Advanced Process Control by STAR Control Reduces Effluent Quality to the Safe Side of Limit Values

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1 Advanced Process Control by STAR Control Reduces Effluent Quality to the Safe Side of Limit Values Dorthe Halvorsen Jørgensen*, Tine B.Önnerth*, Jaap Verkuijlen** * Krüger A/S, Gladsaxevej 363, 2860 Søborg, Denmark, ** Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies Netherlands BV, Celsiusstraat BZ Ede NL ( Abstract This paper presents a case where advanced process control as STAR Control is implemented at the Ede Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) in the central Netherlands. The Ede WWTP is a BioDenipho wastewater treatment plant designed for 300,000 PE. In recent years the plant load has increased, and the plant has not been able to comply with the EU effluent demands on nutrient. Furthermore the Water Shap Vallei & Eem, who controls and operates the plant, could expect an increase of the load in future meaning that they would have had to consider alternative solutions to the plant operation and plant capacity. The STAR platform was implemented to increase the pollution load capacity to cope with the EU effluent demands as well as the expected load increase. The STAR platform was implemented in the beginning of January 2011 and has achieved highly satisfactory results in very short time as both Total-N and Total-P have been reduced to below the effluent demand also during winter. By implementing the STAR platform. Water Shap Vallei & Eem avoided a costly extension of the plant by another process line as the STAR Control has allowed the plant to achieve the required extra capacity. This specific case shows in particular how the technical implementation of the advanced process control effectively cooperates with the daily operation of the wastewater treatment plant with process optimization as a positive consequence. The STAR platform STAR Control is designed as a platform tool for optimization of biological and chemical process operations in different wastewater treatment systems, including treatment plants and sewer systems. The platform is working at a level superior to the PLC and SCADA level and communicates by OPC protocol to basic regulation units. The platform holds the technologies for monitoring and visualization as a WEB-based application addressed by internet access. Keywords Advanced process control, increased capacity, nutrient removal, online meters, STAR Control. INTRODUCTION Ede WWTP is a BioDenipho wastewater treatment plant designed for 300,000 PE (Population Equivalents) and is located in the central Netherlands. The plant is operated by the Dutch Water Shap Vallei & Eem. In recent years the plant load has increased which has caused difficulties for the plant in complying with the EU effluent demand of max. 10 mgn/l. Furthermore, the Water Shap Vallei & Eem expects that a further increase of the load of approx. 20 percent will be a reality in the next few years. A view of Ede WWTP is shown in figure 1. Page 1 of 8

2 Figure 1 Ede WWTP The present and expected load situations made Watershap Vallei & Eem consider alternative solutions to increase the plant capacity and improve the operation. Traditional thinking was to go for extension of the plant by a third biological process line which was proposed by consulting company. An alternative solution was to increase the capacity in the flexible BioDenipho process design by implementing advanced online control which has many references in Denmark. The decision was made by the Watershap to implement STAR Control at a much lower cost than construction of new process volume. The risk for poor investment is minimized even if the target for Total Nitrogen below effluent limit was not to be reached, as the optimization of operation would lead to less OPEX. THE PLANT, TECHNICAL DESCRIPTION Ede WWTP is designed for 300,000 PE, based on 136 g TOC/person/day. The plant is designed as 2 separate lines as BioDenipho activated sludge process for BNR (biological nitrogen removal) and BPR (biological phosphorus removal). The BioDenitro and BioDenipho design gives a very flexible process which is easy to operate by online control. Furthermore phosphorus is removed by chemical precipitation. The plant consists of two process lines, each anaerobic tank including a bio-p reactor followed by two process tanks in alternate operation. There are several online meters at the plant including two ammonia, two nitrate and one phosphate at each line as well as oxygen meters, suspended solids meters and various online meters on flow, sludge blanket, temperature etc. The design of STAR is arranged in two parallel master line settings based on the two sets of online sensors located as shown in figure 2. The STAR modules are set up with individual settings for the two master lines to perform independent, individual control based on the actual measurements in each line. Page 2 of 8

3 Figure 2 STAR Control design as two master lines at Ede WWTP STAR CONTROL SOFTWARE The advanced online operation of biological processes depends on a few important input signals, such as online measurement of oxygen, ammonia and nitrate while the operational handlebar is the same in small and X-large scale of WWTP, that is the oxygen supply. Other issues for advanced control are e.g. the chemical dosing of precipitant metal or carbon source for improved denitrification etc. How many and which modules to install for a specific STAR system depend on the situation for the client and of course the pay-back of investment in online meters and expected efficiency of selected control modules. The STAR Control system connects to the SCADA by OPC communication protocol to collect a small specified amount of online data every 2 nd minute. Set points from STAR are returned every 2 nd minute to SCADA and from SCADA forwarded to PLCs for activation of mechanical equipment. All connections to PLCs are within the existing network set-up, and only little programming is made in PLC to deal with STAR set points. In this way, the plant experiences only little disturbance in the daily operation due to the implementation of STAR. Page 3 of 8

