part of DDD, pressure sensor data-loggers are placed in critical areas of the distribution network to do just this.

Continuous 24/7 pressure data from the network are automatically transmitted once a day to the pumping station via SMS. A self-learning Grundfos algorithm in the pump controller uses the measured network pressure data, for a dynamic proportional pressure control at the pumping station, keeping the pressure in the network at a stable predetermined level at all times.  

In other words, the pump controller uses the network pressure data and daily recreates a hydraulic model to determine the optimal pressure versus flow setpoint curve for operation of the pumping station.

The really helpful part of this DDD advance pressure management system is that it is self-learning and all done automatically. All the water utility operator needs to do is input the critical pressure setpoints he wants in the network, and DDD does the rest – it even tunes the system right after installation.

Now, let us look at the benefits of effective pressure management for water utilities. DDD offers two immediately tangible benefits: leakage reduction and energy savings. Let us look more closely at these and other DDD benefits:

Benefit 1 – Leakage reduction:

High levels of NRW seriously affect the financial viability of water utilities through lost revenues and increased operational costs.

 - Optimal pressure management using DDD stabilises and reduces the average pressure, with an average leakage reduction of 15 % depending on pipe materials and types of leak

- Although less water is sent through the distribution network because of reduced water loss, the proportion of water billed and therefore paid for is increased"

Benefit 2 – Energy efficiency:

Water supply systems are massive consumers of energy along the multiple stages of water production and supply. Excessive energy use is often due to the water utility keeping pressure in the system too high, and the excessive pressure in turn creates pipe bursts.

• Reducing excess pressure can generate a decrease in energy costs from pumping by an average of 25 %"

Benefit 3 – Operation and maintenance costs:

Water utilities face a number of challenges related to distribution networks and refurbishments over the next 10 to 30 years. This will not be cheap, and prioritisation and optimisation of these investments is urgently needed. 

• A 10 % reduction of average pressure decreases the economic intervention costs of active leakage control by 10 %

• Stabilising pressure over a 24 hour period has proven successful in reducing pipe bursts. Studies show that a lowering of night time pressure with 16 % can reduce pipe burst rates with 50 %"

Benefit 4 – Increased comfort:

End-user satisfaction and public reputation are major concerns for water utilities, whose customers expect water to be delivered at a sufficient and stable pressure.

• DDD enables the operator to set a target pressure for the network, and the controller will make sure that this target is met 24/7 – including peak periods. Furthermore, the stabilised pressure condition will give the end-user a more satisfying experience"

In addition to the benefits of reduced water loss, improved energy efficiency, reduced operation costs and increased comfort discussed above, the impact on service and maintenance costs long-term is also substantial, because of extended pipe network lifetime. 

We have seen how Grundfos Demand Driven Distribution helps reduce the frequency and effect of water pipe failures, by adapting to the current demand for water and stabilising pressure as mentioned above. This saves money for the water utility and lowers the total cost of ownership for the water distribution system.

Let’s recap what we have presented in this module:

- How DDD combines precise measurements of the network pressure and intelligent pump control at the pumping station according to these measurements for effective pressure management 

- How this reduces leakage and water loss, improves energy efficiency, reduces operation and maintenance costs and increases comfort

- How more water is paid for, energy consumption reduced and infrastructure costs lowered through fewer pipe bursts and extended pipe network lifetime

Course overview

Modules: 5
Completion time
Completion time: 35 minutes
Difficulty level
Difficulty level: Advanced