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The Potential Role of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) in Combined Heat and Power (CHP) and Polygeneration Systems

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "F5: Artificial Intelligence and Smart Energy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2021) | Viewed by 14291

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Guest Editor
Department of Engineering and Architecture, University of Trieste, 34127 Trieste, Italy
Interests: renewable energy technologies; engineering thermodynamics; thermal engineering; energy engineering; energy conversion; distributed generation; energy saving; applied thermodynamics; energy modeling; energy management; energy efficiency cogeneration; energy systems; power plants; sustainable energy; energy optimization
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Combined Heat and Power (CHP) refers to a set of technologies, many of which are well-established, in the industrial, as well as in the civil and tertiary, sectors. There are various well-known applications that range over a very wide range of sizes.

Recently, the interest of political decision makers has become increasingly evident, but also of the operators of the industrial sector, regarding the energy transition towards renewable energy sources (RES). In many cases, the harvesting difficulties and the intrinsic characteristics of these renewable energy sources (solar thermal, geothermal, biomass, etc.) make the almost complete exploitation of the harvested energy practically inevitable when seeking to reach the economic feasibility of the investment. The combined production of heat and power and the polygeneration of heat, power, and any other energy or chemical vector may be regarded as the main options to obtain such a complete exploitation of harvested renewable energy.

These considerations led to the definition of this Special Issue concerning the potential role of RES in CHP and polygeneration systems. The aim of the Special Issue is to offer an updated picture of both CHP and polygeneration energy systems completely fed by RES, and also of the integration of RES as an additional input, in CHP and polygeneration systems also fedby conventional fossil fuels or by waste energy recovery.

Prospective authors are invited to submit original contributions/articles for review and for possible publication in this SI. Contributions are welcome on the ideation and design of new energy systems, as well as on the optimization and efficiency analysis of CHP and polygeneration systems already available on the market.

Prof. Dr. Mauro Reini
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • combined heat and power (CHP)
  • polygeneration
  • renewable energy sources (RES)
  • energy efficiency
  • exergy analysis

