Journal article

Multi-objectives, multi-period optimization of district energy systems: I. Selection of typical operating periods

Abstract The long term optimization of a district energy system is a computationally demanding task due to the large number of data points representing the energy demand profiles. In order to reduce the number of data points and therefore the computational load of the optimization model, this paper presents a systematic procedure to reduce a complete data set of the energy demand profiles into a limited number of typical periods, which adequately preserve significant characteristics of the yearly profiles. The proposed method is based on the use of a k-means clustering algorithm assisted by an ϵ-constraints optimization technique. The proposed typical periods allow us to achieve the accurate representation of the yearly consumption profiles, while significantly reducing the number of data points. The work goes one step further by breaking up each representative period into a smaller number of segments. This has the advantage of further reducing the complexity of the problem while respecting peak demands in order to properly size the system. Two case studies are discussed to demonstrate the proposed method. The results illustrate that a limited number of typical periods is sufficient to accurately represent an entire equipments’ lifetime.

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