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  • Conference paper
    Al Kindi A, Aunedi M, Pantaleo A, Strbac G, Markides Cet al., 2021,

    Thermo-economic assessment of flexible nuclear power plants in the UK’s future low-carbon electricity system: role of thermal energy storage

    , 16th Conference on Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems, Publisher: SDEWES

    Nuclear power plants are commonly operated as baseload units due to their low variable costs, high investment costs and limited ability to modulate their output. The increasing penetration of intermittent renewable power will require additional flexibility from conventional generation units, in order to follow the fluctuating renewable output while guaranteeing security of energy supply. In this context, coupling nuclear reactors with thermal energy storage could ensure a more continuous and efficient operation of nuclear power plants, while at other times allowing their operation to become more flexible and cost-effective. This study considers options for upgrading a 1610-MWel nuclear power plant with the addition of a thermal energy storage system and secondary power generators. The analysed configuration allows the plant to generate up to 2130 MWel during peak load, representing an increase of 32% in nominal rated power. The gross whole-system benefits of operating the proposed configuration are quantified over several scenarios for the UK’s low-carbon electricity system. Replacing conventional with flexible nuclear plant configuration is found to generate system cost savings that are between £24.3m/yr and £88.9m/yr, with the highest benefit achieved when stored heat is fully discharged in 0.5 hours (the default case is 1 hour). At an estimated cost of added flexibility of £42.7m/yr, the proposed flexibility upgrade to a nuclear power plant appears to be economically justified for a wide range of low-carbon scenarios, provided that the number of flexible nuclear units in the system is small.

  • Journal article
    Huang W, Du E, Capuder T, Zhang X, Zhang N, Strbac G, Kang Cet al., 2021,

    Reliability and Vulnerability Assessment of Multi-Energy Systems: An Energy Hub Based Method

    , IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON POWER SYSTEMS, Vol: 36, Pages: 3948-3959, ISSN: 0885-8950
  • Journal article
    Johnson NJ, Gross R, Staffell I, 2021,

    Stabilisation wedges: measuring progress towards transforming the global energy and land use systems

    , Environmental Research Letters, Vol: 16, ISSN: 1748-9326

    15 years ago, Pacala and Socolow argued that global carbon emissions could be stabilised by mid-century using a portfolio of existing mitigation strategies. We assess historic progress for each of their proposed mitigation strategies and convert this into the unit of 'wedges'. We show that the world is on track to achieve 1.5 ± 0.9 wedges relative to seven required to stabilise emissions, or 14 required to achieve net-zero emissions by mid-century. Substantial progress has been made in some domains that are not widely recognised (improving vehicle efficiency and declining vehicle use); yet this is tempered by negligible or even negative progress in many others (particularly tropical tree cover loss in Asia and Africa). By representing global decarbonisation efforts using the conceptually simple unit of wedges, this study helps a broader audience to understand progress to date and engage with the need for much greater effort over the coming decades.

  • Journal article
    Ouyang M, Bertei A, Cooper SJ, Wu Y, Boldrin P, Liu X, Kishimoto M, Wang H, Naylor Marlow M, Chen J, Chen X, Xia Y, Wu B, Brandon NPet al., 2021,

    Model-guided design of a high performance and durability Ni nanofiber/ceria matrix solid oxide fuel cell electrode

    , Journal of Energy Chemistry, Vol: 56, Pages: 98-112, ISSN: 2095-4956

    Mixed ionic electronic conductors (MIECs) have attracted increasing attention as anode materials for solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) and they hold great promise for lowering the operation temperature of SOFCs. However, there has been a lack of understanding of the performance-limiting factors and guidelines for rational design of composite metal-MIEC electrodes. Using a newly-developed approach based on 3D-tomography and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, here for the first time we quantify the contribution of the dual-phase boundary (DPB) relative to the three-phase boundary (TPB) reaction pathway on real MIEC electrodes. A new design strategy is developed for Ni/gadolinium doped ceria (CGO) electrodes (a typical MIEC electrode) based on the quantitative analyses and a novel Ni/CGO fiber–matrix structure is proposed and fabricated by combining electrospinning and tape-casting methods using commercial powders. With only 11.5 vol% nickel, the designer Ni/CGO fiber–matrix electrode shows 32% and 67% lower polarization resistance than a nano-Ni impregnated CGO scaffold electrode and conventional cermet electrode respectively. The results in this paper demonstrate quantitatively using real electrode structures that enhancing DPB and hydrogen kinetics are more efficient strategies to enhance electrode performance than simply increasing TPB.

