The underground pipes and systems that deliver water to our homes and businesses are old, and they’re failing at an alarming rate. Water main breaks have increased 27 percent
in the past six years. Two trillion gallons of water
are lost to leaks and meter issues every year, accounting for three billion dollars in lost revenue.
Enter Aquify, an Exelon venture launched through the company’s Exelorate Growth new business incubator. (Aquify is one of six new startup businesses launched through the Exelorate Growth program in the past 18 months.) Aquify leverages Exelon’s experience and expertise in power and gas distribution and applies it to the infrastructure that delivers drinking water. It’s a natural extension of Exelon’s commitment to support our customers’ energy efficiency goals and build more sustainable communities. Because saving water – which requires electricity to be pumped, treated and distributed – saves a valuable natural resource, saves energy and reduces carbon emissions.
Applying best practices from the electrical grid to water systems
Exelon’s family of utilities led the smart grid revolution for electricity, investing in sensors and meters to monitor power use and deploying advanced analytics and automation to support system maintenance. That led to unprecedented reliability, resiliency and responsiveness for our electricity customers.
Aquify enables the smart grid for water. Just as the electrical smart grid uses technology to identify power outages and coordinate faster repairs, Aquify uses sensors along miles of the underground water supply network that identify and address maintenance needs and emerging issues. Today, if a water pipe starts leaking, no one knows until it rises to the surface or it escalates into a serious problem. The water slowly seeps into the ground, while pressure gradually builds up in and around the pipe until it breaks. At that point, it’s disruptive and costly to repair.
A complete water distribution network analytics and monitoring solution
Aquify partners with municipal water utilities to install cutting-edge sensors that measure flow, pressure and acoustic signals in their distribution mains. Sensor, SCADA, GIS and other system data flows to Aquify’s AI-powered, cloud-based analytics platform which compares the measured data to predicted scenarios. A team of analysts in the Aquify network operations control center monitor the utilities’ systems 24/7 to identify where and when an event occurs, so it can be fixed or addressed proactively before it becomes a costly or dangerous problem.
An innovative shared-service business model
Water utility technologies have advanced considerably in recent years. But access to hardware and software alone is not enough. When it comes to collecting data and using analytics, many small municipal water utilities
requires staff and budgets that they simply just don’t have. Aquify levels the playing field by supplementing water utilities’ resources with Aquify staff and capital through an innovative shared-service model. This model makes it easy for municipalities – of all sizes – to access critical data and gain system visibility that was previously unavailable to them.
The 50,000 water utilities across our country have a responsibility to deliver clean and affordable drinking water to their residents and business customers. Aquify is leveraging Exelon’s vast utility expertise and experience to help them digitize their networks and deploy smart water ‘grids’ that will reduce water loss, improve reliability and achieve environmental sustainability.