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Comparison of Detailed and Simplified Optimization Approaches for the Performance Simulation of Cogeneration Plants

[+] Author Affiliations
Stefano Campanari, Giampaolo Manzolini, Paolo Silva

Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Italy

Paper No. GT2009-60114, pp. 685-692; 8 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2009: Power for Land, Sea, and Air
  • Volume 4: Cycle Innovations; Industrial and Cogeneration; Manufacturing Materials and Metallurgy; Marine
  • Orlando, Florida, USA, June 8–12, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4885-2 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3849-5
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


It is well known that cogeneration can be an effective energy-saving solution, able to achieve relevant reductions in primary energy consumption and pollutant emissions. Generally speaking, obtaining best performances from a cogeneration plant requires a proper design and a careful management, aiming to maximize the plant energy and economic savings. Solving the issue of optimization may require a dedicated simulation tool when the CHP plant faces variable loads (both electrical, thermal and in some cases cooling loads) and electricity tariffs, or significantly changes its efficiency at partial load, or integrates a heat storage which allows to extend the possible plant management strategies. In all these cases, the optimization results may not be easy predictable. However, in other cases also simpler and faster approaches may lead to correctly optimized results, depending on the application features. The purpose of this work is to compare two approaches to the optimization of trigeneration plants: (i) a detailed model already presented in previous works (DCOGEN), able to perform accurate optimization and prediction of annual energy balances but requiring detailed plant definition, accurate specifications of the user demands and a significant computational time, and (ii) a simplified and faster model based on few information and a intuitive optimization strategy. The comparison is carried out for two cases, reflecting the features of industrial CHP applications based on small scale gas turbines and reciprocating engines. Results show the advantages given by the detailed model as well as the limits of simplified approaches.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME



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