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Energy – Energy Consumption Optimization

Factors behind high energy use in wastewater treatment plants

A fishbone template on energy consumption optimization

Optimizing energy consumption in WWTPs can be achieved through Root Cause Analysis (RCA). The goal is to identify the root causes of excessive energy consumption and implement corrective actions to improve efficiency. The analysis of the possibilities of increasing energy efficiency in a wastewater treatment plant focuses on two biogas production and prediction of energy production.

This study focuses on energy consumption optimization and generation to identify the key factors contributing to increased energy usage – dirty blower houses, additional aerators, improperly calibrated blowers, untrained staff, and insufficient parameter settings. Researchers aim to optimize energy usage, increase gas production, and predict power consumption to improve energy efficiency.

Energy Consumption Optimization

  •  Damaged timer
  •  Blower
    •  Extra blowers in use
      •   Wrong calculation on the F/M ratio
      •   Inconsistent inflow
  •  Long running hours
    •   Incorrect setting of the timer
  •  Running with high amp
    •   Power filter choked
      •  No PPM
        •   Not enough staff
    •   High power factor
    •   Dammed
      •  No oil
  •   High starting current
    •   Starting method
      •  Manually operated
  •   Aerator
    •   Running with high amp
      •  Chocked
        •   No sump cleaning
    •   Extra aerator in use
      •   Long running hours


  •   Mix liquor
    •   Sludge too old
      •   Not wasting
        •   Equipment malfunction
        •   Sludge holding full
  •   High MLSS
    •    Wrong reading of the instrument
      •  Not calibrated
  •   BOD/ COD low concentration
  •   NPS not in full operation


  •    Wrongly set design parameter
    •   Not enough training
  •   Competency level
    •   Not enough training
  •   SCADA setting
  •   O & M crew not competent
  •   Supplier supplies wrong spare parts
  •   Not enough support from PMC
  •   Not enough workforce
    •   High turn over
      •   Salary scale


  •   Auto setting but manually operated
    •   Not using inverter for blower
  •   Number of trains
    •    Extra aerators in use
    •    Uses of too many trains
  •   Operation method
    •    Manual
    •    Wrong calculation of the F/M ratio
  •   High loading at the aeration tank
    •    Illegal tapping


  •   Blower house dirty
    •   No housekeeping
      •   Not enough human resource
  •   Inconsistent inflow
    •   Surge flow heavy rain

A Fishbone RCA (Root Cause Analysis) can be a valuable tool for identifying and addressing the root causes of energy consumption issues in a wastewater treatment plant. It helps organize potential causes into categories, making it easier to pinpoint the underlying problem. Here’s how to perform a Fishbone RCA for energy consumption optimization in a wastewater treatment plant.

Who should use the Energy Consumption Optimization template?

  • Anyone interested to know the causes of the increase in energy usage to improve energy efficiency in a wastewater treatment plant.

Why use this template?

  • Optimizing energy consumption in a wastewater treatment plant is crucial for reducing operational costs and minimizing the environmental footprint. This fishbone template shares several strategies for achieving energy efficiency in wastewater treatment.
  • Anyone can change the template in the smartQED environment while troubleshooting the problem.
  • Create or customize your templates for various problems and incident analysis in smartQED.

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