  • Journal article
    Li X, Lecompte S, Van Nieuwenhuyse J, Couvreur K, Tian H, Shu G, De Paepe M, Markides CNet al., 2021,

    Experimental investigation of an organic Rankine cycle with liquid-flooded expansion and R1233zd(E) as working fluid

    , Energy Conversion and Management, Vol: 234, Pages: 1-20, ISSN: 0196-8904

    A new concept of liquid-flooded expansion has been proposed as a performance increasing modification of the basic ORC targeted at low-temperature heat sources. However, little research demonstrates the potential of this technology especially experimentally. In this paper, an experimental test facility based on a conventional recuperative ORC system was constructed with an independent liquid flooding loop that enables testing the influence of liquid flooding on a modified single-screw expander as well as on the cycle itself. Experiments were performed at various pressure ratios (3.3–4.1) over the expander and flooding ratios (0–0.3) with R1233zd(E) as the working fluid and a standard lubricant oil as the flooding medium. The data reduction and uncertainty analysis were also discussed in depth. In total, 142 steady-state points were obtained. Compared with the baseline organic Rankine cycle, the maximum improvement of the liquid-flooded expansion on the expander power output can be 9.1%, although at slightly worse expander inlet conditions. The maximum enhancement of the isothermal efficiency of the expander was 9.5%. Results also showed that the expander power output, the net power output and the thermal efficiency were enhanced with the increase of the flooding liquid amount. The potential of an organic Rankine cycle system with liquid-flooded expansion can be further examined if over-expansion losses can be reduced and larger amount of oil can be injected, i.e., with higher pressure ratios and higher flooding ratios. Overall, this study provides insights into performance improvement by means of modifying the cycle thermodynamics itself.

  • Journal article
    Zhao Y, Liu M, Song J, Wang C, Yan J, Markides CNet al., 2021,

    Advanced exergy analysis of a Joule-Brayton pumped thermal electricity storage system with liquid-phase storage

    , Energy Conversion and Management, Vol: 231, Pages: 1-19, ISSN: 0196-8904

    Pumped thermal electricity storage is a thermo-mechanical energy storage technology that has emerged as a promising option for large-scale (grid) storage because of its lack of geographical restrictions and relatively low capital costs. This paper focuses on a 10 MW Joule-Brayton pumped thermal electricity storage system with liquid thermal stores and performs detailed conventional and advanced exergy analyses of this system. Results of the conventional exergy analysis on the recuperated system indicate that the expander during discharge is associated with the maximum exergy destruction rate (13%). The advanced exergy analysis further reveals that, amongst the system components studied, the cold heat exchanger during discharge is associated with the highest share (95%) of the avoidable exergy destruction rate, while during charge the same component is associated with the highest share (64%) of the endogenous exergy destruction rate. Thus, the cold heat exchanger offers the largest potential for improvement in the overall system exergetic efficiency. A quantitative analysis of the overall system performance improvement potential of the recuperated system demonstrates that increasing the isentropic efficiency of the compressor and turbine from 85% to 95% significantly increases the modified overall exergetic efficiency from 37% to 57%. Similarly, by increasing the effectiveness and decreasing the pressure loss factor of all heat exchangers, from 0.90 to 0.98 and from 2.5% to 0.5% respectively, the modified overall exergetic efficiency increases from 34% to 54%. The results of exergy analyses provide novel insight into the innovation, research and development of pumped thermal electricity storage technology.

