Course detail

System Approaches for Process and Power Industry

FSI-KS3Acad. year: 2017/2018

The course title " System approaches for process and power industry" covers the activities, techniques and procedures focused on best solution of process or power plant, its subsystems and individual equipment by systematic way, for both cases - new design case and retrofit case for new purposes. Course, besides necessary theoretical background, introduce students through the illustrative practical industrial examples to the numbr of process systems activities, especially:
- approaches for optimization of operating conditions of key plant equipment and its performance (one vs. multistage solution) and solution of initial plant structure i.e. flowsheeting;
- approaches for conceptual optimization of choice process topology with optimum operating conditions - i.e. process integration and integration (synthesis) of process subsystems (heat exchanger network subsystem, subsystems of hot and cold utilities);
- techniques of integration, optimization and detail design of important individual process equipment;
- applications of optimization in common engineering practice (optimization of pipelines, insulations, etc.).

Learning outcomes of the course unit

Students will be able to apply the knowledge of thermodynamic, physical and chemical regularities to the solution of process and power plants and their sybsystems and make a qualified decision if more variant solutions appear. They will dispose of orientation in complexity of technical-economic requirements of production and environment protection. They will improve their working skills with the professional design softwares and implementations (ChemCAD, Maple, VBA, etc.).


Basic knowledge of process engineering problematics, especially knowledge of heat and mass transfer and fluid flow together with knowledge of basic problematic of energy and emmisions, process design and control and designing of process and energy systems.


Not applicable.

Recommended optional programme components

Not applicable.

Recommended or required reading

Stehlík, P., Kohoutek, J., Václavek, V.: Integrace procesů a procesní pece, díl I., Učební texty postgraduálního kurzu, VUT Brno (1993). (CS)
Stehlík, P.: Integrace procesů a její význam pro redukci spotřeby energie a škodlivých emisí -základní principy, Nakladatelství “Procesní inženýrství“, edice MAPRINT, Praha (1995). (CS)
F. Carl Knopf: Modeling, Analysis and Optimization of Process and Energy Systems,John Wiley & Sons, Inc., hoboken, New Jersey (2012) (EN)
Renaud Gicquel: Energy Systems. A new approach to engineering thermodynamics, Taylor & Francis Group, London, UK (2012). (EN)
Seider W.D., Seader J.D., Lewin D.R.: Products & Process Design Principles. Synthesis, Analysis and Evaluation. 2nd edition, John Wiley and Sons, USA (2004). (EN)
Biegler, L.T, Grossmann, I.E. and Westerberg, A.W.: Systematic Methods of Chemical Process Design, Prentice-Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey (1997). (EN)
Smith, R.: Chemical Process Design, McGraw-Hill (1995). (EN)

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

The course is taught through lectures explaining the basic principles and theory of the discipline. Exercises are focused on practical topics presented in lectures.

Assesment methods and criteria linked to learning outcomes

Course-unit credit requirements: active participation in seminars, elaboration of individual work and obtaining in sum at least 10 points.
Form of exam: Written test (practical calculation example) followed by oral examination containing two theoretical questions.
Each part of exam is individually awarded by points. Exam results are evaluated from total number of obtained points as follows:
A - from 90 to 100 points,
B - from 80 to 89 points,
C - from 70 to 79 points,
D - from 60 to 69 points,
E - from 50 to 59 points,
F (failed) - less than 50 points.

Language of instruction


Work placements

Not applicable.


The course objectives are:
- to make students familiar with the methods for sytems solution and optimization of process and power plants, their subsystems and individual equipment;
- to develop of student ability to apply previous obtained knowledge of thermodynamic, physics and chemical patterns to given process concept and its equipment and to decide in case of variant solutions;
- to provide basic orientation in complexity of technical-economic requirements of production and environment protection;
- to enable improvement of working skills connected with professional softwares (Maple, ChemCAD, VBA, etc.).

Specification of controlled education, way of implementation and compensation for absences

Lessons are held in the computer laboratory.
Attendance at lectures is recommended. Attendance at seminars is compulsory and checked.

Classification of course in study plans

  • Programme M2I-P Master's

    branch M-PRI , 2. year of study, summer semester, 6 credits, compulsory

Type of course unit



26 hours, optionally

Teacher / Lecturer


1. Introduction to plant systems engineering, stages of integrated plant design. Techniques for initial stage – optimization of key equipment conditions, related streams and initial flowsheeting.

2. Introduction to optimization, mathematical models and methods, the most often types of problems, models ans solution methods (LP/MILP, NLP/MINLP) Accesible optimization softwares.

3. Principles of flowsheet data extraction. Initial trade-off for optimum heat recovery and utility system mix (targeting, supertargeting).

4. The mostly used methods for synthesis (topology) of heat exchanger network in case of grassroot design.

5. The mostly used methods for synthesis (topology changes) of heat exchanger network in case of retrofit design.

6. Introduction to integration of hot and cold utilities. Techniques of initial technical-economic comparison of competitive alternatives of the most expensive „hot utilities“ and selection of the most suitable option.

7. Techniques for integration of hot and cold utilities. Methods and techniques for integration of the selected most suitable option of the most expensive „hot utilities“.

8. Optimization of hot and cold utilities. Methods for optimisation of „hot utilities“ for grassroot and retrofit design.

9. Optimization of production and operating condition of process and power plants and their key equipment.

10. Techniques of optimization of individual heat transfer equipment for different objectives (technical, economical, operating).

11. Methods of optimum design of energy-consuming system of heat and mass transfer equipment.

12. Algorithms for optimum design of pipes, pipelines and pipeline insulations.

13. Fundamentals of modelling and optimization in the field of operating dynamics and unsteady states.

Computer-assisted exercise

26 hours, compulsory

Teacher / Lecturer


1. Material balance of complex process plant with recycle - comparison of sequential and global calculation method for optimization of key equipment conditions.

2. Optimization models examples – aspects of typical LP/MILP and NLP/MINLP problems.

3. Example of initial trade-off for optimum heat recovery (targeting)

4. Practical application of LP and NLP models for grassroot of heat exchanger network.

5. Practical application of LP and NLP models for retrofit of heat exchanger network.

6. Introduction to integration of furnaces/boilers as the most energy expensive hot utilities. Initial technical-economic analysis of competitive alternatives.

7. Integration of furnaces/boilers as the most energy expensive hot utilities. Aspects of integration in case of grassroot design and retrofit.

8. Optimization procedures for furnaces/boilers in case of grassroot design and retrofit.

9. Application of LP methods – optimization of production capacity of complex process plants, minimisation cost of production, production variability.

10. Computational applications of different optimisation strategies for individual plate and shell-and-tube heat exchangers.

11. Optimization of multistage evaporating system arrangement. Optimization of absorber – complexity of technical/economic/environment solution.

12. Optimization of pipeline and insulation layer thickness for given operating conditions.

13. Calculation of start-up time of boiler and optimum operating cycle of preheating plant.