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Operation optimization of a distributed energy system considering energy costs and exergy efficiency

Di Somma, M., Yan, B., Bianco, N., Graditi, G., Luh, P.B., Mongibello, L., Naso, V.
Energy conversion and management 2015 v.103 pp. 739-751
economic factors, energy costs, energy resources, exergy, linear programming, models, primary energy, thermal energy, wastes
With the growing demand of energy on a worldwide scale, improving the efficiency of energy resource use has become one of the key challenges. Application of exergy principles in the context of building energy supply systems can achieve rational use of energy resources by taking into account the different quality levels of energy resources as well as those of building demands. This paper is on the operation optimization of a Distributed Energy System (DES). The model involves multiple energy devices that convert a set of primary energy carriers with different energy quality levels to meet given time-varying user demands at different energy quality levels. By promoting the usage of low-temperature energy sources to satisfy low-quality thermal energy demands, the waste of high-quality energy resources can be reduced, thereby improving the overall exergy efficiency. To consider the economic factor as well, a multi-objective linear programming problem is formulated. The Pareto frontier, including the best possible trade-offs between the economic and exergetic objectives, is obtained by minimizing a weighted sum of the total energy cost and total primary exergy input using branch-and-cut. The operation strategies of the DES under different weights for the two objectives are discussed. The operators of DESs can choose the operation strategy from the Pareto frontier based on costs, essential in the short run, and sustainability, crucial in the long run. The contribution of each energy device in reducing energy costs and the total exergy input is also analyzed. In addition, results show that the energy cost can be much reduced and the overall exergy efficiency can be significantly improved by the optimized operation of the DES as compared with the conventional energy supply system using the grid power only.