Wastewater energy flexibility
A software platform for wastewater utilities that de-risks energy investments, controls energy resources, and monetizes carbon savings.
Reducing Energy Use at Wastewater Treatment Plants
Before partnering with the HIT Fund, Stanford Engineering Professor Meagan Mauter says a digital technology that postdoctoral scholar Jose Bolorinos ’17 ‘21 M.S. ’21 Ph.D. designed to flexibly reduce energy consumption at wastewater treatment plants was “purely theoretical.” One major obstacle was that few plants are prepared to adopt their system in its entirety.
Today, parts of their software—including energy audits and assessments of how to shift operations to off-peak pricing hours—have been applied to several facilities.
“The HIT Fund has been really helpful in thinking about intermediate products that could be onramps for the ultimate deployment of this technology,” Mauter says.
The HIT Fund assigned a Stanford Graduate School of Business MBA student intern to help the pair develop a business model, and Parekh connected the team to potential funders and mentors, including some who are now advising on the project.
“These things are really important in translating an idea in an academic paper into something that an actual wastewater treatment plant would be interested in and willing to use,” Mauter says.
About the Technology
Energy-inflows is a computational platform developed by the WE3 lab in Stanford's Civil and Environmental Engineering department. Its purpose is to use artificial intelligence and wastewater process modeling to plan and control energy flexibility resources at wastewater facilities. The project is currently working with municipal utility partners in Northern California to develop a dynamic energy flexibility simulation tool that helps facilities identify energy savings opportunities.