Two procedures for splitting a large optimization energy systems problem into a hierarchy of separated but coupled subproblems are introduced.

The mathematical formulations of the two multilevel optimization procedures are presented and discussed. Both the methods are based on a linear decomposition principle. In the first, the concept of optimal sensitivity is utilized, while in the second this concept is relaxed and the mathematical formulation is more simple.

The applicability of the analyzed procedures will be illustrated by formulation of realistic analysis and design problems in the field of gas turbine systems, in the second part of the present work (Ghiglino and Massardo, 1994).

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