Hydraulics & Waterways


394987 - Automated Water Control Structures Flow Rating using CFD Generated Data

Tuesday, June 5
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Regency Room
Co-Authors: Matahel Ansar, West Palm Beach, Florida – South Florida Water Management District; John Raymond, West Palm Beach, Florida – South Florida Water Management District; Zubayed Rakib, West Palm Beach/Miami, FL – King Engineering Associates Inc; Seyed Hajimirzaie, West Palm Beach, FL – South Florida Water Management District; Liqiong Zhang, West Palm Beach – South Florida Water Management District; Tibebe Dessalegne, West Palm Beach – South Florida Water Management District

The South Florida Water Management District (District) operates and maintains over 650 water control structures. Flow through these structures are estimated with rating equations as a function of the headwater, tailwater stages and operating conditions. Typically, field flow measurements are used for calibration, validation, and verification of the site-specific rating formulas. However, these measurements can be expensive and time consuming, but more importantly inadequate to cover all flow ranges. In recent years, we have successfully developed and used a CFD-based flow rating framework. The application of this framework to a large number of structures can be complex and requires background knowledge in CFD.
The focus of the paper is to demonstrate the feasibility of automating the application of the developed framework using Visual Basic and IronPython scripting. The parallel, pressure-based, nonhydrostatic commercial code ANSYS FLUENT was employed as the Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) solver for demonstration. The developed automation process includes planning CFD data generation boundary conditions, feeding the required data inputs to ANSYS-WORKBENCH from an Excel environment, executing the CFD simulations using IronPython script, and passing back the simulation results to Excel and using Excel VBA to conduct the flow rating for multiple flow conditions at multiple structures. This study demonstrated it is feasible to automate this entire complex process and this opens new frontiers in cost-effective flow ratings for large amount of water control structures.

Jie Zeng, PhD

Lead Engineer
South Florida Water Management District

Mr. Jie Zeng graduated from Hydraulic and Hydropower Construction Engineering in TsingHua University of China in 1990. He graduated with distinction with his Mater degree majoring in Hydroinformatics with specialization in data mining, hydrodynamic and water quality modeling in IHE-Delft, The Netherlands in 2001. He received his PhD in Iowa Institute of Hydraulic Research majoring in hydraulics and numerical modeling in 2006.

Dr. Zeng has more than 26 years of research and work experience in areas of hydraulics analysis & hydraulic structure design, water resource and environmental engineering, hydrologic and hydraulic monitoring and modeling.

Mr. Zeng currently works as a Lead Engineer at Hydrology and hydraulics Bureau of South Florida Water Management District, His works include developing and application of of Computation Fluid Dynamics modeling, hydraulics design, flow rating analyses for hydraulic structures, hydrologic and hydraulic modeling studies for supporting the District’s core flood control and water supply functions.


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Matahel Ansar

South Florida Water Management District

Since June 2014, Dr. Matahel Ansar is a Section Administrator (Section Chief) for the Applied Hydraulics Section at the South Florida Water Management District, West Palm Beach, Florida. In this position, he provides overall management of the Section, and technical leadership to about twenty three engineers involved in hydraulic design, flow computations at water control structures, flood risk analysis, and investigations of sea level rise challenges in South Florida. This Section also provides operational hydraulics support to the District’s water control center.

Dr. Ansar has a Ph.D. (’97) and an M.S. (’93) in Civil and Environmental Engineering, specializing in Hydraulics from the University of Iowa. He also holds a Bachelor of Science (’91) in Water Resources Management from Central State University, Wilberforce, Ohio. He has about forty five technical publications in the form of refereed journal papers and discussions, conference papers, theses, and technical reports. He is also the past winner of several awards, including the Merit Award from the Arizona Consulting Engineers Association (1998); the Best Discussion Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering (2003); the South Florida Water Management District Leadership Award (2006), the Grand Award from the Florida Engineering Society (2009), and a National Recognition Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies (2009). Dr. Ansar has testified, as a Hydrology and Hydraulics Expert Witness, in several complex litigations. He is also a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of Florida.


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John H. Raymond, MS

South Florida Water Management District

Mr. John H. Raymond has over thirty years of diversified experience in water resources management, water policy, irrigation scheme design, decision support systems, hydrologic data quality assurance and control, and project management. He received his bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering in 1979 from the State University of Haiti, School of Engineering "Faculté des Sciences", and then attended graduate school in Spain (Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Hydrogeology, 1980) and then in the U.S. (Colorado State University, Agricultural Engineering, 1985). While in Haiti, he worked for the Water Resources Bureau, and the Irrigation Service at the Ministry of Agriculture. Later, he worked as a national consultant and freelance consultant for the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). During his last consultation for the Inter-American Development Bank in Haiti in 1998, he led a team of international consultants to produce an action plan and a water law for the management of water resources in Haiti. In the past 20 years, he has been working for the South Florida Water Management District, one of the largest agency managing water resources in Florida and is currently a Section Leader in the Infrastructure Management Bureau.


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Zubayed Rakib, MS

Hydraulic Engineer
King Engineering Associates Inc.

Mr. Zubayed Rakib graduated from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology with Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering. He completed his Master’s Degree from University of Utah, focused on Water Resource Management and Water Quality Modeling. Mr. Rakib has more than two years of experience in the field of water resources engineering (hydraulic and hydrologic modeling, water quality modeling, stormwater, computational fluid dynamics, and hydroinformatics). He worked at the Western States Water Council as a Water Resources-Civil Engineering (Hydroinformatics) Intern. Currently, he is working as Hydraulic Engineer with King Engineering Associates in Miami, Florida. His role is to support their client South Florida Water Management District for the development and application of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modeling, hydraulic designs, flow rating analysis for hydraulic structures, and hydrologic and hydraulic modeling studies for flood control and water supply functions.


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Liqiong Zhang

South Florida Water Management District

Lead Engineer, South Florida Water Management District
Ms. Zhang has over 10 years of experiences in water resources management and environmental protection, abundant expertise in hydrology, hydraulics, and hydrogeology. As a primary project investigator, Ms. Zhang has taken part in several significant projects covering storm runoff estimation, waste loadings calculation, river (network) hydrodynamic modeling, environmental capacity assessment, constructed wetland simulation, solute transport in groundwater, permeability field mapping and refining, interaction between surface water and groundwater. In these projects, Ms. Zhang has undertaken various roles including data collection, data analysis, model conceptualization, numerical modeling, and hydraulic structure design. Also Ms Zhang has field experience of water sampling, water quality monitoring, and streamgauging.


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394987 - Automated Water Control Structures Flow Rating using CFD Generated Data

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