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Desalination 229 (2008) 2132

Optimal design of a cogeneration plant for power and desalination taking equipment reliability into consideration
Ali M. El-Nashar
22 Ahmed Gharbo St., Apt. #703, Zizinia, Alexandria, Egypt Tel. +20 (012) 382-5263; email:

Received 2 April 2007; accepted revised 9 July 2007

Abstract This paper presents a method for incorporating equipment reliability considerations into the optimal design of cogeneration systems for power and desalination. Design optimization is carried out using thermoeconomic theory using exergy as the transferable material while equipment reliability is carried out using the statespace method that uses the Markov process. Procedure for cost allocation of power and water is described. The procedure is applied in an example cogeneration plant using a simple gas turbine, heat recovery steam generator and MSF seawater desalination plant. Keywords: Cogeneration; Desalination; Thermoeconomic modeling; Reliability

1. Introduction In the past two decades, reliability methods have found widespread application in many industries and they are becoming more popular in the field of reliability assessment of chemical refineries. The main objective of any cogeneration utility in a competitive environment is to supply customers with electrical energy and water as economically as possible and with a high degree of reliability and quality. The utility companies have been making every effort to achieve this objective. To increase competitiveness and market value of cogeneration systems, it is important to ana-

lyze the influence of equipment reliability on the resulting cost of power and water. The reliability and economics of a cogeneration supply system have always been conflicting parameters. These parameters can be dealt with by establishing quantitative links between them. Such links can best be established by using probabilistic criteria which consider the stochastic nature of component outages, customer demands, etc. System managers and planners strive to obtain the highest possible reliability within the socioeconomic constraints. Many researchers and utilities are now using probabilistic approaches to relate to the overall cost to society of provid-

0011-9164/08/$ See front matter 2008 P ublished by Elsevier B.V.



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ing quality and continuity of electric and water supply to the societal worth (benefit) of having that level of reliability. This paper is concerned with probabilistic reliability evaluation of cogeneration systems. 2. Design optimization Design optimization implies finding the optimum technical characteristics (specifications) of the components and the properties of the substances entering and leaving each component when the system operates at full load (design point). The word design is used here to imply the technical characteristics (specifications) of the components and the properties of the substances entering and leaving each component at the nominal load of the system (design condition). The nominal load is usually called the design point of the system. The design optimization procedure described here is fully described by El-Sayed [1]. 2.1. The general optimization problem The search for an optimal design involves a search over alternative system configurations and for a given configuration over its alternative design points. The number of feasible design points is generated by the large number of decision variables that represent the degrees of design freedom of a given configuration. In engineering, the objective function is usually a multi-criteria function. Some criteria can be quantified in money such as fuel, equipment and maintenance costs. Others involve non-unique assumptions such as simplicity, reliability, safety, and health hazards. In the design phase of an energy system, however, concern peaks around two criteria: fuel and equipment without violating other desired criteria. The objective function focuses on fuel and equipment by specifying two resources required by energy-conversion systems: resources to make the devices and resources to operate it. The leading item of the making resources is the

capital cost. The capital cost of a device can be expressed as

Z = cai Ai + k


where cai is a coefficient and Ai is a characteristic area that specifies the size (or capacity) of component i. Ai is a function of the design capacity of the unit and its efficiency. The capital cost rate Z ($/h) can be expressed as the capital cost times the capital recovery rate cz
Z = c z Z = cz ca A + k


where k is a constant. The leading item of the operating resources are the fuel resource and maintenance expenses. The objective function Ji of device i to minimize at the device level is:
J i = c zi cai Ai + cdi Di


where both Ai and Di are functions of the capacity and efficiency of the device, tending to increase with capacity and decrease with efficiency. The rates of operating resources that do not go to the products are directly quantified by the rates of exergy destruction D. In monetary units the operating (fuel) cost rate can be expressed as
CF = cDi Di = cF F
i =1 n


where cDi is the cost of exergy destruction of device i and cF is the cost of primary fuel supply at the system boundary and F is the fuel rate. The objective function at the system level given a sizing parameter for the production rate and assuming one fueling resource is:
Minimize J s = cF F + czi Z i
i =1 n

= cDi Di + czi cai Ai

i =1


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In the above equation the device cost, Zi, is expressed in terms of a characterizing dimension (surface), Ai which can in turn be expressed in terms of capacity (or duty) and efficiency parameters as follows:
n n n Ai = ki x1n1 x2 2 x3 3 x4 4