4 Figure 3 STAR connects to existing SCADA and PLC by OPC communication and to internet STAR has connection by local network firewall to the internet for production, updates and support. In this case at Ede WWTP, production was conducted from Krüger s main office in Copenhagen and only tests were performed on site to check that set points are received and conducted precisely in PLC and mechanical equipment in the process. During commissioning, both the operator on the WWTP and the consultant from Copenhagen are able to follow closely the performance of the operation, and both have access to the same data and user interface for discussion and situation analysis. After commissioning of a STAR system, it may work as stand-alone system without any updates, or keep access to services and software updates from the supplier. STAR CONTROL MODULES STAR Control has a long history from the first full scale application in 1992 till now with more than 50 implementations worldwide in wastewater treatment plants from 2,000 PE (20 m 3 /d) to 2,000,000 PE (425,000 m 3 /d). STAR can optimize very different process and WWTP designs due to the modulized configuration in software. The function of the modules for process operation is described by process engineers and then programmed by software engineers using standard software modules. The specific STAR Control system for a specific treatment plant is then configured by plugging in the chosen modules in the module controller bar inside the STAR software. This means that STAR can be configured as few modules at small size treatment plants with only one process tank or combined to much more complex online control systems with many modules and different process lines in separate tanks. Page 4 of 8

5 Figure 4 STAR design as modules connected to module controller STAR AT EDE WWTP The STAR Control was implemented in the beginning of January STAR Control is a multiple criteria control based on add-on modules. The STAR at Ede includes the following modules: N/DN Phase control which controls the phase lengths and control of nitrification- /denitrification. Oxygen control based on set-points control of individual oxygen set-points for each of the process tanks (incl. oxygen set point for the final aeration tank) Return sludge control control of the return sludge flow from the final settling tank User interface to STAR is accessed by a LAN browser or by secured internet access. The user interface shows a front page with main information about actual performance of the control modules, whether STAR is active, and other information about actual state of phase etc. Screen shot from STAR at Ede is shown in figure 5. Page 5 of 8

6 Figure 5 Interface to STAR from browser STAR Control is based on data supplied by the online meters which require reliable data and good function of online meters as well as a steady and continuous communication between STAR and the PLC. Therefore maintenance and check of the online meters are important tasks in order to secure optimal control. However, STAR Control offers the possibility of evaluating the quality of the data from the sensors with respect to the process situation. The data are for example considered of bad quality if simple checks indicate failure such as sensor alarms, or signal has reached a sensor minimum/maximum value. Also more complex checks are performed for a number of situations such as minimum/maximum process value or for example a constant value held for a too long period of time. The information is given visually on the front page of the user interface and shows the status of measurement signals, state of control level etc. as shown in figure 6. Figure 6 View of info boxes from front page at user interface Page 6 of 8

7 Through a unique cooperation between the operation people and the technical features STAR Control and the supporting online meters, the effect of the implementation of STAR Control is hard to miss. Since implementation of STAR, a significant reduction of nitrogen has been observed. By comparing the mean values for the reference period from to and the operation period from to , a significant decrease in the concentrations has been observed since the Total N has dropped from 12,1 mgn/l to 6,8 mgn/l. The graph below shows the positive direction of the decreasing Total N since the implementation of the STAR Control. The following table shows the development in average annual Total N, Total P in outlet and inlet flow for the last three years (8 mon) 2011 (8 mon) 2010 Flow m3/d Load BOD/N 3,97 3,28 3,67 Total-N mg/l 59,9 63,7 66,3 Total-N kg/d Effluent Total-N mg/l 8,4 7,2 11,6 N-reduction % 86% 89% 83% CONCLUSION By the implementation of STAR Control, the Ede WWTP has achieved highly satisfactory results in very short time. Both Total N and Total P have been reduced, so these concentrations are now below the effluent demands also during the winter period which has resulted in significant savings on wastewater fees. Page 7 of 8

8 The STAR Control has also allowed the plant to achieve the required extra capacity, and a costly extension of the plant by another two secondary clarifiers has been avoided. Furthermore the STAR Control replaces the existing PLC control and does a better job. The local plant operators have played a major role in the running-in of STAR Control. During their daily work and commitment and dedication to the tasks especially quality control of the online meters - they have ensured a smooth and successful implementation of STAR and a reliable data basis for the advanced process control. After the successful implementation of STAR Control for the wastewater treatment plant for increased nitrogen removal capacity, the next step can be investigated. As load and hydraulics are still increasing it will be interesting to look at increasing the hydraulic capacity. This could include modules for stormwater control, the patented ATS, Aeration Tank Settling combined with STAR for sewer system and maybe integration of weather radar in the MPC. Page 8 of 8

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