The paper presents a model for thermoeconomic analysis and optimal design of steam power plants, for power generation and cogeneration use. The model, including both thermodynamic and economic description of a general steam power plant with regeneration, reheating and cogeneration, can be used for simulations, parametric analysis and optimization, with mathematical programming techniques. The variability of components performance and efficiency versus costs can be also analyzed, and optimal trade-off between costs and performace obtained by optimization analysis. Significant applications to cogeneration are presented in the paper, discussing the effects of electrical and thermal loads, fuel price and changes in technology. The computer code, built in Matlab®, allows to perform complex optimization analyses with very limited computational time.

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