Technical Brief

Combined Heat and Power Plant and District Heating and Cooling Network: A Test-Case in Italy With Integration of Renewable Energy

[+] Author and Article Information
Paolo Sdringola

Department of Engineering,
University of Perugia,
via G. Duranti 93,
Perugia 06125, Italy
e-mail: paolo.sdringola@unipg.it

Stefania Proietti

Department of Sustainability Engineering,
Guglielmo Marconi University,
via Plinio 44,
Rome 00193, Italy
e-mail: s.proietti@unimarconi.it

Davide Astolfi

Department of Engineering,
University of Perugia,
via G. Duranti 93,
Perugia 06125, Italy
e-mail: davide.astolfi@unipg.it

Francesco Castellani

Department of Engineering,
University of Perugia,
via G. Duranti 93,
Perugia 06125, Italy
e-mail: francesco.castellani@unipg.it

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING: INCLUDING WIND ENERGY AND BUILDING ENERGY CONSERVATION. Manuscript received August 29, 2017; final manuscript received April 26, 2018; published online June 18, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Jorge Gonzalez.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 140(5), 054502 (Jun 18, 2018) (8 pages) Paper No: SOL-17-1356; doi: 10.1115/1.4040196 History: Received August 29, 2017; Revised April 26, 2018

The 2012 European energy efficiency directive supported the development of cogeneration combined heat and power (CHP) and district heating and cooling (DHC) networks, stressing the benefits of a more efficient energy supply, the exploitation of recovered heat, and renewable resources, in terms of fuel consumption and avoided costs/emissions. Policy decisions play a crucial role: technical and environmental feasibility of CHP is clear and well demonstrated, whereas economic issues (fuel prices, incentives, etc.) may influence its actual application. In this framework, the introduction of low-carbon technologies and the exploitation of renewable energies are profitable interventions to be applied on existing plants. This work focuses on a small CHP plant, installed in the 90 s and located within a research facility in Italy, designed to supply electricity and heat/cool through a district network. On the basis of monitored consumption of electricity, heating, and cooling, energy fluxes have been analyzed and an assessment was performed to get a management profile enhancing both operational and economic parameters. The integration of renewable energies, i.e., solar-powered systems for supporting the existing devices, has been evaluated, thus resulting in a hybrid trigeneration plant. Results demonstrate how the useful synergy between CHP and DHC can not only be profitable from the economic point of view, but it can also create conditions to considerably boost the integral deployment of primary energy sources, improving fuel diversity and then facing the challenge of climate change toward sustainable energy networks in the future.

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Fig. 1

Electricity from cogeneration by source in 2013

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Fig. 2

Thermal energy supplied by DHC by sector in 2013

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Fig. 4

Heat recovery equipment

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Fig. 5

Overall CCHP system diagram

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Fig. 6

CHP/DHC layout the power station is the colored box on the right, the substations are all the others

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Fig. 7

Hourly power consumption by different time bands

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Fig. 8

Daily heating left and right bars and cooling center bars demand

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Fig. 9

Economic comparative assessment




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