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Processes 2013, 1(3), 312-329; doi:10.3390/pr1030312

Improved Large-Scale Process Cooling Operation through Energy Optimization

* ,
McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, 200 E Dean Keeton St. Stop C0400 Austin, Austin, TX 78712-1589, USA These authors contributed equally to this work.
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 September 2013 / Revised: 26 October 2013 / Accepted: 18 November 2013 / Published: 22 November 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers)
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This paper presents a study based on real plant data collected from chiller plants at the University of Texas at Austin. It highlights the advantages of operating the cooling processes based on an optimal strategy. A multi-component model is developed for the entire cooling process network. The model is used to formulate and solve a multi-period optimal chiller loading problem, posed as a mixed-integer nonlinear programming (MINLP) problem. The results showed that an average energy savings of 8.57% could be achieved using optimal chiller loading as compared to the historical energy consumption data from the plant. The scope of the optimization problem was expanded by including a chilled water thermal storage in the cooling system. The effect of optimal thermal energy storage operation on the net electric power consumption by the cooling system was studied. The results include a hypothetical scenario where the campus purchases electricity at wholesale market prices and an optimal hour-by-hour operating strategy is computed to use the thermal energy storage tank.
Keywords: energy; chiller plant; optimization energy; chiller plant; optimization
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Kapoor, K.; Powell, K.M.; Cole, W.J.; Kim, J.S.; Edgar, T.F. Improved Large-Scale Process Cooling Operation through Energy Optimization. Processes 2013, 1, 312-329.

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