The paper presents the model of a combined heat and power (CHP) unit, based on a variable speed internal combustion engine (ICE) interfaced with a photovoltaic (PV) system. This model is validated by means of experimental data obtained on an 85 kWe CHP unit fueled with natural gas and a PV system with a rated power of 17.9 kW. Starting from daily load profiles, the model is applied to investigate the primary energy saving (PES) of the integrated CHP + PV system in several operating conditions and for different sizes of PV array. The results demonstrate the dependence of the CHP performance on the operating mode and a limited convenience of the variable speed strategy. The integrated system operation leads to performance improvements, which depend on the size of the PV component.

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