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[en] A proposed analytical procedure for a charge on CO2 emissions is used to determine its impact on the design process of different conventional energy systems. The charge on CO2 emissions is defined as a Carbon Exergy Tax (CET). The CET utilises the concept of Efficiency Penalty of the energy system coupled with the Index of CO2 Emissions, which connects the amount of the CO2 emitted by the plant with the Second Law efficiency of the plant itself. The aim is to reward the efficient use of energy resources, both from a resource and environmental standpoint, and to penalise plants inefficient in this respect. The CET and the conventional Carbon Tax (CT, based on energy policy considerations and imposed on the mass of emitted CO2) are applied to different conventional energy systems (a gas turbine simple cycle; a regenerative cogeneration gas turbine; a three pressure levels combined cycle) in order to determine their impact on the design of the plants. The effects of the CET and CT are investigated for different scenarios (pressure ratio, fuel cost, etc.). The results are presented using useful representations: the cost of electricity vs. efficiency, the cost of electricity vs. specific work, and the cost of electricity vs. plant design parameters (e.g., pressure ratio). Finally, ways that the use of the CET can contribute to the widespread utilization of advanced energy systems, which are more efficient and less polluting, is discussed. In particular, the CET and CT influence is presented and discussed for a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) and gas turbine combined cycle
[en] Highlights: • Plant optimization for hydrogen generation from renewable sources. • Experimental tests on a 42 kW alkaline electrolyser. • Time-dependent hierarchical thermo-economic optimization. • Italian case for electricity costs and solar irradiation (Savona). - Abstract: In this paper an approach for the determination of the optimal size and management of a plant for hydrogen production from renewable source (photovoltaic panels) is presented. Hydrogen is produced by a pressurized alkaline electrolyser (42 kW) installed at the University Campus of Savona (Italy) in 2014 and fed by electrical energy produced by photovoltaic panels. Experimental tests have been carried out in order to analyze the performance curve of the electrolyser in different operative conditions, investigating the influence of the different parameters on the efficiency. The results have been implemented in a software tool in order to describe the behavior of the systems in off-design conditions. Since the electrical energy produced by photovoltaic panels and used to feed the electrolyser is strongly variable because of the random nature of the solar irradiance, a time-dependent hierarchical thermo-economic analysis is carried out to evaluate both the optimal size and the management approach related to the system, considering a fixed size of 1 MW for the photovoltaic panels. The thermo-economic analysis is performed with the software tool W-ECoMP, developed by the authors’ research group: the Italian energy scenario is considered, investigating the impact of electricity cost on the results as well.
[en] Highlights: • We investigate H2 and CH4 production from very large hydraulic plant (14 GW). • We employ only “spilled energy”, not used by hydraulic plant, for H2 production. • We consider the integration with energy taken from the grid at different prices. • We consider hydrogen conversion in chemical reactors to produce methane. • We find plants optimal size using a time-dependent thermo-economic approach. - Abstract: This paper investigates hydrogen and methane generation from large hydraulic plant, using an original multilevel thermo-economic optimization approach developed by the authors. Hydrogen is produced by water electrolysis employing time-dependent hydraulic energy related to the water which is not normally used by the plant, known as “spilled water electricity”. Both the demand for spilled energy and the electrical grid load vary widely by time of year, therefore a time-dependent hour-by-hour one complete year analysis has been carried out, in order to define the optimal plant size. This time period analysis is necessary to take into account spilled energy and electrical load profiles variability during the year. The hydrogen generation plant is based on 1 MWe water electrolysers fuelled with the “spilled water electricity”, when available; in the remaining periods, in order to assure a regular H2 production, the energy is taken from the electrical grid, at higher cost. To perform the production plant size optimization, two hierarchical levels have been considered over a one year time period, in order to minimize capital and variable costs. After the optimization of the hydrogen production plant size, a further analysis is carried out, with a view to converting the produced H2 into methane in a chemical reactor, starting from H2 and CO2 which is obtained with CCS plants and/or carried by ships. For this plant, the optimal electrolysers and chemical reactors system size is defined. For both of the two solutions, thermo-economic optimization results are discussed and compared with particular emphasis to energy scenario, economic aspects, system size, capital costs and related investments. It is worth noting that the results reported here for this particular large H2 plant case represents a general methodology, since it can vary according to their different sizes, primary renewable energy, plant location, and different H2 utilization
[en] Highlights: ► We model a poly-generation grid including thermal storage and renewable generators. ► We analyze the impact of random renewable generators on the grid performance. ► We carry out the grid optimization using a time-dependent thermo-economic approach. ► We present the importance of the storage system to optimize the RES impact. - Abstract: In this paper, the impact of not controllable renewable energy generators (wind turbines and solar photovoltaic panels) on the thermo-economic optimum performance of poly-generation smart grids is investigated using an original time dependent hierarchical approach. The grid used for the analysis is the one installed at the University of Genoa for research activities. It is based on different prime movers: (i) 100 kWe micro gas turbine, (ii) 20 kWe internal combustion engine powered by gases to produce both electrical and thermal (hot water) energy and (iii) a 100 kWth adsorption chiller to produce cooling (cold water) energy. The grid includes thermal storage tanks to manage the thermal demand load during the year. The plant under analysis is also equipped with two renewable non-controllable generators: a small size wind turbine and photovoltaic solar panels. The size and the management of the system studied in this work have been optimized, in order to minimize both capital and variable costs. A time-dependent thermo-economic hierarchical approach developed by the authors has been used, considering the time-dependent electrical, thermal and cooling load demands during the year as problem constraints. The results are presented and discussed in depth and show the strong interaction between fossil and renewable resources, and the importance of an appropriate storage system to optimize the RES impact taking into account the multiproduct character of the grid under investigation.