J s min = J i min



The proof of converging local optimizations with respect to local decision variables to converge to a system minimum was shown by ElSayed [1] by quoting his statement what is good for a process is good for the system. 2.2. Production cost allocation The production cost is allocated between the two products (electricity and desalted water) as follows: (1) The capital cost is divided into three parts, one part covers the system devices that are serving product #1 (electricity) ,Z1, and the second part covers devices that are serving product #2 (water), Z2, and the third part covers the cost of common devices serving both products, Z12. The third part is split between electricity and water in the same way as the capital allocated to each. Thus the capital allocated to each product can be expressed as:

where k is a constant, x1, x2, x3 and x4 are capacity and efficiency device design parameters and n1, n2, n3, n4 are constant exponents. The cost indexes cF and cz in Eq. (5) can be expressed by the following simple model given by El-Sayed [1]:
cF = cFo exp ( n i f ) 1 / ( i f n ) cz = id / (1 exp ( n id ) )


where n is the number of years, if is the inflation rate, id is the discount rate and cFo is the initial fuel price. The minimum exergy destruction for a device is formulated in terms of the available area of that device:

Di min = kdi Aid


where kd and d are constants. For a device i the objective function can be written as:
Minimize J i ( Ai ) = czi cai Ai + cdi k di Aid

Z1 = Z i1 + Z12 Z 2 = Z i 2 + Z12


Z1 Z1 + Z 2 Z2 Z1 + Z 2



This equation gives an optimum device area and device cost given by:
( c c )1/ ( d 1) z a Aiopt = ( cd kd d ) J i min = czi cai Aiopt + cdi kdi Aid opt

(2) The primary fuel supply, F, is divided between product #1 (electricity) (F1) and product #2 (water) (F2) according to: Exergy dissipation in each product device group Share of exergy dissipation in common devices Exergy lost (wasted) by product Exergy contained in product.
F = F1 + F2


The minimum operating cost of the whole system is the sum of the device minimums:


A.M. El-Nashar / Desalination 229 (2008) 2132

F1 =

E p1 F Di 1 + E p1 + E p 2 i1



+ E j1 + E p1

Di1 + Di 2 + Di12 + E j1 + E j 2 + E p1 + E p 2 i2 i12 i1 Ep2 F Di 2 + E p1 + E p 2 i2 Di12 + E j 2 + E p 2 i12


F2 =

Di1 + Di 2 + Di12 + E p1 + E j1 + E j 2 + E p 2 i2 i12 i1

where Di1 is the dissipation of product #1 device, Di2 is the dissipation of product #2 device, Di12 is the dissipation of a device common to both products, Ep1 is the exergy of product #1, Ep2 is the exergy of product #2, Ej1 is the exergy of the wasted (dumped) stream from product #1 and Ej2 is the exergy of the wasted (dumped) stream from product #2. As can be seen from the equations above, the dissipation of the common devices is split between the two products according the fraction of exergy carried by each product. The numerator in the expressions for F1 and F2 represent the total fuel exergy supplied to the system.

In the present work the StateSpace Method has been selected for the following reasons: it is appropriate for quantitative analysis of availability, reliability and maintainability of systems; it can be used with large, complex systems; it is not only useful, but often irreplaceable, for assessing repairable systems. For the readers convenience, it is described in brief in the following. The method consists of three steps: 3.1. Step 1 Identification of all functional and failure modes of the system my making an inventory of all possible sytates A Markovian process with discrete states and discrete time is a Markovian chain. For such a process it is convenient to consider the moments of time t1, t2, when the system S can change its state, as successive steps in the process, from the initial state S(0) to the states S(1), S(2),.,S(k), The event {S(k) = si} that the system is found in the state si immediately after the kth step (i = 1,2,) is a random event. Therefore, the sequence of states S(0), S(1), S(2),,S(k).can be viewed as random events. Let P(k) is the probability that the system S is in the state si, i = 1,2,n after taking the kth step and prior to the (k + 1)th step. The set of probabilities Pi(k) is the probabilities of the states of a Markovian Chain. For any k we must have:

3. Reliability analysis in energy systems Cogeneration plants are made up of a large number of components, with multiple interactions and functional dependencies. Failure of a component may result in failure of a sub-system or of the whole system with various detrimental consequences: loss of power may result in loss of production, in damage of production equipment and it may cause accidents. Therefore, reliability has to be considered in the design and implementation of energy systems. Many reliability analysis methods have been developed throughout the years, that can be grouped into qualitative and quantitative methods [24].

