Self-directed learning project - 2013

From Engineering Economics and Problem Solving: 4N4
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Class date(s): Projects runs for most of the term
Download video: Link [474 M]

Download video: Link [236 M]

Memos related to the course and the projects will be posted here periodically.

Number Memo date Link PDF
1. 16 September 2013 Group norms and group log book PDF
2. 25 September 2013 SDL project flowsheet
3. 05 October 2013 SDL project specification PDF
4. 09 October 2013 Aspen file with methanol simulation
5. 21 October 2013 Update on the course evaluations; some points about the meetings
6. 10 November 2013 Economic summaries

Informal hints

As you work through your project, here are some questions you should be addressing. Note that there is no structure to the questions here, these are just ideas that should lead you to think about your project.

  • Size of the units: why are they that size?
  • Why are there redundancies in the flowsheet (redundant valves, pumps, are they in series or parallel)?
  • What are the operating bounds of critical safety variables in the plant?
  • Where are the safety systems (or deficiencies in the safety systems)? Alarms, interlocks, and relief values how are the instrumented, operated, and reacted to? Where is containment for the relief systems?
  • Any recent troubles that occurred with product (troubleshooting), such as bad quality, off-specification product, or low throughput? What was the true/suspected causes?
  • How is the process shut down and started up? What is the sequencing for it? How are integrated units, such as furnaces, recycle streams and heat exchangers operated during this time?
  • What are some alternative ways of producing the product? Why was this flowsheet/technology/design selected?
  • What are typical operating costs?
  • What components make up the capital cost of this flowsheet?
  • How would you run a HAZOP on an important unit in this flowsheet? Who would you involve in the HAZOP? What would be the likely changes required to bring the process to a state of "inherent safety"?
  • Does the flowsheet have some interesting operational characteristics? Such as utility integration (steam, electricity, chilled water), or different operating points to gain higher efficiencies. Why are temperature, pressure, flows (i.e. the state variables in the plant) held at certain points?