[en] In this paper, the results of the thermodynamic and economic analyses of distributed power generation plants (1.5 MWe) are described and compared. The results of an exergetic analysis are also reported, as well as the thermodynamic details of the most significant streams of the plants. The integration of different hybrid solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) system CO2 separation technologies characterizes the power plants proposed. A hybrid system with a tubular SOFC fed with natural gas with internal reforming has been taken as reference plant. Two different technologies have been considered for the same base system to obtain a low CO2 emission plant. The first technology involved a fuel decarbonization and CO2 separation process placed before the system feed, while the second integrated the CO2 separation and the energy cycle. The first option employed fuel processing, a technology (amine chemical absorption) viable for short-term implementation in real installations while the second option provided the CO2 separation by condensing the steam from the system exhaust. The results obtained, using a Web-based Thermo Economic Modular Program software, developed by the Thermochemical Power Group of the University of Genoa, showed that the thermodynamic and economic impact of the adoption of zero emission cycle layouts based on hybrid systems was relevant
[en] Highlights: • We investigate H2/O2 production from large hydraulic plant by water electrolysis. • We produce methanol and hydro-methane from H2/O2 obtained. • We investigate two different configurations of the plant. • We perform a thermo-economic analysis for three scenarios in Paraguay. • We find plants optimal size using a time-dependent thermo-economic approach. - Abstract: A thermo-economic analysis regarding large scale hydro-methane and methanol production from renewable sources (biomass and renewable electricity) is performed. The study is carried out investigating hydrogen and oxygen generation by water electrolysis, mainly employing the hydraulic energy produced from the 14 GW Itaipu Binacional Plant, owned by Paraguay and Brazil. Oxygen is employed in biomass gasification to synthesize methanol; the significant amount of CO2 separated in the process is mixed with hydrogen produced by electrolysis in chemical reactors to produce hydro-methane. Hydro-methane is employed to supply natural gas vehicles in Paraguay, methanol is sold to Brazil, that is the largest consumer in South America. The analysis is performed employing time-dependent hydraulic energy related to the water that would normally not be used by the plant, named “spilled energy”, when available; in the remaining periods, electricity is acquired at higher cost by the national grid. For the different plant lay-outs, a thermo-economic analysis has been performed employing two different software, one for the design point and one for the time-dependent one entire year optimization, since spilled energy is strongly variable throughout the year. Optimal sizes for the generation plants have been determined, investigating the influence of electricity cost, size and plant configuration
[en] One of the most interesting methods of water introduction in a gas turbine circuit is represented by the humid air turbine cycle (HAT). In the HAT cycle, the humidification can be provided by a pressurised saturator (i.e. humidification tower or saturation tower), this solution being known to offer several attractive features. This part A is focused on an experimental study of a pressurised humidification tower, with structured packing inside. After a description of the test rig employed to carry out the measuring campaign, the results relating to the thermodynamic process are presented and discussed. The experimental campaign was carried out over 162 working points, covering a relatively wide range of possible operating conditions. Details about measured data are provided in the appendix. It is shown that the saturator's behaviour, in terms of air outlet humidity and temperature, is primarily driven by, in decreasing order of relevance, the inlet water temperature, the inlet water over inlet dry air mass flow ratio and the inlet air temperature. Finally, the exit relative humidity is shown to be consistently over 100%, which may be explained partially by measurement accuracy and droplet entrainment, and partially by the non-ideal behaviour of air-steam mixtures close to saturation