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Micro-multigeneration prospects for residential applications in Italy

Badami, Marco, Chicco, Gianfranco, Portoraro, Armando, Romaniello, Martina
Energy conversion and management 2018 v.166 pp. 23-36
consumers (people), electric power, electricity, electricity costs, energy conservation, energy efficiency, internal combustion engines, models, natural gas, planning, prices, primary energy, thermal energy, Italy
The development of multigeneration systems is evolving in different directions. One of the main directions is the extended application of the technologies at smaller sizes. Micro-multigeneration solutions aim at becoming competitive at the size of the residential users. The cost of the technologies, in particular the cost of the cogenerator, is a major limitation to the diffusion of micro-multigeneration, especially in countries (e.g., Italy) where residential customers have a limited usage of electricity to supply their facilities. This paper discusses the prospects for the application of micro-multigeneration in Italy. The modelling and analysis of a residential micro-multigeneration system are developed from the energy efficiency and economic assessment viewpoints. The analysis is carried out on a typical system composed of a natural gas internal combustion engine, a small-scale photovoltaic plant, a backup boiler, thermal energy storage and electrical energy storage. A specific analysis tool has been implemented to address the operational planning of this system during a time period of one year. The whole model has been constructed from real data of thermal and electrical demand in a housing complex in Italy. The annual running cost and the primary energy savings occurring to serve the multi-energy demand have been considered in the operational assessment. From an economical viewpoint, the model considers the price of natural gas related to the cogeneration system, the electricity prices and all the tax breaks allowed in Italy. In this way, different scenarios have been constructed and assessed. The results indicate the impact of providing incentives on the purchase cost of the technologies, leading to increase the diffusion of micro-multigeneration solutions for the residential sector in the next years.