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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30 pages, 4678 KiB  
Article
A Review of Small–Medium Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Technologies and Their Role within the 100% Renewable Energy Systems Scenario
by Ronelly De Souza, Melchiorre Casisi, Diego Micheli and Mauro Reini
Energies 2021, 14(17), 5338; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14175338 - 27 Aug 2021
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 3049
Abstract
The energy transition towards a scenario with 100% renewable energy sources (RES) for the energy system is starting to unfold its effects and is increasingly accepted. In such a scenario, a predominant role will be played by large photovoltaic and wind power plants. [...] Read more.
The energy transition towards a scenario with 100% renewable energy sources (RES) for the energy system is starting to unfold its effects and is increasingly accepted. In such a scenario, a predominant role will be played by large photovoltaic and wind power plants. At the same time, the electrification of energy consumption is expected to develop further, with the ever-increasing diffusion of electric transport, heat pumps, and power-to-gas technologies. The not completely predictable nature of the RES is their well-known drawback, and it will require the use of energy storage technologies, in particular large-scale power-to-chemical conversion and chemical-to-power re-conversion, in view of the energy transition. Nonetheless, there is a lack in the literature regarding an analysis of the potential role of small–medium CCHP technologies in such a scenario. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to address what could be the role of the Combined Heat and Power (CHP) and/or Combined Cooling Heat and Power (CCHP) technologies fed by waste heat within the mentioned scenario. First, in this paper, a review of small–medium scale CHP technologies is performed, which may be fed by low temperature waste heat sources. Then, a review of the 100% RE scenario studied by researchers from the Lappeenranta University of Technology (through the so-called “LUT model”) is conducted to identify potential low temperature waste heat sources that could feed small–medium CHP technologies. Second, some possible interactions between those mentioned waste heat sources and the reviewed CHP technologies are presented through the crossing data collected from both sides. The results demonstrate that the most suitable waste heat sources for the selected CHP technologies are those related to gas turbines (heat recovery steam generator), steam turbines, and internal combustion engines. A preliminary economic analysis was also performed, which showed that the potential annual savings per unit of installed kW of the considered CHP technologies could reach EUR 255.00 and EUR 207.00 when related to power and heat production, respectively. Finally, the perspectives about the carbon footprint of the CHP/CCHP integration within the 100% renewable energy scenario were discussed. Full article
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33 pages, 21572 KiB  
Article
Choice of the Optimal Design and Operation of Multi-Energy Conversion Systems in a Prosecco Wine Cellar
by Davide Pivetta, Sergio Rech and Andrea Lazzaretto
Energies 2020, 13(23), 6252; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13236252 - 27 Nov 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2343
Abstract
Despite the high energy consumption of wine making processes, little efforts have been spent so far, both at the industrial and scientific level, to search for alternative energy systems in wine cellars. In fact, almost all the existing cellars take electricity from the [...] Read more.
Despite the high energy consumption of wine making processes, little efforts have been spent so far, both at the industrial and scientific level, to search for alternative energy systems in wine cellars. In fact, almost all the existing cellars take electricity from the grid and burn natural gas or other fossil fuels to fulfil their energy demands. This paper analyses the energy demands of a real Prosecco wine cellar in the North East of Italy, which can be considered as a “reference” cellar for dimensions and wine production. The goal is to find the best energy conversion system in terms of maximum profits, efficiency and share of renewable energy utilization. Four alternative design configurations are proposed, and each one optimized considering the three objectives. Results show that a 35% gain in the maximum profits is obtained by including a natural gas fueled CHP internal combustion engine and an absorption chiller. This configuration is also the best one to achieve the maximum efficiency (61%), resulting in 18% reduction of primary energy consumption. Conversely, the utilization of a biomass boiler and an absorption chiller allows maximizing the share of renewable energy consumption, which is about 35% considering the existing availability of biomass from pruning harvesting and the relative limited surface available for photovoltaic generation. This option may become economically interesting when the price of natural gas increases of at least 50%. Full article
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29 pages, 4974 KiB  
Article
Comparative Analysis and Design of a Solar-Based Parabolic Trough–ORC Cogeneration Plant for a Commercial Center
by Eduardo A. Pina, Luis M. Serra, Miguel A. Lozano, Adrián Hernández and Ana Lázaro
Energies 2020, 13(18), 4807; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13184807 - 14 Sep 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2146
Abstract
This paper performs technical, economic and environmental feasibility analyses of two different solar cogeneration plants, consisting of a solar system (a parabolic trough collector field coupled with thermal energy storage), an Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC), and mechanical chillers, that should cover the electrical [...] Read more.
This paper performs technical, economic and environmental feasibility analyses of two different solar cogeneration plants, consisting of a solar system (a parabolic trough collector field coupled with thermal energy storage), an Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC), and mechanical chillers, that should cover the electrical and cooling demands of a commercial center located in Zaragoza (Spain). System A is hybridized with an auxiliary biomass boiler that complements the solar system’s thermal production, providing a constant heat supply to the ORC, which operates at full load during the operating hours of the solar system. In contrast, system B is not hybridized with biomass, so the ORC is fully driven by the solar system, operating at partial load according to the solar resource availability. Both systems are connected to the electrical grid, allowing electricity purchases and sales when needed. The design procedure involves the sizing of the equipment as well as the modelling of the hourly behavior of each system throughout the year. The physical analysis is complemented by an economic assessment, which considers investment and variable costs, as well as an estimate of the significant environmental benefits of the proposed plants. The solar plants are compared to a conventional system in which all the electrical consumption is covered with electricity purchased from the grid. The costs of the electricity produced by systems A and B are estimated at 0.2030 EUR/kWh and 0.1458 EUR/kWh, which are about 49% and 7% higher than the electricity purchase price in Spain (0.1363 EUR/kWh). These results indicate that while none of the solar plants are presently competitive with the conventional system, system B (without biomass hybridization) is actually closer to economic feasibility in the short and medium term than system A (with biomass hybridization). Full article
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22 pages, 3456 KiB  
Article
Process Modelling and Simulation of Waste Gasification-Based Flexible Polygeneration Facilities for Power, Heat and Biofuels Production
by Chaudhary Awais Salman and Ch Bilal Omer
Energies 2020, 13(16), 4264; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13164264 - 18 Aug 2020
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 3493
Abstract
There is increasing interest in the harnessing of energy from waste owing to the increase in global waste generation and inadequate currently implemented waste disposal practices, such as composting, landfilling or dumping. The purpose of this study is to provide a modelling and [...] Read more.
There is increasing interest in the harnessing of energy from waste owing to the increase in global waste generation and inadequate currently implemented waste disposal practices, such as composting, landfilling or dumping. The purpose of this study is to provide a modelling and simulation framework to analyze the technical potential of treating municipal solid waste (MSW) and refuse-derived fuel (RDF) for the polygeneration of biofuels along with district heating (DH) and power. A flexible waste gasification polygeneration facility is proposed in this study. Two types of waste—MSW and RDF—are used as feedstock for the polygeneration process. Three different gasifiers—the entrained flow gasifier (EFG), circulating fluidized bed gasifier (CFBG) and dual fluidized bed gasifier (DFBG)—are compared. The polygeneration process is designed to produce DH, power and biofuels (methane, methanol/dimethyl ether, gasoline or diesel and ammonia). Aspen Plus is used for the modelling and simulation of the polygeneration processes. Four cases with different combinations of DH, power and biofuels are assessed. The EFG shows higher energy efficiency when the polygeneration process provides DH alongside power and biofuels, whereas the DFBG and CFBG show higher efficiency when only power and biofuels are produced. RDF waste shows higher efficiency as feedstock than MSW in polygeneration process. Full article
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Review

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26 pages, 4478 KiB  
Review
A Comprehensive Review and Qualitative Analysis of Micro-Combined Heat and Power Modeling Approaches
by Praveen Cheekatamarla and Ahmad Abu-Heiba
Energies 2020, 13(14), 3581; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13143581 - 11 Jul 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2243
Abstract
Concurrent production of electrical and thermal energy from a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) device is an attractive tool to address the growing energy needs of the planet. Micro CHP (µCHP) systems can reduce a building’s primary energy consumption, reduce carbon footprint, and [...] Read more.
Concurrent production of electrical and thermal energy from a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) device is an attractive tool to address the growing energy needs of the planet. Micro CHP (µCHP) systems can reduce a building’s primary energy consumption, reduce carbon footprint, and enhance resiliency. Modeling of the µCHP helps understand the system from multiple perspectives and helps discover errors earlier, improves impact analysis and simulation of system solutions for ease of integration with the building. Consequently, there is a need for analysis of the impact of µCHP modeling approach on its reliability and flexibility. The primary objective of this paper is to review the state-of-the art models in the µCHP space with a focus towards internal combustion engine as the primary mover (PM) and limit the study to system modeling, calibration, and validation methodologies. Based on the analysis, recommendations for further model considerations and refinements are presented. Full article
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