In the computer-based optimization, many thousands of alternative shell and tube heat exchangers may be examined by varying the high number of exchanger parameters such as tube length, tube outer diameter, pitch size, layout angle, baffle space ratio, number of tube side passes. In the present study, a genetic based algorithm was developed, programmed, and applied to estimate the optimum values of discrete and continuous variables of the MINLP (mixed integer nonlinear programming) test problems. The results of the test problems show that the genetic based algorithm programmed can estimate the acceptable values of continuous variables and optimum values of integer variables. Finally the genetic based algorithm was extended to make parametric studies and to find optimum configuration of heat exchangers by minimizing the sum of the annual capital cost and exergetic cost of the shell and tube heat exchangers. The results of the example problems show that the proposed algorithm is applicable to find optimum and near optimum alternatives of the shell and tube heat exchanger configurations. ?? 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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