Title: Analysis of thermal system network of an ammonia plant using genetic algorithms – part I: synthesis and optimisation

Authors: N.K. Chavda; P. Prabhakaran

Addresses: Mechanical Engineering Department, Madhuben and Bhanubhai Patel Women's Institute of Engineering, New Vallabh Vidyanagar – 388 121, Anand, Gujarat, India. ' Mechanical Engineering Department, Faculty of Technology and Engineering, The M.S. University of Baroda, Kala Bhavan, Vadodara, Gujarat, India

Abstract: Optimum and efficient use of energy through conservation and management is vital in any energy intensive industry. As there are many heat exchangers in a chemical plant, it is important to build the heat exchanger network optimally. The synthesis and optimisation of thermal network of an ammonia plant using combined approach of pinch technology and genetic algorithms is presented in Part I. Two approaches of pinch technology, viz., minimum temperature approach and minimum flux approach are adopted and compared. For this, steady state on line process data captured from an existing network of heat exchangers of an ammonia plant is used. The maximum possible saving in total annual cost of production of ammonia using minimum temperature approach and minimum flux approach are found to be 3.14% and 15.73% respectively. Based on the above results, modification techniques are employed for the ammonia plant and are presented in Part II.

Keywords: thermal system networks; synthesis; optimisation; heat exchanger networks; HEN; pinch technology; genetic algorithms; GAs; heat exchangers; modification techniques; ammonia plant; minimum temperature approach; minimum flux approach; energy efficiency; chemical industry; energy management; energy conservation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPSE.2012.045896

International Journal of Process Systems Engineering, 2012 Vol.2 No.1, pp.36 - 69

Received: 13 May 2011
Accepted: 22 Aug 2011

Published online: 16 Aug 2014 *

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