Infoscience

Journal article

Optimal Operations and Resilient Investments in Steam Networks

Steam is a key energy vector for industrial sites, most commonly used for process heating and cooling, cogeneration of heat and mechanical power as a motive fluid or for stripping. Steam networks are used to carry steam from producers to consumers and between pressure levels through letdowns and steam turbines. The steam producers (boilers, heat and power cogeneration units, heat exchangers, chemical reactors) should be sized to supply the consumers at nominal operating conditions as well as peak demand. First, this paper proposes an Mixed Integer Linear Programing formulation to optimize the operations of steam networks in normal operating conditions and exceptional demand (when operating reserves fall to zero), through the introduction of load shedding. Optimization of investments based on operational and investment costs are included in the formulation. Though rare, boiler failures can have a heavy impact on steam network operations and costs, leading to undercapacity and unit shutdowns. A method is therefore proposed to simulate steam network operations when facing boiler failures. Key performance indicators are introduced to quantify the network’s resilience. The proposed methods are applied and demonstrated in an industrial case study using industrial data. The results indicate the importance of oversizing key steam producing equipments and the value of industrial symbiosis to increase industrial site resilience.

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