Combined Cooling Heat and Power (CCHP) attained significant attention among energy professionals and academicians recently due to its superior thermal, economic and environmental benefit in comparison with conventional energy producing systems (internal combustion engine (ICE), micro-turbine, etc). Despite the abundance of literature on CCHP, only a few studies emphasized on the selection of appropriate prime mover for an economically sustainable CCHP system. Furthermore, the effect of part load efficiencies is commonly neglected during CCHP analysis. We had introduced these two new concepts of economic sustainability of specific prime mover and part load effects on efficiency to CCHP system in our previous paper. An algorithm based on hybrid load following method was utilized to determine the optimum prime mover for a particular location and weather type. No studies explored the effects of efficiency parameters and the selection strategies of prime mover in different building types for any particular location using this newly developed algorithm. Since building types dominates the electric, heating and cooling demand extensively, it is imperative to extend the prime mover selection analysis for building types for efficient CCHP operation. Economic, energy, and emission performance criteria have been utilized for the prime mover selection systems in different building types. Computer simulations were conducted for five different building categories (primary school, restaurant, small hotel, outpatient clinic and small office buildings) for each of three different types of prime movers (reciprocating internal combustion engine (ICE), micro-turbine and phosphoric acid fuel cell) in a cold climate zone (Minneapolis, MN). The simulation results of different prime movers were compared with the outcomes of a reference case (for each building in the same climate zone) that has a typical separate heating and power system. The cold climate zone (Minneapolis, MN) helped to explore the heating load effects on economic, energy, and emission performance of the buildings in comparison to other energy demands (i.e. electric and cooling demand). A hybrid load following method was executed, using improvements shown in our previous article. Performance parameters and other outcomes of this study showed that economic savings were observed for the ICE in all building types, and the micro-turbine in some building types. Internal rate of returns of ICE are 22.4%, 14.7%, 20.5%, 14.6% and 6.5% for primary school, restaurant, small hotel, outpatient clinic and small office respectively. ICE also shows highest energy savings among all three prime movers with an energy savings of 20%, 17.2%, 25.7%, 23.8% and 9.7% for primary school, restaurant, small hotel, outpatient clinic and small office respectively. For all types of prime mover based CCHP systems, lower CO2 emission was observed for all building types. However, unlike ICE, which is preferable in terms of economic and energy savings, emission analysis shows that micro-turbine poses better emission characteristics compared to other types of prime movers. CO2 emission for micro-turbine savings are 67.1%, 62.2%, 82%, 43.2% and 81.4% for primary school, restaurant, small hotel, outpatient clinic and small office respectively. The relationship between the power and thermal demand of the different buildings was determined to be a significant factor in CCHP system performance. A sensitivity analysis determining the effects of heat exchanger and heating coil efficiencies on the performance of CCHP systems shows that the economic performance was most sensitive to the heat exchanger efficiency, while energy consumption and emissions was most sensitive to the heating coil and boiler efficiency.

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