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Energies 2016, 9(12), 1049; doi:10.3390/en9121049

On the Reliability of Optimization Results for Trigeneration Systems in Buildings, in the Presence of Price Uncertainties and Erroneous Load Estimation

1
Department of Energy, Information Engineering and Mathematical Models, University of Palermo, Viale delle Scienze, 90128 Palermo, Italy
2
Sistema Informativo di Ateneo, University of Palermo, Viale delle Scienze, 90128 Palermo, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Francesco Calise
Received: 11 October 2016 / Revised: 23 November 2016 / Accepted: 29 November 2016 / Published: 13 December 2016
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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. View Full-Text
Keywords: cogeneration; trigeneration; buildings; optimization; linear programming; stochastic; uncertainty; sensitivity; energy loads; prices cogeneration; trigeneration; buildings; optimization; linear programming; stochastic; uncertainty; sensitivity; energy loads; prices
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Piacentino, A.; Gallea, R.; Catrini, P.; Cardona, F.; Panno, D. On the Reliability of Optimization Results for Trigeneration Systems in Buildings, in the Presence of Price Uncertainties and Erroneous Load Estimation. Energies 2016, 9, 1049.

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