Chin.J.Chem.Eng. ›› 2018, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (5): 1179-1191.doi: 10.1016/j.cjche.2017.11.006

• Energy, Resources and Environmental Technology • Previous Articles     Next Articles

An innovative trigeneration system using biogas as renewable energy

Grazia Leonzio   

  1. Department of Industrial and Information Engineering and Economics, University of L'Aquila, Via Giovanni Gronchi 18, 67100 L'Aquila, Italy
  • Received:2017-07-02 Revised:2017-09-23 Online:2018-05-28 Published:2018-06-29

Abstract: One of the ways to decrease the global primary energy consumption and the corresponding greenhouse gas emissions is the application of the combined cooling, heating and power generation technologies, known as trigeneration system. In this research an innovative trigeneration system, composed by an absorption heat pump, a mechanical compression heat pump, a steam plant, and a heat recovery plant is developed. The low temperature heat produced by absorption chiller is sent to a mechanical compression heat pump, that receives process water at low temperature from the heat recovery plant and bring it to higher temperatures. The trigeneration system is fed by biogas, a renewable energy. A design and a simulation of the system are developed by ChemCad 6.3® software. The plant produces 925 kW of electrical energy, 2523 kW of thermal energy and 473 kW of cooling energy, by the combustion of 3280 kW of biogas. Primary energy rate (P.E.R.) is equal 1.04 and a sensitivity analysis is carried out to evaluate the effect of cooling capacity, produced electrical energy and process water temperature. The first has a negative effect, while other parameters have a positive effect on P.E.R. Compared to a cogeneration system, the trigeneration plant produces the 28% higher of power and the 40% lower of carbon dioxide emissions. An economic analysis shows that the plant is economically feasible only considering economic incentives obtained by the use of heat pumps and steam plant at high efficiency. Saving 6431 t·a-1 corresponding to 658000 EUR·a-1 of incentives, the plant has a net present value (N.P.V.) and a pay back period (P.B.P.) respectively equal to 371000 EUR and 4 year. Future works should optimize the process considering cost and energetic efficiency as the two objective functions.

Key words: Trigeneration system, Biogas, Energy efficiency, Process simulation, Heat pumps, Environmental analysis