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CORDIS

An expert system for optimal insertion of intensified energy saving technologies in the industrial processes

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The competitiveness af the European process industry is mainly determined by its ability to improve the efficiency of the existing processes Existing plants also means limited place for process extension as well as more 5tress from the environmental constraints. Offering more compact and more efficient unit operations that are usually more environment friendly, the intensified energy saving technologies (IEST) are in good position to tackle the problem. A major problem remains unsolved : their ability to fit into existing processes. This concerns the potentia} of application of the IESTs, the determination of their proper sizing and of their conditions of optimal insertion in existing processes including their possible synergies.
To answer these needs, the objectives of the project are

1) to set up an IESTs data base including all the data needed to compute and evaluate their insertion in existing processes;

2) to develop a scientific process analysis method aiming at the identification of the potential application of the IESTs;

3) to develop, for each IEST, an algorithm to determine the proper sizing when inserted to a given process;

4) to develop an evaluation methodology for computing the break even points of the technologies with respect to the environmental constraints, the energy savings, the investments and the operating costs;

5) to compare with the help of the tools developed the insertion of the IESTs to the one of classical technologies in industrial case studies in order to determine the potential of application of the IESTs in the European industry.


The definition of the optimal insertion of IEST in existing industrial processes requires different tasks to be performed:

1. Charaterize the IESTs by constituting IESTs data bases in the field of heat transfer units, high temperature technologies, organic Rankine cycles, cogeneration systems, refrigeration systems, heat pumps and compressed gases technologies (production and applications). The data bases include all the technical data required for evaluating the potential of application of the IESTs.

2. Identify the applicability of the IESTs in a given process. This tasks includes the definition. of a generic methodology to evaluate the applicability of the IESTs for process retrofitting and its implementation into an expert system that includes: the analysis of the process structure and requirements; the access to all the IESTs data bases; the generic rules for identifying the possible IESTs to be inserted in a given process (synthesizing the rules of the IESTs, task 1).

3. Develop a method to compute the proper sizing of the IESTs tha. fits the process requirements by developing algorithms to determine the value of the sizing parameters and by adapting the existing targeting tools (exergy optimization and cost of energy requirements minimisation) to take into account load variations, environmental and process complexity constraints as well as the models of IESTs to be inserted. A mathematical formulation exploiting the results of the optimization will be developed to compute the break even points of the IESTs in a given industrial system.
4. The methods and software tools will be developed and validated by industrial applications.

The objectives of the applications are

1) to serve as a support for identifying the practical rules and-the constraints to be considered;

2) to determine the potential of application of the IESTs in the process industry and compare these with existing or classical technologies.
Industrial test cases are chosen to be representative of the major energy consumers in the European industry : Chemical, petrochemical and oil refining plants, cement, pulp and paper, food, ceramics...

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