An original multi-objective criterion for the design of small-scale polygeneration systems based on realistic operating conditions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Citations (Scopus)


The optimal design and operation of cogeneration and trigeneration systems for buildings applications is a complex issue, which hasbeen investigated by several different approaches. Both the two basic management strategies, namely heat-tracking and electricity-tracking,have advantages and drawbacks in terms of operating results and may lead the plant designer either to undersize or oversize the CHPunit with respect to the optimal lay-out. Experimental works have demonstrated how the actual on-site performance of small-scale polygenerationsystems significantly differs from their expected operation, due to the need for a regular plant operation and the effects ofoutages for scheduled or unscheduled maintenance activities. After pointing out that heuristic approaches based on demand durationcurve are weak instruments for plant design optimization, a more refined method is proposed, based on realistic operating conditions.The method integrates results of previous researches, like the proven convenience in using a duration curve of the ‘‘aggregate thermaldemand” and in adopting flexible and techno-economically feasible management strategies; it is also based on original indicators tobe used for the real time optimization of plant operation. The proposed hybrid management criterion represents a good compromisebetween profit-oriented and energo-environment-oriented solutions, ensuring the combined production system to be eligible for supportmechanisms. Finally, the method is applied for demonstrative purposes to a large hotel situated in Italy; implementing the innovativephases of the method by successive steps allowed to recognize what margins for profitability and energy saving each phase provides.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2391-2404
Number of pages14
JournalApplied Thermal Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'An original multi-objective criterion for the design of small-scale polygeneration systems based on realistic operating conditions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this