Various graphical and iterative methods for the optimization of Heat Exchanger Networks (HENs) have been provided. This paper proposes a new alternative approach, based on two ideas. The first is that the optimum solution must be where the efficiencies of the individual heat exchangers are high, and the second idea is that in a heat exchanger network, it is desirable to maximize entropy generation as a result of heat transfer, and minimize entropy generation due to other effects, such as stream mixing. These two ideas provide a simple process for optimizing a network of four heat exchangers, and the concept can potentially be extended to larger systems.

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