Ph.D. Proposal Presentation by Mary Elizabeth Douglas
Thursday, September 8, 2005

(Dr. William J. Wepfer, Chair)

"Thermoeconomic Optimization of a Building Cooling, Heating, and Power System"


Cooling, heating, and power (CHP) systems reduce emissions of known pollutants and conserve fossil fuels by locally utilizing waste heat to aid in processes that would otherwise consume virgin fuels. Capital, fuel, operation, and maintenance costs can be prohibitive for CHP systems designed for use in buildings; the cost of scale becomes an important issue. In addition, equipment may sit idle when building loads are low; therefore, equipment may be underutilized leading to unacceptable payback periods. This study will investigate the use of a building CHP system consisting of a prime mover and thermally activated technologies coupled with conventional heating and cooling equipment. Thermoeconomic models will be developed for all of the components. Building loads and utility rate structures are used to give the CHP system context. Laboratory experimentation provides data to be used for model calibration. Thermoeconomic analysis and optimization will be performed to determine the equipment sizing and operating strategies that provide an economic advantage, to assist in insuring the viability of CHP systems sized for building use.