i-Steam™ – Modeling and Optimization Software for Site Utility System

i-Steam™ is a software developed to model, simulate and optimize steam and power systems. i-Steam™ uses non-linear modeling and optimization algorithms to improve the operating conditions of existing utility systems to reduce energy demand and increase profitability. Capable of revamp projects with different level of investment and complexity, i-Steam™ has been successfully used in many projects for both investment-free optimization and revamps.

What can i-Steam™ be used for?

Investment Free Optimization Projects Identify the best operation strategy for site utility system. Typical operating cost savings are 2-5% of the total CHP operating cost for oil refineries.
Retrofit Projects Identify inefficient infrastructure points in an existing steam systems and develop the most sustainable solutions by removal of inefficiencies.
New Design of Utility System Perform automatic design of cost-optimal process steam driver network.

Key Features of i-Steam™

Hydraulic modelling of steam headers

Hydraulic Modeling of Steam Headers

One key differentiator of i-Steam™ is its ability to accurately represent the steam balance in the network by performing detailed hydraulic modeling of steam headers. Practical aspects such as pipe length, diameter, roughness, insulation and pipe joints are captured to identify steam losses from condensation, determine the flow direction and ensure practical solutions.

Comprehensive Software Tool

i-Steam™ can simultaneously optimize the fuel requirement, steam load requirement for boilers and boiler feed water. The most cost-effective fuels are considered and recommended for boilers with specific steam load requirements. The comprehensive nature of the software allows the optimization to handle multiple parameters simultaneously.

Comprehensive software too
Easy to use

Easy to Use

The software has an easy-to-use graphical interface containing a range of analysis and design tools for utility systems. The software can compare results from multiple simulated and optimized cases in the same environment making it convenient for users to make quicker and better case analysis. The software is built on a robust platform that is perfect for handling large and complex industrial steam systems.

Comparison with Similar Tools

i-Steam™ Key Features

User-friendly interface

i-Steam™ has an easy-to-use graphical interface which contains a range of unit operations and design tools for utility systems.

i-Steam™ User Interface

When to use i-Steam™?

  • When a user wants to produce partial or complete steam system configurations quickly and effectively, especially with the need of considering multiple scenarios
  • When a user wants to optimize steam system configurations together with detailed operating conditions simultaneously, especially with the need of considering multiple scenarios
  • When a user wants to determine key steam pipeline parameters and steam conditions for individual processes, especially with the need of considering multiple scenarios
  • When a plant wants to improve the operational performance of its utility system

Use i-Steam™ to:

  • Evaluate energy and economic performances for existing steam systems
  • Identify operational improvement strategies to enhance energy and economic performance
  • Produce conceptual and detailed design for grassroots or revamping purposes
  • Compare and evaluate performance among different design options

Main Functionalities of i-Steam™

    Modeling and simulation of utility systems

    i-Steam™ comes with a series of built-in unit models, covering all major equipment components of the utility system. With its drag and drop environment, a user can easily create a network model by adding unit blocks and stream connections.

    Driver selection

    i-Steam™ is capable of selecting the optimum configuration of steam turbine drivers under various operating scenarios. Based on an MILP algorithm, i-Steam™ can quickly generate several steam system configurations for further comparison and analysis.

    Model Comparisons

    Models with different configurations and operating conditions can be compared using the Model Comparisons Module. All parameter and calculation comparison results can be exported to Microsoft Excel for further analysis.

    Comprehensive modeling and simulation: CHP + Steam Pipeline + Processes

    A user can build detailed hydraulic models for steam pipeline systems. In addition, a user can combine CHP, pipeline and process steam generators/users together in one single system. This type of comprehensive models is realistic and provides more accurate predictions of the performance of a system.

    Targeting and graphical analysis

    i-Steam™ contains a site targeting tool to find energy performance targets, and a graphical analysis tool for steam distribution comparison among various scenarios.

    Performance regression tool

    For critical unit operations and equipment, such as boilers and steam turbines, i-Steam™ provides a performance regression tool to obtain accurate performance models for individual equipment based on operational records.

Unique Functionalities for i-Steam™

    Compared to other commercial software packages available on the market, i-Steam™ has several unique functionality features.

    Large scale optimization

    Based on a unique non-linear utility system modeling and optimization approach, i-Steam™ is able to optimize with a wider variety than other commercial packages:

  • Steam flow distributions for boilers, steam turbines, HRSGs, letdowns, steam pipelines, process steam generators/users and steam drivers etc.
  • Steam header pressures, as well as operating pressures of steam turbines/drivers and process steam generators/users etc.
  • Key temperatures

  • More realistic models for existing utility systems: CHPs = Pipelines + Processes

  • A user can build a hydraulic model for a steam pipeline network. Results such as steam flow direction, pressure drop, heat loss and condensate generation of each segment can be calculated.
  • By integrating CHPs and process models with the hydraulic pipeline model, it is possible to model a utility system in a realistic manner. More accurate results can be produced.

  • Optimization for steam driver configurations

    This module helps to determine the optimal configurations of process steam drivers with multiple operating scenarios. Also, the user is able to generate different steam network configurations quickly and effectively.

    A platform for conceptual design of utility systems

    i-Steam™ can be used for conceptual designs for utility systems. Deliverables such as PFDs and steam balance spreadsheets can be exported from i-Steam™. It reduces time and effort for manual data input and handling, as well as reduces chances of making mistakes in handling data exchange among different software/tools.