Optimal design of CHCP plants in the civil sector by Thermoeconomics

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69 Citations (Scopus)


The optimization of design and operation of trigeneration plants for civil applications is a very implex task, because of the large number of internal and external variables affecting the energeticand economic results that may be achieved. Further, energy-saving and profit-oriented optimization processes usually lead to different solutions, in terms of plant lay-out, optimal size of componentsand operation strategy. Thermoeconomic methodologies are very effective theoretical structures for the optimization of industrial energy-systems characterised by regular energy-demand profiles;however, they are hard to use when approaching civil applications and energy systems in unsteady operating-conditions. In this paper, the potential of thermoeconomics for the analysis of CHCPapplications in buildings is explored; two main procedures to address the problem are presented, a simplified design optimization and a detailed integrated optimization of plant lay-out and operation.The former approach, based on the use of aggregate consumption data, is described more in detail and finally applied to a trigeneration plant serving a 300-bed hospital, situated in a Mediterraneanarea; the results are finally compared with those available in the literature and determined by using demand cumulative curves or numerical methods.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)729-748
Number of pages20
JournalApplied Energy
Publication statusPublished - 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Building and Construction
  • General Energy
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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