Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Value of High Frequency Water Use Data for Evaluating Peak Water Use, Leaks, and Breaks on the Customer Side of the Meter
by McCary, John Paul, Ph.D., University of Florida, 2017, 103; 13847479
Abstract (Summary)

The United States is facing an aging infrastructure crisis, and water distribution systems are one aspect of this crisis. As options to repair and replace these systems are explored, accurate demand evaluations are necessary to improve distribution system design and operation. Technology is allowing the acquisition of large datasets and advanced analytics that can improve these demand evaluations beyond traditional analyses. With the evolution of smart systems, new applications are being developed that allow for real-time analytics to improve decision making.

While distribution system design and operation can be improved at the macro scale, homeowners and businesses face challenges at the micro scale. Water damage caused by fixture leaks and plumbing breaks accounts for extensive property damage. Smart meter systems can allow for customers to directly benefit in ways that are beyond the services traditionally offered by utilities. The deployment of smart meter systems by utilities can provide for a dual purpose system, one that can simultaneously have the ability to provide real-time feedback to utilities for demand evaluations and to notify customers of potentially damaging leak events.

This dissertation addresses key research gaps and can be used as a framework for applying high-frequency water use evaluations to both utilities and customers. Automatic meter reading meter registers are used with short-range wireless communication that allow for ease of data collection by driving by and downloading the data from the meter registers. An evaluation of high-frequency data in the multi-family residential sector compares measured peak demands at different temporal aggregations to probabilistic peak demands assuming a normal distribution. The methods can be applied to improve design standards for the probabilistic sizing of infrastructure. In the single family residential sector, analyses are performed to quantify leaks by evaluating outlier events in terms of intensity, duration, frequency, and volume. The evaluation considers an important question: are smart meter systems worth the costs for customers? If smart meters can detect unwanted events, can the savings associated with this detection result in positive net benefits for the customers? The results show that there can be positive benefits to customers by using smart meter systems.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Heaney, James
Commitee: Hatfield, Kirk, Heaney, James, Koopman, Ben, Sansalone, John
School: University of Florida
Department: Environmental Engineering Sciences
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: DAI-B 80/07/(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Water Resource Management, Environmental engineering
Keywords: Advanced Metering Infrastructure, Automatic Meter Reading, Leaks, Pipe breaks, Smart meters, Water distribution
Publication Number: 13847479
ISBN: 978-0-438-94734-4
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