Amongst the various alternatives for the combined production of heat and power, the systems based on a gas turbine are becoming increasingly attractive. In addition to the high thermal efficiency, they can also operate on a wide variety of fuels. The basic configuration of a simple cogeneration system consisting of a gas turbine and a heat recovery steam generator has been used to illustrate the application of nonlinear optimization numerical methods as a tool to evaluate and optimize complex energy systems. The problem was formulated as the minimization of costs as the objective function, subject to the constraints imposed by the physical and thermodynamic quantities. Two numerical nonlinear optimization methods with constraints have been tested using a Fortran code and the MATLAB® environment. The model has been evaluated on a real cogeneration plant consisting of a gas turbine heat recovery system of a local textile factory.

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