Research Papers: Energy Systems Analysis

Combined Pinch and Exergy Evaluation for Fault Analysis in a Steam Power Plant Heat Exchanger Network

[+] Author and Article Information
Howard O. Njoku

Applied Renewable and Sustainable Energy Research Group,
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Nigeria,
Nsukka 410001, Nigeria;
Department of Mechanical Engineering Science,
University of Johannesburg,
Johannesburg 2006, South Africa
e-mails: howard.njoku@unn.edu.ng; nwokoma@gmail.com

Linus C. Egbuhuzor

Egbin Power PLC,
Ijede, Lagos State, Nigeria
e-mail: sacraeslinus@gmail.com

Mkpamdi N. Eke

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Nigeria,
Nsukka 410001, Nigeria
e-mail: mkpamdi.eke@unn.edu.ng

Samuel O. Enibe

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Nigeria,
Nsukka 410001, Nigeria
e-mail: samuel.enibe@unn.edu.ng

Esther A. Akinlabi

Department of Mechanical Engineering Science,
University of Johannesburg,
Johannesburg 2006, South Africa
e-mail: etakinlabi@uj.ac.za

1Corresponding authors.

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Energy Resources Technology. Manuscript received December 1, 2018; final manuscript received May 8, 2019; published online June 5, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Luis Serra.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 141(12), 122001 (Jun 05, 2019) (10 pages) Paper No: JERT-18-1867; doi: 10.1115/1.4043746 History: Received December 01, 2018; Accepted May 08, 2019

This study demonstrates comparative applications of the standard pinch and exergy analysis and the combined pinch-exergy analysis methodologies to a gas-fired steam power plant’s heat exchanger network. The extent to which each methodology could be used for pin-pointing the location of performance deteriorations in the network and their relative criticality were shown. Using a 12 °C minimum temperature difference, the network minimum hot utility requirement in current operation was determined by a pinch analysis as 539,491 kW, at a supply temperature of 549 °C. This represented a 6% (30,618 kW) increase in the utility requirement when compared with the design minimum requirement (508,873.7 kW). The combined exergy pinch analysis showed the severity of performance deteriorations more clearly, determining a 25% increase in global plant exergy losses with respect to design conditions. With a standard exergy analysis, additional information on the actual network components responsible for the changes was obtained—there were general declines in component performances except for two heaters and the deaerator, whose operation performances improved slightly. Furthermore, avoidable and inevitable exergy losses (Ξ˙d,AVO and Ξ˙d,INE, respectively) were determined for network components. Whereas both were highest for the boiler, the values of the ratio Ξ˙d,AVO/Ξ˙d,INE showed that higher potentials for performance improvement existed in the other network components. This indicates the ratio Ξ˙d,AVO/Ξ˙d,INE as an appropriate measure for deciding equipment in the heat exchanger network that are in need critical attention.

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Fig. 1

Schematic of case study plant showing hot and cold streams and their state numbers

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Fig. 2

(a) Composite curves and (b) exergy composite curves for cold and hot streams in the HEN under conditions specified in plant design

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Fig. 3

(a) Composite curves and (b) exergy composite curves for cold and hot streams in the HEN under conditions encountered in plant operation

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Fig. 4

(a) Grand composite curves and (b) exergy grand composite curves for the HEN under plant design and operation conditions

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Fig. 5

Inevitable and avoidable exergy losses of major HEN components

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Fig. 6

Percentage deviations in exergy losses of major HEN components

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Fig. 7

Exergy efficiencies of major HEN components under plant design and operation conditions



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