At wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) aeration is the largest energy consumer. This high energy consumption requires an accurate assessment in view of plant optimization. Despite the ever increasing detail in process models, models for energy production still lack detail to enable a global optimization of WWTPs. A new dynamic model for a more accurate prediction of aeration energy costs in activated sludge systems, equipped with submerged air distributing diffusers (producing coarse or fine bubbles) connected via piping to blowers, has been developed and demonstrated. This paper addresses the model structure, its calibration and application to the WWTP of Mekolalde (Spain). The new model proved to give an accurate prediction of the real energy consumption by the blowers and captures the trends better than the constant average power consumption models currently being used. This enhanced prediction of energy peak demand, which dominates the price setting of energy, illustrates that the dynamic model is preferably used in multi-criteria optimization exercises for minimizing the energy consumption.

You do not currently have access to this content.