An MINLP retrofit approach for improving the flexibility of heat exchanger networks
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A mixed integer nonlinear programming (MINLP) model for the retrofit of heat exchanger networks (HENs) in order to improve their flexibility is presented in this paper. As stream flowrates and inlet temperatures and/or heat transfer coefficients are allowed to vary within either specified ranges or discrete sets, a multiperiod hyperstructure network representation is developed based on critical operating conditions (i.e. periods of operation) that limit the network's flexibility. This multiperiod hyperstructure includes all possible network configurations. Structural modifications, such as new stream matches, exchanger reassignments, splitting and mixing of streams are explicitly modeled either considering one-to-one or one-to-many assignment of heat exchangers to stream matches. Energy recovery and utility consumption are not predetermined but are optimized as part of a total annualized cost along with the structural modification cost in the objective function. Thus, trade-offs between operating and retrofit investment costs to improve the flexibility of a HEN are accounted for. The resulting large scale MINLP is solved with the application of the Generalized Benders Decomposition. The proposed multiperiod retrofit model can be included in a general framework to improve the operability of heat exchanger networks. 1993 J.C. Baltzer AG, Science Publishers.