TR2019-038

Heat Exchanger Circuitry Design by Decision Diagrams



The interconnection pattern between the tubes of a tube-fin heat exchanger, also referred to as its circuitry, has a significant impact on its performance. We can improve the performance of a heat exchanger by identifying optimized circuitry designs. This task is difficult because the number of possible circuitries is very large, and because the dependence of the heat exchanger performance on the input (i.e., a given circuitry) is highly discontinuous and nonlinear. In this paper, we propose a novel decision diagram formulation and present computational results using the mixed integer programming solver CPLEX. The results show that the proposed approach has a favorable scaling with respect to number of tubes in the heat exchanger size and produces configurations with 9% higher heat capacity, on average, than the baseline configuration.