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Pi (k ) = 1
i =1

k = 0,1, 2...


P (k ) =1
j =1 ij

i = 0,1, 2...


For a system of K components the number of possible states is

I = 2K


The knowledge of the initial probability Pi(0) and the transition matrix [Pij] enables one to evaluate the probability Pi(k) at any step k. This can be done on the basis of the recursion formula:

3.2. Step 2 Establishment of all rules for transition between states and formulation of the transition rate matrix (TRM) The probability of transition of a system from state i to state j, Pij , is a conditional probability that the system S will be found in the state sj after taking the kth step, provided that it was in state si after the previous (k 1)th step was taken. This can be expressed as:
P {S ( k ) = s j | S ( k 1) = si } = Pij

Pi ( k ) = Pj ( k 1) Pji
j =1

i, j = 1,2,...n


A Markovian process with discrete states but continuous time is a continuous Markov chain. For such a process, the probability of transition from state si to state sj , Pij is replaced by the transition probability density ij The probability of state i, at any time t, Pi(t), as given by Kolmogorov [3] can be expressed by:


dPi ( t ) dt

The first index i is the state of the system at the earlier moment of time and the second j the later moment. A system having n states have a transition probability matrix given by:
P 11 P 21 [ Pij ] = ... Pi1 Pn1 P 12 P22 ... Pi 2 Pn 2 ... P j 1 ... P2 j ... ... ... Pij ... Pnj ... P n 1 ... P2 n ... ... ... Pin ... Pnn

= ji Pj ( t ) Pi ( t ) ij
j =1


i = 1, 2, ..., n

where (17)

P (t ) = 1
i =1 i

For a two-component system we have four states as shown in Fig. 1. Applying Kolmogorovequation for each state we get [57]:

0 1 ( 1 + 2 ) 1 2 1 ( 2 + 1 ) 0 1 2 Pij = 2 1 0 1 ( 1 + 2 ) 2 1 0 1 ( 1 + 2 )



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1 State 1 #1 Up #2 Up 1 2 2 1 State 3 #1 Up #2 Down 1

Fig. 1. Example state-space graph of a two-component system.

State 2 #1 Down #2 Up

State 4 #1 Down #2 Down

The steady state probabilities were derived as follows:

P= 1 1 2 ( 1 + 1 )( 2 + 2 )

s = 1 + 2

s =

1 + 2 1 / 1 + 2 / 2 + 1 2 /(1 2 )


1 2 P2 = ( 1 + 1 )( 2 + 2 ) P3 = 21 ( 1 + 1 )( 2 + 2 )


The expression for s in the above equation can be approximated by noting that the term 12/ (12) in the denominator of the second equation is much small that of the other two terms:

1 2 P4 = ( 1 + 1 )( 2 + 2 )

s =

1 + 2 1 / 1 + 2 / 2


Consider the two components as representing the gas turbine (GT) and the exhaust heat steam generator (EHSG) which are two components in series. The probability of the two components in the Up State is P1 as given by Eq. (23). If the two components are represented by a single model characterizing the failure (s) and repair rates (s) of the combined system, it can be shown that [5,8 10]:

In general for n-component series system we have:

n = i
i =1 n

n =

i =1


i =1

/ i

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3.3. Step 3 Evaluate the cost of products and net profit The expected value of product cost can be obtained using the state probabilities Pis as weights for every possible operating state, Pi, obtained in Step 2 above. The product costs can be obtained from the equations
ce = Pcei i

4.1. Description of the example system Fig. 2 shows a schematic of the cogeneration system considered. The example system is a cogeneration plant for power and seawater desalination which consists of a simple cycle gas turbine (GT), a heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) and a multistage flash (MSF) plant of the brine recycle type. The gas turbine has nominal power of 100 MW and a net power output of 95 MW. The MSF unit has a rated capacity of 7.7 MGD (1431.7 t/h) and has a top brine temperature of 115C. Basic features of the gas turbine have a multistage axial compressor where tip blade speed and axial air velocity are kept constant at 350 m/s and 150 m/s, respectively [1]. Mass rate, pressure ratio and temperature rise per stage are varied and the number of stages, total surface of fixed and moving blades, adiabatic efficiency and rotor speed are computed. The gas expander is axial with un-cooled blades having a tip speed of 240 m/s. The inlet gas temperature is fixed at 870C. The total blade surface of the fixed

cw = Pcwi i


4. Application to a cogeneration system for power and desalination As a demonstration of the application of the design optimization and reliability procedures outlined above and the resulting cost of the products from a typical cogeneration plant for power and desalination, the following example is given.

fuel combustor





Brine heater distillate

Gas Turbine
air HRSG

MSF Plant

exhaust gas


Fig. 2. Schematic of the cogeneration plant.


