Digital Twin: implementation and benefits for the water sector

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A Digital Twin is a virtual model that replicates the real system behavior and allows to simulate its response under any condition. The power of a Digital Twin derives from its ability to bring the real and virtual worlds together. In the water sector, this allows utilities to have a deep understanding of the processes that are taking place.

Due to this knowledge, organizations can avoid problems, prevent downtimes, try new business opportunities, plan future scenarios and actions through simulations or optimize the system performance, amongst other functionalities.

How to start with Digital Twin Technology

When a water utility is interested in starting to use Digital Twin technology, there are several key aspects to take into consideration.

1. Define your goals

Why do we need a Digital Twin? What are we going to use it for? What will be the benefits for the organization? The answer to these questions is the best starting point for adopting the technology, as it has an impact on how it should be introduced and configured.

2. Analyse the starting point

It is also necessary to be aware of the type of digital information currently available in the organization and assess the necessary steps to take before implementing a Digital Twin.

3. Control the evolution of the project

It is very important to establish different milestones and indicators to control the progress of Digital Twin initiatives. By including checks and balances, organizations can implement this technology in a more confident way.

The fact is that Digital Twin technology provides major benefits for organizations aiming to improve the real system operation, transform their management of the water cycle and extract value from their distributed data.

Digital Twin control panel

Discovering the potential of a Digital Twin

GoAigua’s Digital Twin developed by Idrica and implemented in the water utility Global Omnium (in Valencia, Spain) is considered ‘best-in-class’ in the industry. It currently allows the city to optimally manage its daily operations, plan real-time scenarios, and predict the future behaviour of the network. This Digital Twin –by means of GoAigua’s IoT and Big Data Platform- constantly leverages data from 1M smart meters, pressure/flow sensors, SCADAs, and other systems to virtually replicate the behaviour of the network real time with an outstanding accuracy.

In addition, other technologies, such as hydraulic modelling and AI Algorithms, improve the Digital Twin’s capabilities and allow to exploit all its possibilities.

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