S. Leirens, C. Zamora, R.R. Negenborn, and B. De Schutter, "Coordination in urban water supply networks using distributed model predictive control," Proceedings of the 2010 American Control Conference, Baltimore, Maryland, pp. 3957-3962, June-July 2010.
Urban water supply networks are large-scale systems that transport potable water over vast geographical areas to millions of consumers. A safe and efficient operation of these networks is crucial, as without it living in today's cities would be impossible. To achieve an adequate operation, these networks are equipped with actuators like pumps and valves, which are used to maintain water pressures and flows within safe margins. Currently, these actuators are controlled in a decentralized way using local controllers that only use local information and that do not take into account the presence of other controllers. As a result, water supply networks regularly experience pressure drops and interruptions of water supply when there is an unexpected increase in water demand. To improve performance the actions of the local controllers should be coordinated. Implementing a centralized control scheme is not tractable due to the large-scale nature of these networks. Therefore, this paper proposes the application of a distributed control scheme for control of urban water supply networks. The scheme is based on local model predictive control (MPC) strategies and a parallel coordination scheme that implements cooperation among the local MPC controllers. A simulation study based on a part of the urban water supply network of Bogotá, the capital of Colombia, illustrates the potential of the approach.