Studying the Role of System Aggregation in Energy Targeting: A Case Study of a Swedish Oil Refinery
Journal article, 2020
The definition of appropriate energy targets for large industrial processes is a difficult task since operability, safety and plant layout aspects represent important limitations to direct process integration. The role of heat exchange limitations in the definition of appropriate energy targets for large process sites was studied in this work. A computational framework was used which allows to estimate the optimal distribution of process stream heat loads in different subsystems and to select and size a site wide utility system. A complex Swedish refinery site is used as a case study. Various system aggregations, representing different patterns of heat exchange limitations between process units and utility configurations were explored to identify trade-offs and bottlenecks for energy saving opportunities. The results show that in spite of the aforementioned limitations direct heat integration still plays a significant role for the refinery energy efficiency. For example, the targeted hot utility demand is reduced by 50-65% by allowing process-to-process heat exchange within process units even when a steam utility system is available for indirect heat recovery. Furthermore, it was found that direct process heat integration is motivated primarily at process unit level, since the heat savings that can be achieved by allowing direct heat recovery between adjacent process units (25-42%) are in the same range as those that can be obtained by combining unit process-to-process integration with site-wide indirect heat recovery via the steam system (27-42%).
constrained heat integration
total site analysis