  • Journal article
    Badesa L, Strbac G, Magill M, Stojkovska Bet al., 2021,

    Ancillary services in Great Britain during the COVID-19 lockdown: A glimpse of the carbon-free future

    , Applied Energy, Vol: 285, Pages: 1-10, ISSN: 0306-2619

    The COVID-19 pandemic led to partial or total lockdowns in several countries during the first half of 2020, which in turn caused a depressed electricity demand. In Great Britain (GB), this low demand combined with large renewable output at times, created conditions that were not expected until renewable capacity increases to meet emissions targets in coming years. The GB system experienced periods of very high instantaneous penetration of non-synchronous renewables, compromising system stability due to the lack of inertia in the grid. In this paper, a detailed analysis of the consequences of the lockdown on the GB electricity system is provided, focusing on the ancillary services procured to guarantee stability. Ancillary-services costs increased by £200m in the months of May to July 2020 compared to the same period in 2019 (a threefold increase), highlighting the importance of ancillary services in low-carbon systems. Furthermore, a frequency-secured scheduling model is used in the present paper to showcase the future trends that GB is expected to experience, as penetration of renewables increases on the road to net-zero emissions by 2050. Several sensitivities are considered, demonstrating that the share of total operating costs represented by ancillary services could reach 35%.

  • Journal article
    Calise F, Cappiello FL, Vicidomini M, Song J, Pantaleo AM, Abdelhady S, Shaban A, Markides CNet al., 2021,

    Energy and economic assessment of energy efficiency options for energy districts: case studies in Italy and Egypt

    , Energies, Vol: 14, Pages: 1-24, ISSN: 1996-1073

    In this research, a technoeconomic comparison of energy efficiency options for energy districts located in different climatic areas (Naples, Italy and Fayoum, Egypt) is presented. A dynamic simulation model based on TRNSYS is developed to evaluate the different energy efficiency options, which includes different buildings of conceived districts. The TRNSYS model is integrated with the plug-in Google SketchUp TRNSYS3d to estimate the thermal load of the buildings and the temporal variation. The model considers the unsteady state energy balance and includes all the features of the building’s envelope. For the considered climatic zones and for the different energy efficiency measures, primary energy savings, pay back periods and reduced CO2 emissions are evaluated. The proposed energy efficiency options include a district heating system for hot water supply, air-to-air conventional heat pumps for both cooling and space heating of the buildings and the integration of photovoltaic and solar thermal systems. The energy actions are compared to baseline scenarios, where the hot water and space heating demand is satisfied by conventional natural gas boilers, the cooling demand is met by conventional air-to-air vapor compression heat pumps and the electric energy demand is satisfied by the power grid. The simulation results provide valuable guidance for selecting the optimal designs and system configurations, as well as suggest guidelines to policymakers to define decarbonization targets in different scenarios. The scenario of Fayoum offers a savings of 67% in primary energy, but the associated payback period extends to 23 years due to the lower cost of energy in comparison to Naples.

  • Journal article
    Shabazbegian V, Ameli H, Ameli MT, Strbac G, Qadrdan Met al., 2021,

    Co-optimization of resilient gas and electricity networks; a novel possibilistic chance-constrained programming approach

    , Applied Energy, Vol: 284, ISSN: 0306-2619

    Gas-fired power plants are commonly employed to deal with the intermittency of renewable energy resources due to their flexible characteristics. Therefore, the intermittency in the power system transmits to the gas system through the gas-fired power plants, which makes the operation of these systems even more interdependent. This study proposes a novel possibilistic model for the integrated operation of gas and power systems in the presence of electric vehicles and demand response. The model takes into account uncertainty in demand prediction and output power of wind farms, which is based on possibility and necessity theories in fuzzy logic through modeling uncertain parameters by Gaussian membership function. Moreover, a contingency analysis algorithm based on maximin optimization is developed to enhance the resiliency in the integrated operation of these systems by finding the worst-case scenario for the outage of components. The proposed model is implemented on a Belgium gas network and IEEE 24-bus electricity network. It is demonstrated that the possibilistic model allows the gas network to respond to the demand variations by providing a sufficient level of linepack within the pipelines. As a result, gas-fired power plants are supposed to commit more efficiently to cope with the intermittency of wind farms, which reduce the wind curtailment by 26%. Furthermore, it is quantified that through applying the contingency analysis algorithm in presence of demand response and electrical vehicles, the costs of operation and load shedding is reduced up to 17% and 83%, respectively.

