The operation of a water distribution system is a complex task which involves scheduling of pumps, regulating water levels of storages, and providing satisfactory water quality to customers at required flow and pressure. Pump scheduling is one of the most important tasks of the operation of a water distribution system as it represents the major part of its operating costs. In this paper, a novel approach for modeling of pump scheduling to minimize energy consumption by pumps is introduced which uses pump's start/end run times as continuous variables. This is different from other approaches where binary integer variables for each hour are typically used which is considered very impractical from an operational perspective. The problem is formulated as a nonlinear programming problem and a new algorithm is developed for its solution. This algorithm is based on the combination of the grid search with the Hooke-Jeeves pattern search method. The performance of the algorithm is evaluated using literature test problems applying the hydraulic simulation model EPANet.
Pumping cost constitutes the main part of the overall operating cost of water distribution systems. There are different optimization formulations of the pumping cost minimization problem including those with application of continuous and integer programming approaches. To date mainly various metaheuristics have been applied to solve this problem. However, the comprehensive comparison of those metaheuristics has not been done. Such a comparison is important to identify strengths and weaknesses of different algorithms which reflects on their performance. In this paper, we present a methodology for comparative analysis of widely used metaheuristics for solving the pumping cost minimization problem. This methodology includes the following comparison criteria: (a) the "optimal solution" obtained; (b) the efficiency; and (c) robustness. Algorithms applied are: particle swarm optimization, artificial bee colony and firefly algorithms. These algorithms were applied to one test problem available in the literature. The results obtained demonstrate that the artificial bee colony is the most robust and the firefly is the most efficient and accurate algorithm for this test problem. Funding :ARC