In designing energy supply systems, designers are requested to rationally determine equipment types, capacities, and numbers in consideration of equipment operational strategies corresponding to seasonal and hourly variations in energy demands. However, energy demands have some uncertainty at the design stage, and the energy demands which become certain at the operation stage may differ from those estimated at the design stage. Therefore, designers should consider that energy demands have some uncertainty, evaluate the performance robustness against the uncertainty, and design the systems to heighten the robustness. Especially, this issue is important for cogeneration plants, because their performances depend significantly on both heat and power demands. Although robust optimal design methods of energy supply systems under uncertain energy demands were developed, all of them are based on linear models for energy supply systems. However, it is still a hard challenge to develop a robust optimal design method even based on a mixed-integer linear model. At the first step for this challenge, in this paper, a method of evaluating the performance robustness of energy supply systems under uncertain energy demands is proposed based on a mixed-integer linear model. This problem is formulated as a bilevel mixed-integer linear programming one, and a sequential solution method is applied to solve it approximately by discretizing uncertain energy demands within their intervals. In addition, a hierarchical optimization method in consideration of the hierarchical relationship between design and operation variables is applied to solve large scale problems efficiently. Through a case study on a gas turbine cogeneration plant for district energy supply, the validity and effectiveness of the proposed method and features of the performance robustness of the plant are clarified.

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