To attain the highest performance of energy supply systems, it is necessary to rationally determine types, capacities, and numbers of equipment in consideration of their operational strategies corresponding to seasonal and hourly variations in energy demands. Mixed-integer linear programming (MILP) approaches have been applied widely to such optimal design problems. The authors have proposed a MILP method utilizing the hierarchical relationship between design and operation variables to solve the optimal design problems of energy supply systems efficiently. In addition, some strategies to enhance the computation efficiency have been adopted: bounding procedures at both the levels and ordering of the optimal operation problems at the lower level. In this paper, as an additional strategy to enhance the computation efficiency, parallel computing is adopted to solve multiple optimal operation problems in parallel at the lower level. In addition, the effectiveness of each and combinations of the strategies adopted previously and newly is investigated. This hierarchical optimization method is applied to an optimal design of a gas turbine cogeneration plant, and its validity and effectiveness are clarified through some case studies.

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