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Energy saving potential of a simple control strategy for heat exchanger network operation under fouling conditions


  • Trafczynski, Marian
  • Markowski, Mariusz
  • Urbaniec, Krzysztof


A real-life benchmark system comprising a Heat Exchanger Network operated as part of Crude Distillation Unit is considered. In such systems, the crude oil stream is typically split into parallel branches and the oil mass flows through the branches are kept in constant proportion, i.e., at constant split ratio, by the process control system. In this paper, linear control systems (proportional-integral-derivative controllers) are considered and the proposed control strategy is to adjust the parallel flows so that identical temperature values are maintained at the outlets from two parallel branches and consequently, the heat recovery in the network is maximized. The aim is to enhance the energy efficiency of the system and minimise greenhouse gas emissions. A mathematical model of the heat exchanger network was built and validated on the basis of real-life data recorded during operation of the crude distillation unit. Using MATLAB/Simulink, closed-loop control was simulated to enable comparative evaluation of the studied strategy of proportional-integral-derivative control and its potential to achieve energy savings in the operation of the distillation unit under fouling conditions. Compared to the strategy of constant split ratio, the proposed strategy of equal outlet temperatures from the network branches was found to increase the total heat recovery by about 1.5%. In the studied operation period, the heat-recovery increase fluctuated in the range 150–1100 kW and the average daily energy saving was estimated at 18 MWh.

Suggested Citation

  • Trafczynski, Marian & Markowski, Mariusz & Urbaniec, Krzysztof, 2019. "Energy saving potential of a simple control strategy for heat exchanger network operation under fouling conditions," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 355-364.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:rensus:v:111:y:2019:i:c:p:355-364
    DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2019.05.046

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Liew, Peng Yen & Theo, Wai Lip & Wan Alwi, Sharifah Rafidah & Lim, Jeng Shiun & Abdul Manan, Zainuddin & Klemeš, Jiří Jaromír & Varbanov, Petar Sabev, 2017. "Total Site Heat Integration planning and design for industrial, urban and renewable systems," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 68(P2), pages 964-985.
    2. Kermadi, Mostefa & Berkouk, El Madjid, 2017. "Artificial intelligence-based maximum power point tracking controllers for Photovoltaic systems: Comparative study," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 369-386.
    3. Oravec, Juraj & Bakošová, Monika & Trafczynski, Marian & Vasičkaninová, Anna & Mészáros, Alajos & Markowski, Mariusz, 2018. "Robust model predictive control and PID control of shell-and-tube heat exchangers," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 1-10.
    4. Naylor, Sophie & Gillott, Mark & Lau, Tom, 2018. "A review of occupant-centric building control strategies to reduce building energy use," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 1-10.
    5. Tian, Jiayang & Wang, Yufei & Feng, Xiao, 2016. "Simultaneous optimization of flow velocity and cleaning schedule for mitigating fouling in refinery heat exchanger networks," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 1118-1129.
    6. Vaupel, Yannic & Huster, Wolfgang R. & Holtorf, Flemming & Mhamdi, Adel & Mitsos, Alexander, 2019. "Analysis and improvement of dynamic heat exchanger models for nominal and start-up operation," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 169(C), pages 1191-1201.
    7. Klemeš, Jiří Jaromír & Varbanov, Petar Sabev & Walmsley, Timothy G. & Jia, Xuexiu, 2018. "New directions in the implementation of Pinch Methodology (PM)," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 439-468.
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    Cited by:

    1. Klemeš, Jiří Jaromír & Wang, Qiu-Wang & Varbanov, Petar Sabev & Zeng, Min & Chin, Hon Huin & Lal, Nathan Sanjay & Li, Nian-Qi & Wang, Bohong & Wang, Xue-Chao & Walmsley, Timothy Gordon, 2020. "Heat transfer enhancement, intensification and optimisation in heat exchanger network retrofit and operation," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 120(C).
    2. Oravec, Juraj & Horváthová, Michaela & Bakošová, Monika, 2020. "Energy efficient convex-lifting-based robust control of a heat exchanger," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 201(C).


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