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Development and use of an interactive computer simulation for generalized technical and economic assessments of cogeneration systems
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The development and use of a computer simulation program incorporating an interactive spreadsheet software package to evaluate the technical and economic feasibility of cogeneration systems is described. Three hypothetical case studies including a comprehensive sensitivity analysis were completed to demonstrate the employment of the simulation program. The simulation can model cogeneration systems using either a gas turbine, internal combustion (IC) engine or steam turbine prime mover for both electrical and thermal load matching. The modeled systems can be arranged in either a simple or combined cycled configuration. The heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) model developed for the program incorporates a fixed surface effectiveness calculation and includes correlations for off-design performance. The HRSG can also be operated in a fired or unfired mode. The IC engine prime mover model also includes a water jacket energy recovery unit. The program simulates the system on an hourly and monthly basis using variable predefined daily and monthly profiles. The program also includes hourly and annual energy balances for the combined system. The economic results are in terms of conventional parameters including the net present value (NPV), internal rate of return (IRR) and the years to zero net present value (payback time). The three cases studies compared the operating costs of the current system to the cost of constructing and operating a cogeneration system and investigated their sensitivity to variations in the design condition parameters. The proposed cogeneration systems included: (1) a commercial laundry with a 400 kW IC engine with a waste heat recovery hot water heater in a simple cycle configuration, (2) a medium sized medical complex with a 1,600 kW gas turbine prime mover with an HRSG in a simple cycle configuration, and (3) an industrial plant with a 17.5 MW gas turbine prime mover, a 4 MW extraction steam turbine and a natural gas fired HRSG unit in a combined cycle configuration. The sensitivity analyses investigated the effect of the variations in at least 22 design and economic parameters for the percent change in the number of years to zero net present value for each case.
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Baxter, Geoffrey R. (1997). Development and use of an interactive computer simulation for generalized technical and economic assessments of cogeneration systems. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from
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