  • Journal article
    Ye Y, Qiu D, Wang H, Tang Y, Strbac Get al., 2021,

    Real-Time Autonomous Residential Demand Response Management Based on Twin Delayed Deep Deterministic Policy Gradient Learning

    , ENERGIES, Vol: 14
  • Journal article
    Olympios AV, McTigue J, Farres Antunez P, Tafone A, Romagnoli A, Li Y, Ding Y, Steinmann W-D, Wang L, Chen H, Markides CNet al., 2021,

    Progress and prospects of thermo-mechanical energy storage – A critical review

    , Progress in Energy, Vol: 3, Pages: 1-44, ISSN: 2516-1083

    The share of electricity generated by intermittent renewable energy sources is increasing (now at 26% of global electricity generation) and the requirements of affordable, reliable and secure energy supply designate grid-scale storage as an imperative component of most energy transition pathways. The most widely deployed bulk energy storage solution is pumped-hydro energy storage (PHES), however, this technology is geographically constrained. Alternatively, flow batteries are location independent and have higher energy densities than PHES, but remain associated with high costs and low lifetimes, which highlights the importance of developing and utilizing additional larger-scale, longer-duration and long-lifetime energy storage alternatives. In this paper, we review a class of promising bulk energy storage technologies based on thermo-mechanical principles, which includes: compressed-air energy storage (CAES), liquid-air energy storage (LAES) and pumped-thermal electricity storage (PTES). The thermodynamic principles upon which these thermo-mechanical energy storage (TMES) technologies are based are discussed and a synopsis of recent progress in their development is presented, assessing their ability to provide reliable and cost-effective solutions. The current performance and future prospects of TMES systems are examined within a unified framework and a thermoeconomic analysis is conducted to explore their competitiveness relative to each other as well as when compared to PHES and flow battery systems. This includes carefully selected thermodynamic and economic methodologies for estimating the component costs of each configuration in order to provide a detailed and fair comparison at various system sizes. The analysis reveals that the technical and economic characteristics of TMES systems are such that, especially at higher discharge power ratings and longer discharge durations, they can offer promising performance (round-trip efficiencies higher than 60%) along wit

  • Journal article
    Strbac G, Papadaskalopoulos D, Chrysanthopoulos N, Estanqueiro A, Algarvio H, Lopes F, de Vries L, Morales-Espana G, Sijm J, Hernandez-Serna R, Kiviluoma J, Helisto Net al., 2021,

    <i>Decarbonization of Electricity Systems in Europe</i> Market Design Challenges

    , IEEE POWER & ENERGY MAGAZINE, Vol: 19, Pages: 53-63, ISSN: 1540-7977
  • Journal article
    Denbow C, Le Brun N, Dowell NM, Shah N, Markides CNet al., 2020,

    The potential impact of Molten Salt Reactors on the UK electricity grid

    , Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol: 276, Pages: 1-18, ISSN: 0959-6526

    The UK electricity grid is expected to supply a growing electricity demand and also to cope with electricity generation variability as the country pursues a low-carbon future. Molten Salt Reactors (MSRs) could offer a solution to meet this demand thanks to their estimated low capital costs, low operational risk, and promise of reliably dispatchable low-carbon electricity. In the published literature, there is little emphasis placed on estimating or modelling the future impact of MSRs on electricity grids. Previous modelling efforts were limited to quantifying the value of renewable energy sources, energy storage and carbon capture technologies. To date, no study has assessed or modelled MSRs as a competing power generation source for meeting decarbonization targets. Given this gap, the main objective of this paper is to explore the cost benefits for policy makers, consumers, and investors when MSRs are deployed between 2020 and 2050 for electricity generation in the UK. This paper presents results from electricity systems optimization (ESO) modelling of the costs associated with the deployment of 1350 MWe MSRs, from 2025 onwards to 2050, and compares this against a UK grid with no MSR deployment. Results illustrate a minimum economic benefit of £1.25 billion for every reactor installed over this time period. Additionally, an investment benefit occurs for a fleet of these reactors which have a combined net present value (NPV) of £22 billion in 2050 with a payback period of 23 years if electricity is sold competitively to consumers at a price of £60/MWh.

