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Simulation and analysis of a solar-assisted trigeneration system
Language: English This thesis is written in English
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Simone De Luca, Università degli Studi di Trieste, 2015-16
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This thesis aims to develop a detailed numerical model of a trigeneration system generating space heating, cooling and electricity for a public hospital building, through the usage of concentrating solar technology.
In particular, the work is centred on the optimization and the control strategy development of the high temperature solar loop, which delivers the input energy to the cogeneration unit, represented by an Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) machine.
The high temperature circuit uses thermal oil as heat transfer fluid and includes a number of parabolic through collectors and an auxiliary gas boiler.
Heating and cooling production are based on wasted thermal energy from the power cycle, with the latter provided by an adsorption chiller.
Such set of technologies represents an innovative solution for building size energy systems and few examples can be found in literature. Main critical issues of a solar-assisted trigeneration system are the variability of the renewable energy source, the limited ORC efficiency at low heat source temperatures and the technical and control requirements for coupling low-grade rejected heat with an efficient cooling cycle.
Even well-known benefits of combining heat and power generation from the same energy resource might be affected by the mentioned technical difficulties and, for this reason, the development of an effective system control is a core part of the work.
Energetic advantages of trigeneration systems are expected to be remarkable even in small-scale applications, but their economic feasibility is still to be probed. Therefore, making use of numerical simulation results, a performance and economic analysis of the system is also carried out. The final conclusion of this analysis is the definition of an optimal design for further development of the given system.
Chance of investigating such an innovative energy system is given by the European project named BRICKER, which involves the design and construction of a demonstrator trigeneration system.