Document Type


Date of Degree

Fall 2012

Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)

Degree In

Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Ratner, Albert

First Committee Member

Buchholz, James

Second Committee Member

Krokhmal, Pavlo

Third Committee Member

Xiao, Shaoping


The University of Iowa Power Plant operates utility generation and distribution for campus facilities, including electricity, steam, and chilled water. It is desirable to evaluate the optimal load combination of boilers, engines and chillers to meet the demand at minimal cost, particularly for future demand scenarios. An algorithm has been developed which takes into account the performance of individual units as part of the mix which ultimately supplies the campus and determine the degree that each should be operating to most efficiently meet demand. The algorithm is part of an integrated simulation tool which is specifically designed to apply traditional optimization techniques for a given (both current and possible) circumstance. The second component is to couple the algorithm with accurate estimates and historical data through which expected demand could be predicted. The simulation tool can account for any theoretical circumstance, which will be highly beneficial for strategic planning. As part of the process it is also necessary to determine the unique operating characteristics of the system components. The algorithms rely upon performance curves of individual system components (boiler, chiller, etc.) and those must be developed and refined when possible from experimental testing and commissioning or manufacturer supplied data.


vi, 22 pages


Includes bibliographical references (page 22).


Copyright 2012 Scott Salsbery

Additional Files

SteamSimulator_Functional_Proper.xlsm (42 kB)