  • Journal article
    Zhao Y, Zhao CY, Markides CN, Wang H, Li Wet al., 2020,

    Medium- and high-temperature latent and thermochemical heat storage using metals and metallic compounds as heat storage media: A technical review

    , Applied Energy, Vol: 280, Pages: 1-32, ISSN: 0306-2619

    Latent and thermochemical heat storage technologies are receiving increased attention due to their important role in addressing the challenges of variable renewable energy generation and waste heat availability, as well as the mismatch between energy supply and demand in time and space. However, as the operating storage temperature increases, a series of challenging technical problems arise, such as complex heat transfer mechanisms, increased corrosion, material failure, reduced strength, and high-temperature measurement difficulties, especially for metals and metallic compounds as heat storage media. This paper reviews the latest research progress in medium- and high-temperature latent and thermochemical heat storage using metals and metallic compounds as storage media from a technical perspective and provides useful information for researchers and engineers in the field of energy storage. In this paper, the status and challenges of medium- and high-temperature latent and thermochemical heat storage are first introduced, followed by an assessment of metals and metallic compounds as heat storage media in latent and thermochemical heat storage applications. This is followed by a comprehensive review of three key issues associated with medium/high-temperature latent heat storage applications: heat transfer enhancement, stability and corrosion, as well as a discussion of four key issues associated with medium/high-temperature thermochemical heat storage: heat transfer, cycling stability, mechanical property and reactor/system design. Finally, the prospects of medium/high-temperature latent and thermochemical heat storage are summarized.

  • Journal article
    Fatigati F, Vittorini D, Wang Y, Song J, Markides CN, Cipollone Ret al., 2020,

    Design and operational control strategy for optimum off-design performance of an ORC plant for low-grade waste heat recovery

    , Energies, Vol: 13, Pages: 5846-5846, ISSN: 1996-1073

    The applicability of organic Rankine cycle (ORC) technology to waste heat recovery (WHR) is currently experiencing growing interest and accelerated technological development. The utilization of low-to-medium grade thermal energy sources, especially in the presence of heat source intermittency in applications where the thermal source is characterized by highly variable thermodynamic conditions, requires a control strategy for off-design operation to achieve optimal ORC power-unit performance. This paper presents a validated comprehensive model for off-design analysis of an ORC power-unit, with R236fa as the working fluid, a gear pump, and a 1.5 kW sliding vane rotary expander (SVRE) for WHR from the exhaust gases of a light-duty internal combustion engine. Model validation is performed using data from an extensive experimental campaign on both the rotary equipment (pump, expander) and the remainder components of the plant, namely the heat recovery vapor generator (HRVH), condenser, reservoirs, and piping. Based on the validated computational platform, the benefits on the ORC plant net power output and efficiency of either a variable permeability expander or of sliding vane rotary pump optimization are assessed. The novelty introduced by this optimization strategy is that the evaluations are conducted by a numerical model, which reproduces the real features of the ORC plant. This approach ensures an analysis of the whole system both from a plant and cycle point of view, catching some real aspects that are otherwise undetectable. These optimization strategies are considered as a baseline ORC plant that suffers low expander efficiency (30%) and a large parasitic pumping power, with a backwork ratio (BWR) of up to 60%. It is found that the benefits on the expander power arising from a lower permeability combined with a lower energy demand by the pump (20% of BWR) for circulation of the working fluid allows a better recovery performance for the ORC plant with respect to t

  • Journal article
    Aunedi M, Pantaleo AM, Kuriyan K, Strbac G, Shah Net al., 2020,

    Modelling of national and local interactions between heat and electricity networks in low-carbon energy systems

