The CENTAUR project has provided an innovative, cost-effective, local autonomous sewer flow control system to reduce urban flood risk. 


Why is CENTAUR needed?

One of the most widespread and significant impacts of climate change will be increased frequency and severity of urban flooding, which can potentially impact the lives of thousands of citizens within the EU alone.

Lowered funding, reduced staffing, and policies to reduce carbon emissions are all constraints on the resources of water utilities and local authorities. Traditional urban flooding solutions, such as the construction of underground detention tanks, are increasingly cost-prohibitive in many scenarios. In addition, such ‘design-engineer-build’ solutions can only be designed to mitigate a specific defined level of risk.

Given significant uncertainties in future climate, and the variable nature and density of urban environments, this means such solutions may be significantly over- or under-designed over medium time scales (20-30 years).

How does CENTAUR work?

CENTAUR diagram

CENTAUR uses data-driven real-time control (RTC) strategies to activate existing in-sewer storage at the local scale. Sophisticated computational techniques combined with specially designed communications modules and flow control devices, reduce flood risk.

CENTAUR is an autonomous de-centralised system, acting without the need of a central control fed by a hydrodynamic model. Its Fuzzy Logic algorithm means that it is inherently adaptable and capable of continuing to function as flow patterns change over time, as can be caused by climate change, land use or population change.

Why is CENTAUR different?

Many previous RTC projects have been conducted, but most of them (e.g. Vienna, Dresden, Aarhus) are large-scale systems based on entire drainage networks. These systems are characterised by complex sensor networks, linked to centralised control systems governed by calibrated hydrodynamic modelling tools and fed by radar rainfall technology. Such systems are expensive - running into several millions of euros - and complex to install and operate.

In contrast, the concept of CENTAUR is to be an inexpensive, de-centralised, autonomous (self-learning) RTC system. Being low cost, with minimal infrastructure build it can be installed gradually in systems to deal with localities of high flood risk and so allow water utilities and local authorities to take an adaptive approach to flood risk management in their areas.

What progress has been made on CENTAUR?

The CENTAUR project finished in August 2018, it has produced a market-ready system for flood risk reduction.  The SME partners, EMS and Steinhardt are actively marketing the CENTAUR system.

The Outputs page provides links to publications, reports and other publicly available outputs.

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