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CENTAUR™ Project

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Increase Hydraulic Capacity


Project Summary

CENTAUR™ is an intelligent, autonomous system for urban flood risk and CSO spill reduction. It senses the prevailing situation in the sewer network and uses artificial intelligence to decide whether to hold flow back or pass it forward. In this way, escapes are avoided or reduced. The technology fully leverages the capacity of existing infrastructure rather than building more.

CENTAUR™ is self-managing, ultra-reliable and easily deployed. It is orders of magnitude less costly than alternative capital- and space-intensive solutions.

The Requirement

A widespread impact of climate change is the increased frequency and severity of urban flooding and CSO escapes. It was in response to the compounding effects of increased urbanisation and more intense storms exacerbating these problems, that the idea for CENTAUR™ was born.

Infrastructure enlargement, storage tank construction, or creation of green infrastructure is space-hungry, disruptive and expensive. CENTAUR™ was designed to stop flooding and discharges to the environment without capital and space-hungry construction. It is an “asset-stretching” technology which turns passive infrastructure into adaptive, capacity-creating smart infrastructure.

CENTAUR™ was developed by a consortium of universities, water companies and SMEs. It is through this breadth of expertise and world-leading research facilities that the technology has been realised. 

The Innovation

CENTAUR™’s technical innovation is based around artificial intelligence, autonomy, and the integration of different communication technologies, power efficiency, and reliability.

Radio communications for monitoring and issuing control instructions give guaranteed signal, whilst a fuzzy logic algorithm makes decisions based on the changing situation within the network. An online dashboard gives the convenience of visibility and remote system reconfiguration (however, the system operates autonomously and without the dashboard).

Sensor redundancy gives reliable level data and the system can self-disable if it is compromised. The gate technology is easily deployed with physical fail-safes to eliminate upstream risk.

The Benefits
  1. Cost effective – CENTAUR™ utilises storage capacity within existing infrastructure at low cost, or in situations where space and capital are not available. This capacity is targeted at reducing flood risk, environmental impact, and/or energy consumption.
  2. Easy deployment – The CENTAUR™ system requires minimal planning and avoids the disruption of civil engineering based schemes.
  3. Observability – System operation can be observed on the web, showing live system status and integrity.
  4. Adaptability – Able to SENSE, THINK, ACT and ADAPT to changing circumstances. This powerful technology is able to mimic human reasoning, executing narrow tasks efficiently and reliably.
  5. Modular and extensible – The system can be implemented gradually where several CENTAUR™ systems form an intelligent wastewater network.
  6. Multiple fail-safes – The CENTAUR™ system has been designed with multiple fail-safes. The technology results in a net reduction of risk rather than transferring risk upstream.
Project Partners and Funding

CENTAUR™ was born out of the need to reduce flooding and environmental impact (or create extra network capacity) in ever more crowded urban spaces. It was also in response to the compounding effects of climate change and more peaked storms exacerbating these problems.

CENTAUR™ was initially developed by a consortium of universities, water companies and technology SME’s under a €3.5m EU Horizon 2020 project. It is only through the combination of this expertise and through the use of world-leading research facilities that this system has been realised.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 641931. 

For more information see our CENTAUR product page.

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Accreditations & Awards

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Want to know more?

To discuss CENTAUR™ Project and our other Smart Wastewater Networks projects, please contact Sonja our Innovation Consultant.

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