In this experiment students tried to optimize the hydraulic efficiency of a given sedimentation basin. In Spring 2016, students were asked to optimize the design of a pilot-scale sedimentation basin equipped with plate settlers. The students selected different levels for factors such as the number of plates, their location, and basin flow rate. Fish flake suspensions were used to simulate floc in water. An online total solids sensor was used to measure the concentration of solids leaving the basin. Removals were estimated by comparing the total mass in versus total mass out of the basin:
Pilot-scale sedimentation basin
Simulated Floc Suspension
Example of Results
Students in the Spring 2017 class used computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to design a diffuser wall at the inlet of an existing sedimentation basin. No design limitations were set, i.e. the students could use their imagination to design any inlet. If they could model it, they could use it. The goal of the project was to achieve plug-flow conditions in the basin and maximize the removal of particles with different sizes and densities.
Existing basin design - velocity vectors
Modified basin design - velocity vectors
Particle removal efficiency