    , Applied Energy, Vol: 276, Pages: 1-18, ISSN: 0306-2619

    Decarbonisation of the heating and cooling sector is critical for achieving long-term energy and climate change objectives. Closer integration between heating/cooling and electricity systems can provide additional flexibility required to support the integration of variable renewables and other low-carbon energy sources. This paper proposes a framework for identifying cost-efficient solutions for supplying district heating systems within both operation and investment timescales, while considering local and national-level interactions between heat and electricity infrastructures. The proposed optimisation model minimises the levelised cost of a portfolio of heating technologies, and in particular Combined Heat and Power (CHP) and polygeneration systems, centralised heat pumps (HPs), centralised boilers and thermal energy storage (TES). A number of illustrative case studies are presented, quantifying the impact of renewable penetration, electricity price volatility, local grid constraints and local emission targets on optimal planning and operation of heat production assets. The sensitivity analysis demonstrates that the cost-optimal TES capacity could increase by 41–134% in order to manage a constraint in the local electricity grid, while in systems with higher RES penetration reflected in higher electricity price volatility it may be optimal to increase the TES capacity by 50–66% compared to constant prices, allowing centralised electric HP technologies to divert excess electricity produced by intermittent renewable generators to the heating sector. This confirms the importance of reflecting the whole-system value of heating technologies in the underlying cost-benefit analysis of heat networks.

  • Journal article
    Lai C, Liu X, Wang Y, Cao C, Yin Y, Wu B, Liu X, Yang S, Liang Tet al., 2020,

    Bimetallic organic framework-derived rich pyridinic N-doped carbon nanotubes as oxygen catalysts for rechargeable Zn-air batteries

    , Journal of Power Sources, Vol: 472, Pages: 1-8, ISSN: 0378-7753

    Developing of low-cost and high-performance electrocatalysts provides a promising method to alleviate the burden of noble metals for oxygen evolution reaction (OER) and oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). The oxygen catalysts play an increasingly greater role in expanding the energy conversion efficiencies of rechargeable Zn-air batteries. Metal organic frameworks (MOFs) have greatly noticed as versatile precursors to design and establish highly efficient bifunctional catalysts owing to their adjustable component, flexible tailing capability and high surface area. Herein, a highly active OER/ORR catalyst was synthesized by a facile metal induction pyrolysis strategy using bimetallic NiCo-ZIF-67 as precursor, obtaining a special characteristics with high pyridinic N doping level (~42.6%) and ultrafine metal nanocrystals embedded in carbon nanotubes. The as-prepared Ni1Co3@N-CNTs demonstrates a moderate OER activity with a low overpotential of only ~290 mV at 10 mA cm−2 and a low Tafel slop of 56 mV dec−1. Meanwhile, it reaches a much higher half-wave potential of 0.85 V for ORR, which could rival the most of reported materials. Importantly, when being applied as oxygen catalyst in rechargeable Zn-air batteries, decent electrochemical performance of open-circuit potential and high power density were achieved, even superior than those of the commercial Pt/C and RuO2 electrode.

  • Journal article
    Hou H, Pawlak J, Sivakumar A, Howard B, Polak Jet al., 2020,

    An approach for building occupancy modelling considering the urban context

    , Building and Environment, Vol: 183, Pages: 1-18, ISSN: 0360-1323

    Building occupancy, which reflects occupant presence, movements and activities within the building space, is a key factor to consider in building energy modelling and simulation. Characterising complex occupant behaviours and their determinants poses challenges from the sensing, modelling, interpretation and prediction perspectives. Past studies typically applied time-dependent models to predict regular occupancy patterns for commercial buildings. However, this prevalent reliance on purely time-of-day effects is typically not sufficient to accurately characterise the complex occupancy patterns as they may vary with building’s surrounding conditions, i.e. the urban environment. Therefore, this research proposes a conceptual framework to incorporate the interactions between urban systems and building occupancy. Under the framework, we propose a novel modelling methodology relying on competing risk hazard formulation to analyse the occupancy of a case study building in London, UK. The occupancy profiles were inferred from the Wi-Fi connection logs extracted from the existing Wi-Fi infrastructure. When compared with the conventional discrete-time Markov Chain Model (MCM), the hazard-based modelling approach was able to better capture the duration dependent nature of the transition probabilities as well as incorporate and quantify the influence of the local environment on occupancy transitions. The work has demonstrated that this approach enables a convenient and flexible incorporation of urban dependenciesleading to accurate occupancy predictions whilst providing the ability to interpret the impacts of urban systems on building occupancy. Keywords: Urban system; Competing risk hazard model; Building occupancy simulation; Wi4 Fi connection data

