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Digital solution aims to reduce energy use, optimize operations at wastewater plants

February 28, 2022  By Ground Water Canada

ABB has launched a new digital solution to cut energy use and optimize operations at wastewater plants.

The ABB Ability Smart Solution for Wastewater’s technology enables continuous monitoring and – coupled with automation achieves energy savings of up to 25 per cent during aeration and pumping and up to 10 per cent reduction in chemical usage.

Its platform agnostic software is designed as an additional layer to work with any automation package. It addresses the challenge faced by wastewater treatment plant operators to achieve both the lowest energy use, and the highest operational standards.


The solution is composed of two main pillars – advanced process control (APC) and digital twin and simulation technology to forecast future operational needs. It will help wastewater treatment plants reach optimal operating conditions by reducing process variability and stabilizing operations through continuous monitoring and automation. This enables constant, incremental operational adjustments and gains, reducing energy consumption and chemical usage, alongside increasing profitability.

According to the International Energy Agency, global electricity consumption in wastewater treatment reached 222 TWh in 2020, with electricity usage across the sector predicted to increase by 80 per cent by 2040. This is in part due to the increasing demand for treated wastewater, which is now considered a valuable potential resource.

Marco Achilea, global segment manager, water and infrastructure, ABB Energy Industries, said: “This new product leverages our long-standing expertise in advanced process control, performance optimization and digital twin technology. With the demand for treated wastewater rapidly growing around the world, our goal is to continue to develop sustainable solutions that reduce energy use whilst improving water quality and operational efficiency.”

Developed with hydraulic modelling intelligence from the Danish water environment specialists, DHI Group, the ABB Ability Smart Solution for Wastewater creates a more stable treatment process by predicting wastewater inflow together with environmental factors such as weather patterns, reducing risk of overflow and fines. ABB Ability Smart Solution for Wastewater will be the first in a family of smart solutions for the water industry. Building on the experience and performances of ABB’s Optimax and APC, this first offering is designed to make wastewater treatment plants safer, smarter, and more sustainable.

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