A 25 kWe cogeneration system has been installed by the School of Architecture of Carnegie Mellon University that provides steam and hot water to its Intelligent Workplace, the IW. This cogeneration system comprises a biodiesel fueled engine generator, a steam generator that operates on its exhaust, a hot water heat exchanger that operates on its engine coolant, and a steam driven absorption chiller. The steam and hot water are thus used for cooling, heating, and ventilation air dehumidification in the IW. This cogeneration system is a primary component of an overall energy supply system that halves the consumption of primary energy required to operate the IW. This cogeneration system was completed in September 2007, and extensive tests have been carried out on its performance over a broad range of power and heat outputs with Diesel and biodiesel fuels. In parallel, a detailed systems performance model of the engine generator, its heat recovery exchangers, the steam driven absorption chiller, a ventilation and air dehumidification unit, and multiple fan coil cooling/heating units has been programmed making use of TRNSYS to evaluate the utilization of the heat from the unit in the IW. In this model the distribution of heat from the engine to the exhaust, to the coolant, and directly to the surroundings has been based on an ASHRAE model. While a computational model was created, its complexity made calculation of annual performance excessively time consuming and a simplified model based on experimental data was created. The testing of the cogeneration system at 6, 12, 18 and 25 kWe is now completed and a wealth of data on flow rates, temperatures, pressures throughout the system were collected. These data have been organized in look up tables to create a simplified empirical TRNSYS component for the cogeneration system in order to allow representative evaluation of annual performance of the system for three different mode of operation. Using the look up table, a simple TRNSYS module for the cogeneration system was developed that equates fuel flow to electricity generation, hot water generation via the coolant heat exchanger, and steam production via the steam generator. The different modes of operation for this cogeneration system can be design load: 25 kWe, following the thermal — heating or cooling — load, following the ventilation regeneration load. The calculated annual efficiency for the different mode is respectively 66% 68% and 65%. This cogeneration installation was sized to provide guidance on future cogeneration plant design for small commercial buildings. The new cogeneration TRNSYS component has been created to be applicable in the design of various buildings where a similar cogeneration system could be implemented. It will assist in selection of equipment and of operating conditions to realize an efficient and economic cogeneration system.

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