The University of Edinburgh -
Division of Informatics
Forrest Hill & 80 South Bridge

MSc Thesis #9706

Title:An Intelligent Tool for Process Synthesis
Date:Sep 1997
Abstract:Retrofit of heat exchanger networks (RHEN) has not taken as much attention in the literature as the grass-roots design of heat exchanger networks (HEN). the problem has been partially solved, either with optimisation techniques which failed in real life large scale applications or with pinch technology which did not offer much help for RHEN in contrast with grass-roots design of HEN. In this thesis, two new methods for solving RHEN problems are introduced. In both methods, we have utilised constraint logic programming (CLP) as a powerful paradigm to solve the problem. In the first method, retrofit by inspection, CLP was used as a mechanism to prune the search space. We have updated and formalised the guidelines introduced by akshmanan in 1996. The second method is Smart-RHEN, a new approach that we have developed to solve RHEN problem. SMART-RHEN is a three stage algorithm that starts by growing a large network, fitting the current network and lastly pruning the network to achieve the objectives of retrofit. the approach seems practical and guarantees to find the maximum heat recovery. This last method needed a nonlinear optimiser which is not available in the current version of CLP. We have developed a Quadratic Programming (QP) optimiser utilising the CLP engine as a back-end. The work does not apply only on RHEN problem, but other problems as well, such as portfolio analysis.

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