Energy, Vol.38, No.1, 37-57, 2012
Multi-variable optimization of pressurized oxy-coal combustion
Simultaneous multi-variable gradient-based optimization with multi-start is performed on a 300 MWe wet-recycling pressurized oxy-coal combustion process with carbon capture and sequestration. The model accounts for realistic component behavior including heat losses, steam leaks, pressure drops, cycle irreversibilities, and other technoeconomical considerations. The optimization study involves 16 variables, three of which are integer valued, and 10 constraints with the objective of maximizing thermal efficiency. The solution procedure follows active inequality constraints which are identified by thermodynamic-based analysis to facilitate convergence. Results of the multi-variable optimization are compared to a pressure sensitivity analysis similar to those performed in literature; the base-case of both assessments performed here is a favorable solution found in literature. Significant cycle performance improvements are obtained compared to this literature design at a much lower operating pressure and with moderate changes in the other operating variables. The effect of the variables on the cycle performance and on the constraints are analyzed and explained to obtain increased understanding of the actual behavior of the system. This study reflects the importance of simultaneous multi-variable optimization in revealing the system characteristics and uncovering the favorable solutions with higher efficiency than the atmospheric operation or those obtained by single variable sensitivity analysis. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.