  • Journal article
    Wang K, Pantaleo AM, Herrando M, Faccia M, Pesmazoglou I, Franchetti BM, Markides CNet al., 2020,

    Spectral-splitting hybrid PV-thermal (PVT) systems for combined heat and power provision to dairy farms

    , Renewable Energy, Vol: 159, Pages: 1047-1065, ISSN: 0960-1481

    Dairy farming is one of the most energy- and emission-intensive industrial sectors, and offers noteworthy opportunities for displacing conventional fossil-fuel consumption both in terms of cost saving and decarbonisation. In this paper, a solar-combined heat and power (S–CHP) system is proposed for dairy-farm applications based on spectral-splitting parabolic-trough hybrid photovoltaic-thermal (PVT) collectors, which is capable of providing simultaneous electricity, steam and hot water for processing milk products. A transient numerical model is developed and validated against experimental data to predict the dynamic thermal and electrical characteristics and to assess the thermoeconomic performance of the S–CHP system. A dairy farm in Bari (Italy), with annual thermal and electrical demands of 6000 MWh and 3500 MWh respectively, is considered as a case study for assessing the energetic and economic potential of the proposed S–CHP system. Hourly simulations are performed over a year using real-time local weather and measured demand-data inputs. The results show that the optical characteristic of the spectrum splitter has a significant influence on the system’s thermoeconomic performance. This is therefore optimised to reflect the solar region between 550 nm and 1000 nm to PV cells for electricity generation and (low-temperature) hot-water production, while directing the rest to solar receivers for (higher-temperature) steam generation. Based on a 10000-m2 installed area, it is found that 52% of the demand for steam generation and 40% of the hot water demand can be satisfied by the PVT S–CHP system, along with a net electrical output amounting to 14% of the farm’s demand. Economic analyses show that the proposed system is economically viable if the investment cost of the spectrum splitter is lower than 75% of the cost of the parabolic trough concentrator (i.e., <1950 €/m2 spectrum splitter) in this application. The influenc

  • Journal article
    Cremi MR, Pantaleo AM, van Dam KH, Shah Net al., 2020,

    Optimal design and operation of an urban energy system applied to the Fiera Del Levante exhibition centre

    , Applied Energy, Vol: 275, Pages: 1-22, ISSN: 0306-2619

    To move from centralised fossil fuel-based energy systems, synergies between distributed renewable generation, storage and demand-side strategies can be exploited to lower environmental impact and costs. This paper proposes an optimisation model for the techno-economic assessment of energy management strategies with a short-term investment horizon aimed at business managers and decision-makers in the commercial sector. The main novelty is the selection of a combination of on-site technologies and peak shaving strategies to minimise energy costs under time-of-use electricity tariffs, and the adaptation of a general methodology for a specific socio-technical context under seasonal loads. The “Fiera del Levante” exhibition centre in the city of Bari is selected due to the high seasonality of its electricity demand. The optimal solution uses a combined system with photovoltaics, diesel-fired and gas-fired combined-heat-and-power, including part-load operation and electric storage. The cost minimisation scenario reports up to 20% cost savings and 35% carbon emission savings with a 1MWp photovoltaic plant, compared to the baseline. This presents a five-year return on investment of 75%, and levelized cost of energy of €0.14 kWh−1. When coupled with a lithium-ion battery, solar energy brings up to 60% carbon emission savings through load shifting strategies, though this reduces the five-year return on investment by 9%. This hybrid setup is not financially competitive in the Italian retail market, but a hypothetical 25% rise of the grid import prices would make it economically viable. The proposed model is flexible and can be adapted to commercial end-users, providing decision-support in urban energy systems under local conditions.

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