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On Global Optimization of Utility Plant Operations


This work presents an optimization based formulation of a utility plant’s operations. The operational purpose of the utility plant is to meet three demands for a client facility: heat in the form of process steam demand, mechanical power, and electrical power. The optimization’s goal is to minimize the utility plant’s operating cost, which consists of a cost component related to fuel consumption, a cost (revenue) component related to electricity consumption (electricity generation), and a labor cost component related to startup/shutdown boiler operations. The resulting mathematical formulation is demonstrated on a case study involving a utility plant that includes a cogen plant, steam boilers, steam turbines for mechanical/electrical power generation, and electrical motors and combustion gas turbines providing mechanical power generation.

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