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Optimization of a Steam Network

By C.C.S. Reddy and S.V. Naidu Andhra University G.P. Rangaiah National University of Singapore |

Petroleum refineries generate power from a number of sources, including cogeneration plants and steam networks. Generally, steam networks use turbines to improve operational reliability, specifically as drivers for rotating equipment. Due to increasing energy costs, it is essential to maximize the power-generation capabilities of steam networks. This article presents a spreadsheet-based optimization model for a steam network. Figure 1 shows a typical steam network in a petroleum refinery. For maximizing the total power generation, a mixed-integer linear programming (MILP) model is formulated by linearization of equipment models and use of a spreadsheet for estimating steam properties. The solution of this model determines the optimum operational configuration of steam-turbine drivers for maximum power generation, while satisfying constraints related to material balances, equipment selection and capacity limitations. One case study is presented to demonstrate the potential and benefits of the spreadsheet-based approach for optimizing steam networks. Due to the large volume of steam required for power generation, and the various turbine equipment types, steam-system considerations have been the subject of many studies over the years…
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