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Improve your plantwide steam network

01.01.2013  |  Pelham, R. O.,  Merrick & Co., Aurora, Colorado

When optimizing an existing steam network, design and process engineers need a complete understanding of all aspects of the existing system. Accurate energy and material balances must be established.

Keywords: [heat transfer] [steam] [utilities] [boiler] [cooling water]

It is a formidable task to optimize a plantwide hydrocarbon processing industry (HPI) steam network. Such systems are complex, and they provide services to multiple processing units. Too often, the system network is revamped in pieces to meet the needs for new processing units without considerations for the whole steam system. When optimizing an existing steam network, design and process engineers need a complete understanding of all aspects of the existing system. Accurate energy and material balances must be established to define the HPI complex’s baseline. Likewise, a current definition of the specific steam-system behavior, in response to shifts in supply and demand, is critical information.

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