The MSFSIM, a simulator which predicts the performance of a multi-stage flash (MSF) desalination plant, has been coupled with a genetic algorithm (GA) optimizer. The nuclear desalination demonstration project (NDDP) at Kalpakkam, India, has a MSF plant under construction. Exhaustive optimization case studies have been conducted on this plant with an objective to increase the performance ratio (PR) and minimize the start-up time. The steady-state optimization performed was targeting the best stage-wise pressure profile to enhance thermal efficiency which, in turn, improves the performance ratio. Apart from this, the recirculating brine flow rate was also optimized. This optimization study enabled us to increase the PR of the NDDP-MSF plant from a design value of 9.0 to an optimized value of 13.1. A further increase of 20% in the heat transfer area, extra area provided for seasonal variation, has taken the PR to 15.1 under optimized conditions. A desire to maintain equal flashing rates in all of the stages ...

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