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and moving blades is correlated in terms of gas rate, expansion ratio and efficiency parameter /(1 ). The heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) is a single-pressure water tube boiler of the radiant type. The water boils in the tubes and the vapor formed is separated in an upper drum. Heat exchange takes place by convection, conduction and radiation between the hot gas flowing in a duct and water inside the tubes. The surface of the wall tubes is correlated in terms of the rate of heat transfer and the conventional logarithmic mean temperature difference. Steam produced by the HRSG is first throttled before going in the brine heater of the MSF plant to reduce its pressure to about 1.5 bar. The MSF plant is a brine recycle-type and has a top brine temperature of 115C and a bottom design temperature of 35C. 4.2. Thermoeconomic modeling of the system The cost models provided by El-Sayed [1] were used for the main plant components and are given below: Compressor:
Z = 3389.4 M Pr 0.45 e0.45 25 M (kg/s) 455; 5 Pr 15; 2.3 e 11.5

Heat recovery steam generator:

Z = 10393.6 Q Tm 1 dPt 0.33 dPs0.26

25 Q(MWt ) 55; 40 Tm (o C) 110; (30) 40 dPt (kPa) 90; 0.4 dPs (kPa) 3

Brine heater:
Z = 157.8 Q Tt 0.7 dPt 0.08 dPs0.04 40 Q (MWt ) 185; 5 Tt (o C) 15; (31) 0.1 dPt (kPa); 0.001 dPs (kPa) 1.3

Multistage flash plant:

Z = 688 Q Tn0.75 Tt 0.5 dPt 0.1 14 Q (MWt ) 110; 1.7 Tn ( o C) 6; (32) 1.7 Tt ( oC ) 7; 13 dPt (kPa) 70


Gas expander:
Z = 7263 M Pr 0.5 e0.85 25 M (kg/s) 455; 5 Pr 15; 4 e 19

where Z is the device capital cost in US$, M is the mass flow rate in kg/s, Pr is the pressure ratio, P is the pressure in MPa, dP is the pressure drop in kPa, with subscript t refers to tubes, subscript s refers to shell, T is the temperature drop in C with subscript m refers to log-mean temperature difference, n refers to flash drop per stage, Q refers to heat transfer rate in kW and e is the efficiency ratio e/(1 e). For the economic evaluation, the capital recovery is assumed 10% and the number of plant operating hours per year 8000.


5. Results For repair times of r1 = 20 d, r2 = 5 d, and r3 = 15 d for the GT plant, the HRSG and the MSF plant we can write: 1 = 0.05 repair/d, 2 = 0.2 repair/d, 3 = 0.067 repair/d

Z = 561.1 M 0.5 P 0.24 dP 0.75 180 M (kg/s) 410; 0.34 P (MPa) 1.38; 0.01 dP (kPa) 0.3


The availability of the system that consists of the three components (GT, HRSG and MSF plant) is the probability of the system being in an Up

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State P0. Assuming identical failure rate for each of the three components, 1= 2 = 3 = , we get:
P0 = s s + s

1 + 2 + 3 (201 + 5 2 + 15 3 ) = 1 + 2 + 3 + (1 + 2 + 3 ) (201 + 5 2 + 153 ) = 1 1 + 40

2.08 2.06 2.04 2.02 2 1.98 1.96 1.94 1.92 1.9 1.88 0 0.2


The cost allocated to water and power are calculated using Eq. (9) after the optimum (lowest) production cost (capital charge plus fuel cost plus O&M cost) has been achieved by the optimization program. The effect of cogeneration system failure rate on the cost of water and power is shown in Fig. 3 and Fig. 4, respectively. As shown, the cost of each increases with increasing system failure rate due to the increase in unexpected (unplanned) system downtime for repair action. Fig. 5 shows the influence of the primary fuel cost on the cost of water with and without reli-

Cost of water, $/m





System failure rate, failure/y

Fig. 3. Effect of system failure rate on the cost of water.


