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Impact of Fluctuating Energy Prices on the Operation Strategy of a Trigeneration System

Original scientific paper

Journal of Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems
Volume 3, Issue 3, September 2015, pp 315-332
DOI: https://doi.org/10.13044/j.sdewes.2015.03.0024
Dražen Balić1 , Dražen Lončar2
1 Energy Institute Hrvoje Požar, Savska cesta 163, Zagreb, Croatia
2 Department of Energy, Power Engineering and Ecology, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture, University of Zagreb, Ivana Lučića 5, Zagreb, Croatia


Trigeneration systems are potentially more energetically and economically efficient than cogeneration systems due to possibility to extend operation at nominal load. However, these systems also face challenges of future development characterised by reduced heating and cooling demands, as a consequence of implementation energy efficiency measures, and fluctuating electricity prices, as a consequence of increased penetration of intermittent renewable energy sources. The main objective of the paper is to research the operation strategies of trigeneration systems and to derive the optimal ones. The model proposed in this paper consists of two different systems, a conventional system and a trigeneration system. The heating, refrigerating and electric loads are known. The price of gas is constant while electricity prices are fluctuating at hourly basis. The optimization method is based on two criteria – energy and economic, which were applied hierarchically. Therefore, two optimal operation strategies are introduced. A mixed integer non-linear programming model provides energy and cost savings up to 32% and 28% respectively in comparison with conventional system. In addition, optimal capacity of trigeneration system is explored.

Keywords: Trigeneration, Multi-objective optimization, MINLP, Operation strategy.

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