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Energy Saver: Take The Heat Off Pinch Analysis

Composite curves help determine proper heat transfer and energy savings

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Pinch analysis is a powerful tool for designing energy-efficient heat exchanger networks. It has gained wide use for preheat trains in oil refinery crude units and fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) units, ethylene plants, and other large chemical and petrochemical systems (1).We all learned as children that heat flows from hot objects to cold ones. This simple concept is the basis of the hot and cold composite curves (Figure 1) that represent the overall heat release and heat demand of a process as a function of temperature.The hot composite curve is the sum of all the heat sources (or “hot streams”) within the process, defined by their heat load and temperature level.

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