Comparison of Analytical and Simulation Approaches for Assessing Robustness of Reliability for Water Distribution Systems
Characterizations of reliability for water distribution systems have been studied for decades in terms of mechanical reliability, hydraulic reliability and topology reliability. The various methods, described as either simulation approaches or analytical approaches, each have both advantages and limitations but used in combination, provide municipal engineers the tools to evaluate the performance reliability for existing systems, and indications how to improve their networks to achieve more reliable and robust reliability. The analytical approach is shown to provide insight into the water distribution system and gives a static view of the reliability in terms of topology, while the simulation approach offers the opportunity to investigate real world scenarios and evaluate the consequence of mechanical failure in terms of pressure and demand.
To evaluate the hydraulic reliability of a water distribution system against mechanical failure, Monte-Carlo Simulation coupled with EPANET Toolkit was employed. The analytical approach employed the decomposition method to evaluate the connectivity of the entire distribution system. An improved boundary set identification method was developed, allowing the analytical approach to become feasible in application to real systems.
Case studies were used to examine the feasibility and applicability of the simulation approach and the analytical approach and to evaluate their efficiency and accuracy.
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