Thermoeconomic modeling of a small-scale gas turbine-photovoltaic-electrolyzer combined-cooling-heating-and-power system for distributed energy applications
Alexandrou, Andreas N.
Georghiou, George E.
SourceJournal of Cleaner Production
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The purpose of this study is to investigate the potential of a small-scale, combined-cooling-heating-and-power system, consisting of a 1 MWe gas turbine subsystem coupled to a 0.5 MWe photovoltaic (PV) subsystem for application in Cyprus. The proposed system is completely autonomous, without any interconnections to a central power grid. To allow maximum utilization of the electricity generated by the PV subsystem, an electrolyzer unit is coupled to the system to convert excess renewable electricity to hydrogen. The generated hydrogen is injected to the natural gas supply for the gas turbine. For the generation of useful cooling and heating, the system recovers heat from the flue gas exiting the gas turbinethe recovered heat is supplied to a heat-activated absorption chiller/heater to generate cooling or heating. An electric chiller/heater is integrated to the system to supplement thermal energy when necessary. The thermal energy is supplied to nearby buildings through a district energy network. The annual average primary energy ratio of the proposed system is 0.806. For an assumed system lifetime of 20 years, the lifecycle cost of the proposed system is 11.12 million USD, resulting to a unit cost of electricity at 0.06 USD/kWh, which is a 62% reduction of the current cost in Cyprus. The results of the parametric study suggest that the economic performance of the proposed system is highly dependent on price fluctuations of the unit cost of natural gas, while the specific cost of the electrolyzer unit is also critical. The proposed system could become an important candidate for power and thermal energy generation in Cyprus as a measure to reduce the presently high cost of electricity. © 2018 Elsevier Ltd