The development of a method, called MIND (Method for analyzes of INDustrial energy systems) started in the early 90ies at the division Energy Systems at Linköping University, Sweden. The software reMIND, based on the MIND method, includes a graphical user interface (Figure 1) along with a number of functions in order to analyze industrial energy systems.
Figure 1: Graphical interface of reMIND
The tool has been used in a number of different projects over the years showing great opportunities to make an impact on the energy systems. In a foundry, for example, using reMIND it was concluded that the holding furnaces would in the future be valuable to reduce electricity costs. The head of company had decided to remove the holding furnaces when investing in new furnaces, but due to the reMIND study, the decision was changed. In another study great savings has been shown when introducing a heat market in a region north of Stockholm, where several industrial- and energy companies could sell and buy heat. In the steel industry process optimization has been conducted to reduce costs. Also, in Eco-Industrial parks great synergy effects have been shown by using reMIND. In total there are around 100 publications, in whole or in part, based on modeling using reMIND (e.g. dissertations, scientific articles, reports and theses).
So far, reMIND has mainly been used in the academia (Linköping University, Luleå University of Technology, University of Gävle and Chalmers University of Technology) but also Swerea MEFOS has used the tool. Just recently it has started to be used in China.
The program is developed as a general tool to be able to model a variety of industries and their energy supply and use. However, it is possible to model any kind of system, but so far only energy-related problems have been modeled both in industries and district heating systems and in the integration in between. With the help of optimization routines the system cost is minimized based on the limitations and conditions the modeled company is exposed to. However, any type of minimization may be accomplished when using reMIND, e.g. minimizing CO2-emissions. It is also possible to model problems with multi-objective characters.
The structure of the problem is represented by branches (e.g. electricity) and nodes (e.g. process lines). Each node includes numerous functions describing the functionality of the node. Time is divided into time steps to consider the dynamics of the system.
International Process Integration Jubilee Conference, Gothenburg, Sweden, March 18-20, 2013