Hexxcell Studio™ - Hybrid Digital Twins for Industrial Thermal Systems
Hexxcell Studio™ is the world's first and most advanced hybrid digital twin for predictive maintenance of industrial heat transfer systems. Plant Personnel, Maintenance Engineers, Energy Efficiency Analysts and Heat Transfer Specialists around the world use it on a daily basis to predictively assess the thermal and hydraulic impact of fouling in heat exchangers, devise mitigation strategies and optimally manage cleaning schedules and flow split operations. As a result, they are able to reduce fuel consumption, avoid production loss and cut CO2 emissions.
Hexxcell Studio™ – Hybrid Digital Twins for predictive maintenance of industrial heat transfer systems
Hexxcell Studio™ is Hexxcell's proprietary digital platform that uses Hybrid Digital Twin technology which integrates Artificial Intelligence with rigorous physics-based models and deep domain knowledge for advanced monitoring, predictive analytics and prescriptive maintenance of industrial thermal systems.
Hexxcell Studio™ is used by refineries and petrochemical plants worldwide to increase production and energy efficiency, mitigate fouling, optimally manage cleaning of heat exchangers, reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
Under the bonnet – Advanced mathematical models
At the core of the Hexxcell Studio™ system, an advanced mathematical model based on mathematical models originally developed at Imperial College London, allows to accurately calculate time-varying fouling rates as a function of local conditions in the heat exchanger. The model accounts for the complex interactions between thermal and hydraulic phenomena and equipment geometry resulting in unprecedented accuracy. These deterministic models are coupled with Artificial Intelligence to boost accuracy and enhance capabilities.
Industry proven technology with accurate prediction of fouling in heat exchangers
Fouling in thermal systems is one of the most challenging, long-standing and costly problems the process industry worldwide is facing today and predicting when and why it is going to occur is no easy feat. At Hexxcell, we spent several years in understanding the fundamentals reasons for fouling deposition by analysing fouling deposits and developing mathematical models that can capture fouling as a function of process conditions, composition and time. A great deal of effort was put in validating, in particular, the predictive abilities of the models across multiple heat exchangers, sites and sectors so that they can be trusted in a challenging industrial environment.
As a result, not only the algorithms powering our Hybrid-AI embed over 50 man years of research but they also incorporate extensive industrial feedback and validation and we are constantly improving and updating them. This is why Hexxcell Studio's predictions are trusted day in and day out by major oil companies and petrochemical plants to make critical decision on their plants.
Deployment in Industry – Easy to use environment
Implemented in a user-friendly flowsheeting environment with state-of-the-art numerical solution methods, Hexxcell Studio™ provides a consistent, robust and flexible system for the solution of engineering heat transfer fouling problems at all stages of the engineering workflow, from R&D to operations support.
A key benefit is the ability to consider and analyse, using consistent models and assumptions, the trade-offs between design activities and operational aspects. It provides a unified framework that helps preventing “silos” between company functions allowing easy sharing of assumptions, validations and developments between R&D, engineering design, operations and operations support functions.
Thermal and hydraulic model: accounts not just for the thermal impact of fouling but also for the increased pressure drops and possible reduction of throughput
Tube-side fouling: A moving boundary approach is used to capture the growth of the fouling layer over time at any given point across the tube length, the corresponding reduction in cross–sectional flow area. A fouling rate model used in a distributed way, allows calculating the local value of fouling resistance at each point along the exchanger length as opposed to an average value for the whole exchanger.
Shell-side fouling: Effects of fouling in the shell-side is taken into account, including growth on the tube outer surfaces and occlusion of geometrical clearances.
Geometry: The heat exchanger configuration is accounted for (e.g. number of tube–side passes, tube diameter and length, baffle spacing, pitch arrangement, etc.).
Physical properties: The variation of physical properties with temperature and space for both shell–side and tube–side fluids is taken into account. Different thermophysical property models/packages (including proprietary ones) can be used.
Ageing of deposits: an ageing model (Coletti et al., 2010) is implemented to describe the structural changes of the fouling deposit over time, hence its thermal conductivity.
Explore our solutions:
Advanced Analytics: Fouling Propensity Analysis™
Advanced analytics to unveil key correlations between operating parameters, crude slates and fouling behaviour
Equipment Design: Dynamic Retrofit Test™
A predictive approach to test performance of a proposed retrofit design
Advanced Monitoring and Predictive Maintenance
•Assessment of fouling costs
•Monitor refinery pre-heat trains performance
•Best cleaning scheduling
•Optimise flow splits
•HEX bypass management