Systems optimization / pinch method or thermal integration
To choose an efficient heat exchanger configuration, methods derived from thermal or heat integration are emerging among the most efficient, and have particularly the advantage of providing insights that enhance the physical sense of the analyst while the purely automatic methods forced him to work in the dark. But their main advantage is: it is only after having minimized power consumption of the system studied that the heat exchanger network architecture is defined. For optimal heat transfer, it is sufficient to know all the streams involved, without needing to make a priori assumptions about how they will be connected.
These methods are based on the analysis of pinches that appear in the heat exchangers and can play a key role in defining their architecture, as shown in page on the impact of pinch in efficiency of recovery steam generators for gaseous or liquid effluents.