467597 A Methodology to Generate Modular Equipment for an Equipment Database in Module-Based Plant Design

Monday, November 14, 2016: 3:45 PM
Carmel I (Hotel Nikko San Francisco)
Martin Eilermann1, Christian Post1, Tobias Gottschalk1, Dorothea Schwarz2, Stefan Leufke2, Gerhard Schembecker1 and Christian Bramsiepe1, (1)Laboratory of Plant and Process Design, TU Dortmund University, Dortmund, Germany, (2)Evonik, Marl, Germany

Module-based plant design opens up the opportunity for the (bio-)chemical industry to reduce lead times and increase energy efficiency. Modular equipment is designed once such that it can cover a wide range of process conditions and applications. The time-consuming equipment design step is replaced by selecting the most suitable modular equipment from an equipment database so that engineering work is reused. During the selection of the modular equipment from the equipment database, various criteria are taken into account, such as investment costs and energy efficiency. As energy efficiency is already considered in early project phases, energy saving potentials are revealed.

Although of central importance in module-based plant design, an applicable equipment database has not been developed, yet. Therefore, in this contribution a methodology for equipment database generation is presented, that has been developed within a research project funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). The modular equipment stored in the equipment database needs to match with industrial demand in order to be competitive with the individual equipment design. The methodology developed starts from industrial heat exchanger applications prepared by the project partner Evonik Industries AG. Process applications are grouped in a cluster analysis according to a set of defining features. For each of these groups a representative heat exchanger is selected. Therefore, a set of shell and tube heat exchangers is generated in a sampling step. From this set a heat exchanger is selected to be the representative, which covers most of the applications within the considered group of process applications. The representative heat exchangers are stored in the equipment database. To apply the generated equipment database, the stored modular heat exchangers are used to set up a heat exchanger network. The results are compared to conventional heat exchanger network design in terms of energy efficiency and costs.

The results show, that most of the industrial applications can be covered by a significantly reduced number of heat exchangers. Applying modular equipment in heat exchanger networks may lead to increased investment costs. However, it could be shown exemplarily that the energy efficiency is being improved.


The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) is acknowledged for funding this research as part of the ENPRO initiative.

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