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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Assessment and Prediction of Complex Industrial Steam Network Operation by Combined Thermo-Hydrodynamic Modeling

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SLOVNAFT, a.s., Vlčie hrdlo 1, 824 12 Bratislava, Slovakia
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Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Faculty of Chemical and Food Technology, Slovak University of Technology, Radlinského 9, 812 37 Bratislava, Slovakia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Processes 2020, 8(5), 622; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8050622
Received: 29 April 2020 / Revised: 15 May 2020 / Accepted: 20 May 2020 / Published: 22 May 2020
Steam network operation stability and reliability is vital for any industrial branch. A combined steam network model comprising a balance and a coupled thermo-hydrodynamic model, including seasonal variations impact and system specificities, is presented. A balance model can readily be used by a refinery’s operators. The thermo-hydrodynamic model identifies system bottlenecks and cold spots and evaluates proposed operation and investment measures including heat loss reduction. A three-pressure levels refinery steam network served for model testing and validation. Balance model results reveal significant misbalance in steam production and consumption, reaching 30.5% in the low-pressure steam system, and heat balance differences in the range of 9.2% to 29.5% on individual pressure levels, attributable both to flow measurement accuracy issues and to heat losses. The thermo-hydrodynamic model results differ from the measured steam parameters by less than 5% (temperature) and by less than 4% (pressure), respectively, with the estimated operational insulation heat conductivity exceeding 0.08 W/m/K. Its comparison with that of 0.03 W/m/K for dry insulation material yields the need for pipelines re-insulation and a partial revamp of the steam network. The model is sufficiently general for any type of industry, pursuing the goal of cleaner and energy-efficient steam transport and consumption.
Keywords: steam network; bottleneck; cold spot; heat losses; operation optimization steam network; bottleneck; cold spot; heat losses; operation optimization
MDPI and ACS Style

Hanus, K.; Variny, M.; Illés, P. Assessment and Prediction of Complex Industrial Steam Network Operation by Combined Thermo-Hydrodynamic Modeling. Processes 2020, 8, 622.

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