The iVapps Solution Proving its Worth at the Water Research Centre (WRc)
- iVapps working with world-renown test facility WRc
- Three systems in place on the WRc flow loop
- Able to demonstrate how the system works in the field
The Challenge to Water Utilities
Water distribution system operators need to identify issues within their networks efficiently and accurately. They also need to be able to fix them when they occur most efficiently. In many cases, this means the creation of control points so a certain section of the network can be isolated without shutting off the flow to large groups of water users.
UK Water Utilities face substantial fines, or are told to reduce water bills, should they leave customers without a water supply for longer than an agreed period, so the ability to negatively affect their customers is vital.
On top of this challenge, operators also set themselves the challenge of delivering a net zero water supply for customers by 2030 – 20 years ahead of the UK Government’s legally binding target of 2050.
The Solution to Water Utilities
iVapps has engineered a system which enables water system operators to use their redesigned standard valve body (PORTAL) what can hold rapidly interchangeable cartridges loaded with sensors or an isolation valve.
The interchangeable SMART cartridge houses whatever sensors the customer chooses to identify when and where there is an issue in the line As and when required, the SMART cartridge is removed and replaced with the VALVE cartridge to form a control point. This stays in place for the period required to carry out the necessary work on the line, after which it is replaced with the SMART cartridge.
The iVapps PORTAL is a recognisable body meaning no specialist training is required to install it, and it has also been proven to assist in the drive to reduce carbon production.
An independent report by Tunley Engineering found that ‘Incorporating iVapps products in water utility networks provides a substantial advantage in facilitating water utility companies’ transition towards Carbon Neutrality (Net Zero).’
Assuming 50 systems are installed in a network, the following savings are made over the life of the product: Driving 233,180 miles in an average diesel vehicle, Burning 46,216 kg of coal of charging 11.06 million smartphones.
The challenge to iVapps
iVapps engineers have been perfecting their system for the past five years and are in the process of bringing their solution to market.
The company is faced with the challenge of introducing a new and disruptive technology to an industry that has changed very little over the decades it has been in operation. Across much of the water industry, there is an ethos that is anti-change with many operators reluctant to try new technologies as they focus on their immediate challenges.
iVapps needed to find a way to get its solution in front of water system operators.
The Solution to iVapps
The WRc is a globally recognised organisation that is at the forefront of introducing new technologies to the water industry. It delivers a range of services from drone pipeline inspection to waste lab services.
iVapps leaders knew they needed to test and showcase their solution and approached WRc to form a partnership.
iVapps CEO Simon Humphreys said: “We carried out extensive research when developing our solution and have the PORTAL and SMART cartridge in place at several test locations around the world. But we knew we also needed to have the system up and running at a location where we could bring industry leaders to witness it working.”
iVapps worked with WRc’s Andy Godley and arranged for three PORTALs to be mounted on its flow loop, an above-ground pipeline that runs for 40 meters and simulates a real-life water network thanks to its fluctuating pipe size and range of valves and metering equipment installed on the loop.
The three portals have been in place for 6 months and enable iVapps to bring industry professionals to the Swindon site where they can see first-hand how the iVapps solution works.
“Having a permanent installation of the system is vital for us as we understand that professionals need to see the system in place to truly understand how it works,” Simon said. “So far, we have held three demonstration days at the WRc and been able to use the loop to simulate leaks and breaks which has enabled us to show our customers just how our sensors accurately identify, and measure flow drop and water loss. We have also been able to demonstrate the simple process of removing a SMART cartridge and installing a VALVE cartridge to form a control point exactly where it is needed.”
Andy added: “The WRc is here to discover and deliver new and exciting solutions that enable the water industry to meet its challenges. We have not seen anything like the iVapps solution before so we’re keen to assist in showcasing its potential to the water industry.”