Digital Twins
Utilities Digital Solutions Europe

Twinning to winning: Next BreakOuts to focus on Digital Twins

Thursday, 1 July 2021

The next Aquatech BreakOuts will dive into Digital Twins in water, with examples from Spain, Denmark and North America.

Three utility case studies

When does a digital twin become a Digital Twin? Where have they been created successfully in the water sector? And why is the phrase often misunderstood and misused?

These questions and more will be addressed in the next Aquatech Online BreakOuts live event, taking place on July 13th.

The webinar will feature three utility case studies, from Valencia in Spain to Aarhus in Denmark and the District of Columbia in the United States.

Entitled ‘Twinning to winning: Digital twin innovations in water, from concept to reality’, the event will feature:

  • Pilar Conejos, Digital Twin Manager, Idrica
  • Jesper Kjelds, Chief Digital Information Officer, Aarhus Vand
  • Gigi Karmous-Edwards, President, Karmous-Edwards Consulting
  • Biju George, Executive Vice President, DC Water

From a utility that started itsnetwork digitalisation efforts over a decade ago, through projects in the planning stages, this interactive discussion will dive deeper into digital twins to provide practical, need to know information with global case studies and experts.

Starting the digital twin journey from 2007

From desalination plants being “digitally twinned” prior to construction through to digital twins helping to solve the wastewater industry’s challenge of an ageing, skilled workforce retiring, there has been a renewed interest and application of the concept.

However, with increased attention and, at times, incorrect use of the term Digital Twins, it's worth going back to the question of what defines a Digital Twin?

“Valencia in Spain is often cited as a solid example of a city that baked digital twin aspirations into its long-term digitalisation strategy.”

According to SWAN: “A Digital Twin can be defined as an actively integrated, accurate digital representation of our physical assets, systems, and treatment processes with a constant stream of data pairing from the physical twin for continuous calibration. It will unlock value by enabling improved insights that support better decisions, leading to better outcomes in the physical world.”

Valencia in Spain is often cited as a solid example of a city that baked Digital Twin aspirations into its long-term digitalisation strategy.

The city began its Digital Twin journey back in 2007. The utility company, Global Omnium, made an early investment into equipping the network with multiple sensors and focusing on improving internal processes.

This started with the installation of 700,000 smart meters in 2009. After further investment into artificial intelligence and machine learning, the Valencia DT had an “error rating less than two per cent in pressures and four per cent inflows."

BreakOuts speaker Pilar Conejos spent 15 years at the utility, Global Omnium, as the head of network control and regulation for Valencia. She will share the experience from the city, building its Digital Twin strategy, plan and results.

Digital aspirations in Aarhus

A second case study will look at plans from Danish utility, Aarhus Vand, to develop the world's most resource-efficient wastewater treatment plant using digital technologies to help plot a route to its long-term goal.

Aarhus uses model-based control of its entire systems together with optimised targets alongside instrumentation and extensive sensor deployment. The company actively forecasts rainfall events to manage the collection of wastewater, which is combined to a large degree.

In a previous article, Jesper Kjelds from Aarhus told Aquatech Online: “Digital is then going to be both inside and outside of everything, so the data that we collect through IoT (internet of things) devices will be a crucial part of operating, maintaining and servicing the future ReWater plant. Digital is in the DNA of ReWater.”

“The phrase Digital Twins has become commonly used but is still commonly misunderstood."

Moderating the session will be Gigi Karmous-Edwards, President of Karmous-Edwards Consulting, who told Aquatech Online: "The phrase Digital Twins has become commonly used but is still commonly misunderstood. By bringing together examples from Spain, Denmark and the US, we will address when a Digital Twin becomes a Digital Twin and do a collective, deeper dive and discussion into the strategies behind these case studies."

- The BreakOuts takes place on July 13th at 16:00pm CET/9am CET. More information can be found on The Road to Aquatech Amsterdam page.

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