Cost of power, $/kWh

0.1 0.099 0.098 0.097 0.096 0.095 0.094 0.093 0.092 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2

System failure rate, failure/y

Fig. 4. Effect of system failure on the cost of power.


A.M. El-Nashar / Desalination 229 (2008) 2132

cost of water (no reliability), $/m3

cost of water (with reliability), $/m3

Cost of water, $/m

3.5 3 2.5 2 1.5 1 0.5 0 0.03 0.04 0.05 0.06 0.07

Cost of primary fuel, $/kWh

Fig. 5. Cost of water with and without reliability considerations ( = 0.0027, 1 = 0.05, 2= 0.2, 3= 0.067).

ability considerations. The results shown here are applicable to an assumed equipment failure rate = 0.0027 failure/d (equivalent to 1 failure/y) and the repair rates assumed above. Based on these values we have P0 = 0.9025. As can be seen from this figure, the effect of the inclusion of equipment reliability is to increase the water cost due to unexpected equipment downtime resulting from failure and subsequent equipment repair. The same trend applies for the cost of power as shown in Fig. 6. The sensitivity of the cost of water and electricity to changes in equipment capital cost is

shown in Fig. 7 and Fig. 8, respectively. As can be seen, a 50% increase in capital cost results in approximately 15% increase in water cost and a 5% in power cost. The sensitivity of the optimal performance ratio (PR) and number of stages of the MSF plant to variation in the primary fuel cost is shown in Fig. 9. The PR is seen to increase slightly as the fuel cost increases but soon reaches a plateau where it reaches a limiting value of about 10. The number of stages increases from 24 at a fuel cost of 0.03 $/kWh to 27 at high fuel costs.

cost of power (no reliability) $/kWh


cost of power (with reliability) $/kWh

Cost of power, $/kWh

0.16 0.12 0.08 0.04 0






Cost of primary fuel, $/kWh

Fig. 6. Cost of power with and without reliability considerations ( = 0.0027, 1 = 0.05, 2= 0.2, 3= 0.067).

A.M. El-Nashar / Desalination 229 (2008) 2132



Cost of water, $/m 3

2.2 2.1 2 1.9 1.8 1.7 0.9 1 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5

Capital cost multiplication factor

Fig. 7. Sensitivity of cost of water to variation in capital cost of equipment (cost of primary fuel = 0.03 $/kWh).


Cost of power, $/kWh

0.098 0.097 0.096 0.095 0.094 0.093 0.092 0.091 0.09 0.9 1 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5

Capital cost multiplication factor

Fig. 8. Sensitivity of cost of power to variation in capital cost of equipment (cost of primary fuel = 0.03 $/kWh).

no. of MSF stages


performance ratio

PR and number of stages

25 20 15 10 5 0
0.03 0.04 0.05 0.06 0.07

Cost of primary fuel, $/kWh

Fig. 9. Optimal performance ratio and number of stages of MSF plant.


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6. Conclusions Reliability considerations have been successfully incorporated in the design optimization of cogeneration systems for power and desalination. In the present work the State-Space Method has been selected for the reliability analysis. Design optimization using the field of thermoeconomics and second law (exergy) analysis. The numerical example given has shown that the introduction of reliability leads to higher product costs due to reduced plant uptime. The example has shown that reliability considerations are important and should be carried out in any cogeneration system design. Symbols A cF D dP dT e E F id if I k K M n P P0 Pr Q J T t x Z Area, m Cost of fuel, $/kWht Exergy destruction, kW Pressure differerence, kPa Temperature difference, oC Efficiency ratio, /(1 ) Exergy, kW Primary fuel rate, kW Discount rate Inflation rate Number of states Time step Number of components Mass flow rate, kg/s Number of years Pressure, MPa, state probability Initial state probability Pressure ratio Heat rate, kW Objective function Temperature, K Time, h Design parameter Capital cost of equipment, US$


Transition rate, transition/d Repair rate, repair/d

Subscripts 1,2,3 System components or design parameters e Electrical power i, j State indexes p1 Product #1 p2 Product #2 s Shell side, system t Tube side w Desalted water

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Greek Efficiency Failure rate, failure/d