A Data-Driven Soft Sensor to Forecast Energy Consumption in Wastewater Treatment Plants: A Case Study

Fouzi Harrou, Tuoyuan Cheng, Ying Sun, TorOve Leiknes, NorEddine Ghaffour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Energy consumption is vital to the global costs of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). With the increase of installed WWTPs worldwide, the modeling and forecast of their energy consumption have become a critical factor in WWTP design to meet environmental and economic requirements. The accurate and swift energy consumption forecasting soft-sensors are not only supportive to the daily electric and financial budgeting by WWTP practitioners on the micro-scale, but also beneficial to local municipal operation and fundamental to regional environmental impact estimation on the macro-scale. Energy consumption in WWTPs is influenced by different biological and environmental factors, making it complicated and challenging to build soft-sensors. This paper intends to provide short-term forecasting of WWTP energy consumption based on data-driven soft sensors using traditional time-series and deep learning methods. Ten data-driven soft sensors, including the ordinary least square, exponential smoothing state space, local regression, auto-regressive integrated moving average (ARIMA), structural time series model, Bayesian structural time series, non-linear auto-regressive, long short-term memory with and without updates, and gated recurrent units have been investigated and compared for WWTP energy consumption forecasting. Energy consumption time-series data from a membrane bioreactor-based WWTP in the middle east is used to evaluate the performances of the proposed soft-sensors. Results showed that ARIMA achieved slightly improved performances, among others. The employment of adaptive deep learning-based soft sensors is expected to enhance the capabilities of the deep models to quickly and accurately follow the trend of future data.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-1
Number of pages1
JournalIEEE Sensors Journal
StatePublished - 2020


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