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Download June 07, 2010

Improving flowsheet convergence in HYSYS

For many HYSYS flowsheet applications, logical operations such as the Adjust or Recycle are required to ensure that convergence can be achieved. At times, these operations will not converge and troubleshooting can be very difficult.

Basic troubleshooting

For Adjust operations, basic troubleshooting tips include:

  • Ensuring that the tolerance is not too small
  • If the Adjust is converging too slowly, increase the step size or increase the maximum number of iterations.
  • If the Adjust is significantly overshooting the target, decrease the step size
  • It is good practice to set minimum or maximum values, if applicable. For example, if you are adjusting flowrate, set the minimum to zero.
  • If the Adjust is not "moving" the adjusted variable, change the solution method from Broyden to Secant, or vice versa.

For Recycle operations:

  • If the Recycle converges but stream conditions or compositions for the inlet and outlet streams are not close enough, decrease the "Sensitivity" on the Variables page.
  • Consider increasing the number of iterations to avoid having to prompt HYSYS to continue solving once it has reached the maximum number of iterations.

Using a Recycle instead of an Adjust

In our experience, recycles converge more consistently and more quickly than Adjust operations. Often, Adjust operations will simply not converge unless the solution method is toggled from Broyden to Secant, or vice versa. However, a Recycle operation will rarely have a convergence problem if the flowsheet is properly set up.

Consider the following case - a simple choke plant cools gas through the gas/gas exchanger to the choke valve where pressure is reduced in order to meet dewpoint specifications. Gas from the low temperature separator (LTS) exchanges with the choke plant inlet gas in the gas/gas exchanger. If the gas/gas exchanger has a minimum approach specification, this requires an iterative calculation - using an Adjust, the temperature of stream "From G/G" would be adjusted until the minimum approach spec for the gas/gas exchanger is achieved.

Alternatively, set up this flowsheet using a Recycle operation. Create a minimum approach specification in the gas/gas exchanger, add the recycle operation and allow HYSYS to calculate the "From G/G" stream temperature. In our experience, this results in a flowsheet which will solve consistently.

Using Calculation Levels

When there are multiple adjust or recycle unit operations you may need to specify which adjust operation to converge first. This may be useful if you find that adjusts are "competing" with each other, resulting in the flowsheet not converging (or converging very slowly). Go to Simulation-Main Properties, and modify the Calculation Level on the "Calc Levels" tab. To force HYSYS to solve ADJ-1 before ADJ-2, set the calculations levels to 3500 and 4000, respectively.

Checking tolerances are consistent

Often, the default tolerances in the recycle are not tight enough to ensure that the flowsheet properly convergences. For example, if you are solving a column to a tight compositional tolerance (for example, in a glycol or amine loop), then it is important to ensure that the recycle sensitivity for composition is small enough.

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By James Holoboff, M.Sc., P. Eng.

James has over 25 years of experience in process engineering and emissions management for the chemical and petroleum industries. He brings a strong background in the development and application of computer simulation models to Oil & Gas industry challenges. James worked for Hyprotech/Aspentech for almost 10 years in various capacities including Global Technical Support Manager and Business Development Manager for the Project Services Division. He then spent 5 years providing process engineering and simulation consulting to a number of operating companies and engineering firms. James has been a Managing Partner for Process Ecology for 10+ years, during this time providing process engineering services, emissions reporting, project management, and software development support. James is a Chemical Engineering graduate from the University of Calgary and holds an MSc in Chemical Engineering from the same institution. In his spare time, when he’s not playing ice hockey or cycling, he is recovering from injuries incurred from those sports.



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