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Energy Optimization Using Pinch Analysis

By Richard Beaman and Cliff Reese SSOE Group |

Pinch analysis is a systematic method to maximize energy recovery from process streams entering and exiting process equipment. Using this method, the minimum thermodynamic requirements for hot and cold utilities can be calculated for a process. This is useful to determine areas where savings can be realized and where savings are not available. It is a method that can be used during the design of a process or after startup. During the design phase, it is useful to set the temperatures of hot and cold utilities and the load requirements of those utilities. After startup, it can be used to take advantage of changing utility costs, or if a proper pinch analysis was not performed initially, it can be used to find and correct inefficiencies in the heat recovery. Practical considerations to use these techniques effectively are illustrated in this article. Common terms • Hot stream – Any stream that needs to be cooled • Cold stream – Any stream that needs to be heated • Pinch temperature – The minimum temperature difference (approach) between the hot streams and the cold streams • Flowing heat capacity) –   • Composite curve – The sum of the flowing heat capacity of all of the…
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