Synthesis of Heat-Integrated Water Allocation Networks Through Pinch Analysis

  • Shweta Kamat
  • Santanu BandyopadhyayEmail author
Original Research Paper


Thermal energy (or utility consumption) and water can be optimized through the synthesis of heat-integrated water allocation networks (HIWANs). Various numerical optimizations, pinch-based and hybrid tools, have been proposed for HIWAN synthesis. Numerical optimization techniques make it difficult to visualize the problem due to complex formulations involving non-linear equations and/or integer variables. Pinch-based methods provide physical insights but are restricted to graphical techniques. As a result of this, HIWAN synthesis through pinch-based techniques gets tedious for medium-scale to large-scale data. HIWAN synthesis can be solved using a hybrid technique that combines the physical understanding of pinch analysis with a series of linear programming (LP) formulations. The proposed methodology converts the LP into an algebraic solution strategy and thereby making the HIWAN synthesis procedure entirely based on pinch analysis. Unlike the other pinch-based methods that rely on temperature-based heuristics to guide the water re-use streams, this method synthesizes HIWAN as an outcome of a utility minimization algorithm. This algorithm is an extension of the compression work minimization algorithm in hydrogen networks. The nature of these two problems differs due to the requirement of two entities (heating and cooling) in the former instead of one entity (compression work) in the latter. Besides freshwater minimization, this methodology can be applied for the conservation of other resources as well. Illustrative examples of three water allocation networks (one with regeneration) and an ammonia allocation network demonstrate the proposed methodology.

Graphical Abstract


Heat-integrated water allocation networks Process integration Pinch analysis Isothermal mixing Interplant flow 



Difference between hot and cold utility (kW)


Hot utility above hot pinch temperature for potential pinch interval, p (kW)


Minimum approach temperature of a heat exchanger


Maximum contaminant concentration acceptable by jth demand (ppm)


Regeneration inlet contaminant concentration (ppm)


Regeneration outlet contaminant concentration (ppm)


Contaminant concentration in freshwater (ppm)


Contaminant concentration of ith source (ppm)


Specific heat capacity (kJ/kg °C)


Flow transferred from plant B to plant A


Wastewater flow rate (kg/s)


Flow requirement of jth demand (kg/s)


Freshwater flow rate requirement of jth demand (kg/s)


Waste to be disposed from ith source (kg/s)


Flow allocated from ith source to jth demand (kg/s)


Freshwater flow rate (kg/s)


Flow available from ith source (kg/s)


Number of temperature levels in pinch region


Number of internal demands


Number of internal sources


Number of potential pinch intervals


Cold utility (kW)


Hot utility (kW)


Total hot utility for potential pinch interval, p (kW)


Hot utility in potential pinch interval, p (kW)


Heat required for flow from N-1 to Nth level in potential pinch interval (kW)


Potential cold pinch temperature (°C)


Temperature required by jth demand (°C)


Potential hot pinch temperature (°C)


Temperature of Nth level (°C)


Temperature of N-1th level (°C)


Temperature of ith source (°C)



Heat exchanger network


Heat-integrated water allocation networks


Limiting composite curve


Linear programming


Mixed-integer linear programming


Mixed-integer non-linear programming


Non-linear programming


Pinch design method


Water allocation network


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Energy Science and EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology BombayMumbaiIndia

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