Operational modeling of multistream heat exchangers with phase changes
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Multistream heat exchangers (MSHE) enable the simultaneous exchange of heat among multiple streams, and are preferred in cryogenic processes such as air separation and LNG. Most MSHEs are complex; proprietary and involve phase changes of mixtures. Although modeling MSHE is crucial for process optimization, no such work exists to our knowledge. We present a novel approach for deriving an approximate operational (vs. design) model from historic data for an MSHE. Using a superstructure of simple 2-stream exchangers, we propose a mixed-integer nonlinear programming (MINLP) formulation to obtain a HE network that best represents the MSHE operation. We also develop an iterative algorithm to solve the large and nonconvex MINLP model in reasonable time, as existing commercial solvers fail to do so. Finally, we demonstrate the application of our work on an MSHE from an existing LNG plant, and successfully predict its performance over a variety of seasons and feed conditions.
- Chemical Engineering Research [327 items ]