Inclusion of tank configurations as a variable in the cost optimization of branched piped-water networks
Abstract. The classic problem of the capital cost optimization of branched piped networks consists of choosing pipe diameters for each pipe in the network from a discrete set of commercially available pipe diameters. Each pipe in the network can consist of multiple segments of differing diameters. Water networks also consist of intermediate tanks that act as buffers between incoming flow from the primary source and the outgoing flow to the demand nodes. The network from the primary source to the tanks is called the primary network, and the network from the tanks to the demand nodes is called the secondary network. During the design stage, the primary and secondary networks are optimized separately, with the tanks acting as demand nodes for the primary network. Typically the choice of tank locations, their elevations, and the set of demand nodes to be served by different tanks is manually made in an ad hoc fashion before any optimization is done. It is desirable therefore to include this tank configuration choice in the cost optimization process itself. In this work, we explain why the choice of tank configuration is important to the design of a network and describe an integer linear program model that integrates the tank configuration to the standard pipe diameter selection problem. In order to aid the designers of piped-water networks, the improved cost optimization formulation is incorporated into our existing network design system called JalTantra.