New paper: Unlocking energy flexibility of municipal wastewater aeration

First published October 20, 2020

A new paper from CITIES / DTU Compute & Krüger A/S – download for free the next few weeks!

A novel economic optimal control strategy suggests that the power consumption in wastewater treatment can be flexible since the water is treated in large tanks with long retention times where specialized aeration equipment is repeatedly switched on and off.

By controlling these switching times with respect to nutrient concentrations, electricity consumption can be predicted and shifted in time and hence provide short-term demand-side flexibility.

The proposed principle is used to reduce the operating costs of a wastewater treatment plant by enabling the flexibility to distribute the aeration load to periods with less expensive power prices.


  • Significant cost savings for wastewater treatment by shifting power consumption
  • Favourable to exploit instantaneous price differences in multiple power markets
  • Optimal energy consumption of wastewater aeration using switching times


Authors: Niclas Brok and Henrik Madsen from DTU Compute & Thomas Munk-Nielsen and Peter A. Stentoft from Krüger A/S.