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Energy and economic analysis of an ICE-based variable speed-operated micro-cogenerator


  • Caresana, Flavio
  • Brandoni, Caterina
  • Feliciotti, Petro
  • Bartolini, Carlo Maria


Micro-combined heat and power (CHP) systems are a key resource to meet the EUCO2 reduction agreed in the Kyoto Protocol. In the near future they are likely to spread significantly through applications in the residential and service sectors, since they can provide considerably higher primary energy efficiencies than plants generating electricity and heat separately. A 28Â kWe natural gas, automotive-derived internal combustion engine CHP system was modeled with a view to comparing constant and variable speed operation modes. Besides their energy performances, the paper addresses the major factors involved in their economic evaluation and describes a method to assess their economic feasibility. Typical residential and service sector applications were chosen as test cases and the results discussed in terms of energy performances and of profitability. They showed that interesting savings can be obtained with respect to separate generation, and that they are higher for the household application in variable speed operating conditions. In fact the plant's energy performance is greatly enhanced by the possibility, for any given power, to regulate the engine's rotational speed. From the economic viewpoint, despite the higher initial cost of the variable speed concept, the system involves a shorter pay-back period and ensures greater profit.

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  • Caresana, Flavio & Brandoni, Caterina & Feliciotti, Petro & Bartolini, Carlo Maria, 2011. "Energy and economic analysis of an ICE-based variable speed-operated micro-cogenerator," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 88(3), pages 659-671, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:appene:v:88:y:2011:i:3:p:659-671

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Chmielewski, Adrian & Gumiński, Robert & Mączak, Jędrzej & Radkowski, Stanisław & Szulim, Przemysław, 2016. "Aspects of balanced development of RES and distributed micro-cogeneration use in Poland: Case study of a µCHP with Stirling engine," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 930-952.
    3. Chatzopoulou, Maria Anna & Markides, Christos N., 2018. "Thermodynamic optimisation of a high-electrical efficiency integrated internal combustion engine – Organic Rankine cycle combined heat and power system," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 226(C), pages 1229-1251.
    4. Kohl, T. & Laukkanen, T. & Tuomaala, M. & Niskanen, T. & Siitonen, S. & Järvinen, M.P. & Ahtila, P., 2014. "Comparison of energy efficiency assessment methods: Case Bio-SNG process," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 88-98.
    5. Comodi, Gabriele & Cioccolanti, Luca & Renzi, Massimiliano, 2014. "Modelling the Italian household sector at the municipal scale: Micro-CHP, renewables and energy efficiency," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 92-103.
    6. Bianchi, Michele & De Pascale, Andrea & Spina, Pier Ruggero, 2012. "Guidelines for residential micro-CHP systems design," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 673-685.
    7. Ren, Hongbo & Zhou, Weisheng & Gao, Weijun, 2012. "Optimal option of distributed energy systems for building complexes in different climate zones in China," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 156-165.
    8. Comodi, Gabriele & Cioccolanti, Luca & Polonara, Fabio & Brandoni, Caterina, 2012. "Local authorities in the context of energy and climate policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 737-748.
    9. Guo, Shaopeng & Zhao, Jun & Wang, Weilong & Yan, Jinyue & Jin, Guang & Wang, Xiaotong, 2017. "Techno-economic assessment of mobilized thermal energy storage for distributed users: A case study in China," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 194(C), pages 481-486.
    10. Bianchi, M. & De Pascale, A. & Melino, F., 2013. "Performance analysis of an integrated CHP system with thermal and Electric Energy Storage for residential application," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 928-938.
    11. Dong, Guangyu & Morgan, Robert & Heikal, Morgan, 2015. "A novel split cycle internal combustion engine with integral waste heat recovery," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 744-753.
    12. Yun, Kyung Tae & Cho, Heejin & Luck, Rogelio & Mago, Pedro J., 2013. "Modeling of reciprocating internal combustion engines for power generation and heat recovery," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 327-335.
    13. Maghanki, Maryam Mohammadi & Ghobadian, Barat & Najafi, Gholamhassan & Galogah, Reza Janzadeh, 2013. "Micro combined heat and power (MCHP) technologies and applications," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 510-524.
    14. Zhu, Shunmin & Yu, Guoyao & O, Jongmin & Xu, Tao & Wu, Zhanghua & Dai, Wei & Luo, Ercang, 2018. "Modeling and experimental investigation of a free-piston Stirling engine-based micro-combined heat and power system," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 226(C), pages 522-533.
    15. Barelli, L. & Barluzzi, E. & Bidini, G., 2011. "Modeling of a 1Â MW cogenerative internal combustion engine for diagnostic scopes," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 88(8), pages 2702-2712, August.
    16. Meybodi, Mehdi Aghaei & Behnia, Masud, 2011. "Impact of carbon tax on internal combustion engine size selection in a medium scale CHP system," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 5153-5163.
    17. Rachtan, W. & Malinowski, L., 2013. "An approximate expression for part-load performance of a microturbine combined heat and power system heat recovery unit," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 146-153.
    18. Nikolaos Kalantzis & Antonios Pezouvanis & Kambiz M. Ebrahimi, 2017. "Internal Combustion Engine Model for Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Systems Design," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(12), pages 1-14, November.
    19. Basrawi, Firdaus & Ibrahim, Thamir K. & Habib, Khairul & Yamada, Takanobu, 2016. "Effect of operation strategies on the economic and environmental performance of a micro gas turbine trigeneration system in a tropical region," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 262-272.
    20. Barbieri, Enrico Saverio & Spina, Pier Ruggero & Venturini, Mauro, 2012. "Analysis of innovative micro-CHP systems to meet household energy demands," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 723-733.
    21. Comodi, G. & Cioccolanti, L. & Gargiulo, M., 2012. "Municipal scale scenario: Analysis of an Italian seaside town with MarkAL-TIMES," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 303-315.
    22. Badami, M. & Camillieri, F. & Portoraro, A. & Vigliani, E., 2014. "Energetic and economic assessment of cogeneration plants: A comparative design and experimental condition study," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 255-262.


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