A global optimization algorithm for heat exchanger networks

Abstract: "This paper deals with the global optimization of heat exchanger networks with fixed topology. It is shown that if linear area cost functions are assumed, as well as arithmetic mean driving force temperature differences in networks with isothermal mixing, the corresponding NLP optimization problem involves linear constraints and linear rational functions in the objective which are nonconvex. A rigorous algorithm is proposed that is based on a convex NLP underestimator that involves linear and nonlinear estimators for rational and bilinear terms which provide a tight lower bound to the global optimum. This NLP problem is used within a spatial branch and bound method for which branching rules are given. Basic properties of the proposed method are presented, and its application is illustrated with several example problems. The results show that the proposed method only requires few nodes in the branch and bound search."