Pre-study on the establishment of a research collaboration between industrial energy systems and process control at Chalmers
The aim of the project described in this report has been to create a platform for collaboration between the research areas of industrial energy systems and process control at Chalmers. The authors of this report, belonging to the division of Heat and Power Technology, the Automatic control group and to CIT Industriell Energi, are convinced that a close collaboration between these areas could generate benefits for the process industry including
• Improved efficiency with respect to energy
• Improved opportunities to ensure satisfying operability
• Improved process stability and product uniformity
• Intensified utilization of available process equipment
• Increased profitability
In accordance with the project scope, an inventory of relevant academic literature and of past and ongoing activities within the relevant research community has been conducted. Firstly, this inventory recognizes that researchers at Lehigh University (US), NTNU (Norway) and Carnegie Mellon University (US) have been strongly involved in the establishment of a research field commonly referred to as Integrated design and control. It is found that the research questions that are in the interest of the project partners largely can be attributed to this field. Other related labels used, and investigated as part of the project, are plant-wide control and heat exchanger network control. In a specific section of the report, definitions of important terms like operability, controllability and flexibility are given and commented on. Secondly, international research groups of special interest that has been identified are presented. In this category, I2C2 at University of Auckland and CAPEC at Technical University of Denmark can be mentioned. Relevant publications of the above mentioned research groups and their associates have been studied and are commented on in the report. Special emphasize has been put on review papers and on recent publications.
Furthermore, the project has mapped the competences, experience and interest of the project partners. On this basis, the following keywords were identified:
• Bio-based processes
• Pulp and paper industry
• Real life case studies
• Industrial co-operation
• Economic evaluation
• Scale up challenges
This list was used during discussions on research questions and project ideas for future collaboration. This project has provided the partners an opportunity to obtain deeper insight into each other’s knowledge and experiences, and, moreover, research areas of common interest have been recognized. To further develop the collaboration, the next step seems to imply joint participation in specific research projects. Research questions of interest and ideas for future projects are presented in the full report.
This relates to the prevailing possibilities to apply for research grant - an issue that is addressed lastly in this report. In relation to this it should be noted that there is a program on Industrial Process Automation, supported by Vinnova, the Swedish Energy Agency and Formas, that is soon to be launched. A strategy for monitoring calls from this program as well as other relevant programs was formulated. As a result of the work in this project, it has also been possible to formulate proposals for two specific PhD-student projects within the Preem-Chalmers cooperation. These proposals take the outcome of this project into account and include opportunities to further develop the collaboration between industrial energy systems and process control at Chalmers.