Simulation of a cooling water network with SimCentral and Pipenet

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Kemian tekniikan korkeakoulu | Master's thesis
Chemical and Process Engineering
Degree programme
Master's Programme in Chemical, Biochemical and Materials Engineering
Utility services are an essential part of any oil and gas refinery and petrochemical plant. Water is the most common medium for transferring thermal energy into or out of the process. More than 20% of energy and 50% of water consumption in the industry are related to the cooling/heating water networks. Closed-loop cooling water systems have the best performance in water conservation; however, the absorbed heat eventually is dissipated into the environment causing more thermal pollution. Employing this low-grade heat on an industrial scale is difficult, but using the energy in pre-heating other utility or process streams is one way. This thesis studies a closed-loop cooling water system with a heat recovery section, in which the absorbed heat is used for desalination plant inlet streams pre-heating. The network is in Kilpilahti industrial complex, and it is a part of Neste’s refinery. This thesis aims to develop a precise steady-state simulation model of the network that includes hydraulic and thermal heat balances. SimCentral and PIPENET simulation platforms are used to create the simulation model. Both software claims for the capability of modeling piping networks and heat transfer phenomena simultaneously. Two sets of data are extracted from the control system data collection. The first set is used as the set point for running the models, and the second is used to compare and validate simulation models. The equipment lists for the main components of the network are generated as a part of the results. Comparing the result of SimCentral and PIPENET in this stage shows no significant deviation in terms of calculated flow rates, pressures, and temperatures. Nevertheless, comparing the result of both software with control system data indicates a noticeable difference in heat balances calculation. Consequently, SimCentral and PIPENET are recommended for performing hydraulic balance calculations in piping networks, but using them for temperature estimation and heat balances required further investigation.
Corona, Francesco
Thesis advisor
Kivisaari, Timo
Kuosmanen, Janne
cooling networks, closed-loop, SimCentral, Pipenet, hydraulic calculation, thermal calculation
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