Retrofitting of industrial heat recovery systems can contribute significantly to meeting energy efficiency targets for industrial plants. One issue to consider when screening retrofit design proposals is that industrial heat recovery systems must be able to handle variations, e.g., in inlet temperatures or heat capacity flow rates, in such a way that operational targets are reached. Consequently, there is a need for systematic retrofitting methodologies that are applicable to multi-period heat exchanger networks (HENs). In this study, a framework was developed to achieve flexible and cost-efficient retrofit measures of (industrial) HENs. The main idea is to split the retrofitting processes into several sub-steps. This splitting allows well-proven (single period) retrofit methodologies to be used to generate different design proposals, which are collected in a superstructure. By means of structural feasibility assessment, structurally infeasible design proposals can be discarded from further analysis, yielding a reduced superstructure. Additionally, critical point analysis is applied to identify those operating points within the uncertainty span that determine necessary overdesign of heat exchangers. In the final step, the most cost-efficient design proposal within the reduced superstructure is identified. The proposed framework was applied to a HEN retrofit case study to illustrate the proposed framework.
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