On the reliability of optimization results for trigeneration systems in buildings, in the presence of price uncertainties and erroneous load estimation

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Abstract

Cogeneration and trigeneration plants are widely recognized as promising technologies for increasing energy efficiency in buildings. However, their overall potential is scarcely exploited, due to the difficulties in achieving economic viability and the risk of investment related to uncertainties in future energy loads and prices. Several stochastic optimization models have been proposed in the literature to account for uncertainties, but these instruments share in a common reliance on user-defined probability functions for each stochastic parameter. Being such functions hard to predict, in this paper an analysis of the influence of erroneous estimation of the uncertain energy loads and prices on the optimal plant design and operation is proposed. With reference to a hotel building, a number of realistic scenarios is developed, exploring all the most frequent errors occurring in the estimation of energy loads and prices. Then, profit-oriented optimizations are performed for the examined scenarios, by means of a deterministic mixed integer linear programming algorithm. From a comparison between the achieved results, it emerges that: (i) the plant profitability is prevalently influenced by the average "spark-spread" (i.e., ratio between electricity and fuel price) and, secondarily, from the shape of the daily price profiles; (ii) the "optimal sizes" of the main components are scarcely influenced by the daily load profiles, while they are more strictly related with the average "power to heat" and "power to cooling" ratios of the building.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-31
Number of pages31
JournalEnergies
Volume9
Publication statusPublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Control and Optimization
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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