Many industries require heat or cold in their production plants. To meet these needs, companies usually equip their generation sites with combined heat and power plants.

The goal of the present study is to build an accurate 1D-physical model of a cogeneration plant and to use it to optimize the plant from design phase to operation phase. The study shows that using the Modelica language and a library of plant components such as ThermoSysPro are adequate for building a modular 1D-physical model. Once the model built, optimization tools were used for optimizing both design (component specification for allowing maximized profit and minimized investment) and operation (loads of turbines and engines for maximized profit).

Physical models may therefore be used for an optimization purpose. Moreover the developed tools may prove useful for engineers operating combined heat and power plants for monitoring and optimizing purposes.

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