|dc.description.abstract||The objective of this project is to optimize the SAPREF oil refinery steam distribution in which
imbalances between the various levels presently require the venting of steam from the lowest level. The
overall steam balance shows that the problem originates from an excess of high·pressure (HP) steam
production for too few medium pressure steam users and turbines.
We proposed to solve this problem by considering the replacement of selected steam turbines with
electrical drives. Given a set of demands of electricity, mechanical power and steam at various pressure
levels, the objective is to recommend configuration changes to minimize overall cost. This is not a trivial
problem, as steam not passed down through turbines to lower levels can create a shortage there, so a
combination of replacements is required.
The variables of the problem are both decision variables on every steam turbine and continuous variables,
such as flows and enthalpies. These decision variables are integer variables, 0 or 1 for every steam
turbine. Depending on whether it is kept on steam use or replaced with an electrical drive, these variables
are as follows: E = 0: keep the existing steam turbine
E - 1: switch it to an electrical drive.
A complete and realistic model of this utility section must be constructed in order to represent the actual
distribution accurately. This model will include an objective function to minimize, some equality and
inequality constraints, and some cost functions. If we want this model to be accurate, we shall have to
deal with nonlinearities to avoid simplifications, and these non-linearities could lead to infeasabilities or
sub-optimal solutions. So we are facing a typical MTNLP (Mixed Integer Non-Linear Programming)
problem to find optimal configuration changes which will maximize the return on investment, meeting
the electrical, mechanical and steam demands of the refinery. In order to solve this difficult optimization
problem we shall use the user-friendly package GAMS (General Algebraic Modeling System).||en