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Energies 2017, 10(1), 17; doi:10.3390/en10010017

Operation Optimization of Steam Accumulators as Thermal Energy Storage and Buffer Units

1
Department of Thermal Engineering, School of Metallurgy, Northeastern University, Shenyang 110819, China
2
State Environmental Protection Key Laboratory of Eco-Industry, Northeastern University, Shenyang 110819, China
3
Department of Technology, Hangzhou Boiler Group Co., Ltd., Hangzhou 310021, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Brian Agnew
Received: 7 November 2016 / Revised: 4 December 2016 / Accepted: 16 December 2016 / Published: 23 December 2016
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Abstract

Although steam is widely used in industrial production, there is often an imbalance between steam supply and demand, which ultimately results in steam waste. To solve this problem, steam accumulators (SAs) can be used as thermal energy storage and buffer units. However, it is difficult to promote the application of SAs due to high investment costs, which directly depend on the usage volume. Thus, the operation of SAs should be optimized to reduce initial investment through volume minimization. In this work, steam sources (SSs) are classified into two types: controllable steam sources (CSSs) and uncontrollable steam sources (UCSSs). A basic oxygen furnace (BOF) was selected as an example of a UCSS to study the optimal operation of an SA with a single BOF and sets of parallel-operating BOFs. In another case, a new method whereby CSSs cooperate with SAs is reported, and the mathematical model of the minimum necessary thermal energy storage capacity (NTESC) is established. A solving program for this mathematical model is also designed. The results show that for UCSSs, applying an SA in two parallel-operating SSs requires less capacity than that required between a single SS and its consumer. For CSSs, the proposed minimum NTESC method can effectively find the optimal operation and the minimum volume of an SA. The optimized volume of an SA is smaller than that used in practice, which results in a better steam storage effect. View Full-Text
Keywords: steam accumulator (SA); optimal operation; minimum volume; steam source (SS); necessary thermal energy storage capacity (NTESC) steam accumulator (SA); optimal operation; minimum volume; steam source (SS); necessary thermal energy storage capacity (NTESC)
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Sun, W.; Hong, Y.; Wang, Y. Operation Optimization of Steam Accumulators as Thermal Energy Storage and Buffer Units. Energies 2017, 10, 17.

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