Combined heat and power, Dynamic optimization, Optimal design, Optimal control, Combined scheduling and control


This work presents a detailed case study for the optimization of the expansion of a district energy system evaluating the investment decision timing, type of capacity expansion, and fine-scale operational modes. The study develops an optimization framework to find the investment schedule over 30 years with options of investing in traditional heating sources (boilers) or a next-generation combined heat and power (CHP) plant that provides heat and electricity. In district energy systems, the selected capacity and type of system is dependent on demand-side requirements, energy prices, and environmental costs. This work formulates capacity planning over a time horizon as a dynamic optimal control problem considering both operational modes and capital investment decisions. The initial plant is modified by the dynamic optimization throughout the 30 years to maximize profitability. The combined optimal controller and capital investment planner solves a large scale mixed integer nonlinear programming problem to provide the timing and size of the capacity investment (30 year outlook) and also guidance on the mode of operation (1 h time intervals). The optimizer meets optimal economic, environmental, and regulatory constraints with the suggested design and operational guidance with daily cyclical load following of heat and electricity demand.

Original Publication Citation

Mojica, Jose L., et al. "Optimal combined long-term facility design and short-term operational strategy for CHP capacity investments." Energy 118 (2017): 97-115.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL






Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology


Chemical Engineering

University Standing at Time of Publication

Assistant Professor