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Feasibility and flexibility for a trigeneration system


  • Lai, Sau Man
  • Hui, Chi Wai


Trigeneration system, which produces heat, cold and electricity simultaneously, is generally designed based on the nominal condition. However, the utility demands are seldom fixed and they are usually changing in periodical manner with the climate and the human activities. These demand changes make the system design difficult. To ensure operability, the system should be feasible and flexible to tackle such demand variations. Over-sizing, thermal storage and flexibility re-allocation can be used to improve a trigeneration system's feasibility and flexibility. These techniques may enlarge the feasible operating region, change and shift the expected utility production demands and interchange between different generation capabilities according to the demand requirements. As a result, the process feasibility and flexibility can be improved. With feasible operation ensured, process flexibility can be considered under economic trade-offs. A flexible design with reasonable investment and operating costs provides additional benefits to cater demand changes in the future. In this study, process flexibility and feasibility characteristics are proposed and evaluated from a new perspective. These are demonstrated in the trigeneration system design with a pre-defined structure to handle periodical utility demand deviations in a commercial building complex.

Suggested Citation

  • Lai, Sau Man & Hui, Chi Wai, 2009. "Feasibility and flexibility for a trigeneration system," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 34(10), pages 1693-1704.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:energy:v:34:y:2009:i:10:p:1693-1704
    DOI: 10.1016/

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    Cited by:

    1. Al-Sulaiman, Fahad A. & Hamdullahpur, Feridun & Dincer, Ibrahim, 2011. "Performance comparison of three trigeneration systems using organic rankine cycles," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 36(9), pages 5741-5754.
    2. Wu, Jing-yi & Wang, Jia-long & Li, Sheng, 2012. "Multi-objective optimal operation strategy study of micro-CCHP system," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 472-483.
    3. Ondeck, Abigail D. & Edgar, Thomas F. & Baldea, Michael, 2015. "Optimal operation of a residential district-level combined photovoltaic/natural gas power and cooling system," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 156(C), pages 593-606.
    4. Antonio Piacentino & Roberto Gallea & Pietro Catrini & Fabio Cardona & Domenico Panno, 2016. "On the Reliability of Optimization Results for Trigeneration Systems in Buildings, in the Presence of Price Uncertainties and Erroneous Load Estimation," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(12), pages 1-31, December.
    5. Ren, Hongbo & Zhou, Weisheng & Nakagami, Ken'ichi & Gao, Weijun, 2010. "Integrated design and evaluation of biomass energy system taking into consideration demand side characteristics," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 2210-2222.
    6. Fang, Fang & Wei, Le & Liu, Jizhen & Zhang, Jianhua & Hou, Guolian, 2012. "Complementary configuration and operation of a CCHP-ORC system," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 211-220.
    7. Popli, Sahil & Rodgers, Peter & Eveloy, Valerie, 2012. "Trigeneration scheme for energy efficiency enhancement in a natural gas processing plant through turbine exhaust gas waste heat utilization," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 624-636.
    8. Yılmaz, Sebnem & Selim, Hasan, 2013. "A review on the methods for biomass to energy conversion systems design," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 420-430.
    9. Ashouri, Araz & Petrini, Flavio & Bornatico, Raffaele & Benz, Michael J., 2014. "Sensitivity analysis for robust design of building energy systems," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 264-275.
    10. Ebrahimi, Masood & Keshavarz, Ali, 2013. "Sizing the prime mover of a residential micro-combined cooling heating and power (CCHP) system by multi-criteria sizing method for different climates," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 291-301.
    11. Wang, Jiang-Jiang & Jing, You-Yin & Zhang, Chun-Fa & Zhai, Zhiqiang (John), 2011. "Performance comparison of combined cooling heating and power system in different operation modes," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 4621-4631.
    12. Andiappan, Viknesh & Ng, Denny K.S. & Tan, Raymond R., 2017. "Design Operability and Retrofit Analysis (DORA) framework for energy systems," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 1038-1052.
    13. Gao, Penghui & Li, Wangliang & Cheng, Yongpan & Tong, YenWah & Dai, Yanjun & Wang, Ruzhu, 2014. "Thermodynamic performance assessment of CCHP system driven by different composition gas," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 599-610.


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