The use of waste heat recovery (WHR) options to produce electricity, heating, cooling, and freshwater for residential buildings


1 School of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Tehran, P.O. Box 11155-4563, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Energy, Polytechnic University of Milan, Milan, Italy


In recent years, there is a growing attention drawn to the area of building-integrated CCHP systems, due to its high capability in cost and energy saving. In this study, a residential scale multigenerational system is proposed to generate power by using solid oxide fuel cell and gas turbine (hybrid SOFC/GT), heating (by using HRSG), cooling (by using a double-effect absorption chiller) and freshwater (by using a Revers osmose plant). The system is modeled in engineering equation solver and studied from energy, exergy, economic and environmental standpoints. A parametric study is conducted in order to define the crucial decision variables in the system, and their effect on the overall exergy efficiency and unit product cost, along with the rate of freshwater production is observed. Results of the parametric study demonstrated that fuel utilization factor, stack temperature difference, current density, and the pressure ratio of air compressor have the most substantial influence on the behavior of the proposed system. Moreover, obtained results revealed that the energy and exergy efficiency of the system reaches 86.32% and 69.06%, respectively. In addition, the rate of freshwater production and unit product cost of the entire system becomes 256 L/day and 37.78 $/ Furthermore, the emission of the proposed system becomes 0.225 ton/, which faces a 31% reduction compared to the standalone power generation system.


[1] Behzadi A, Gholamian E, Houshfar E, Ashjaee M, Habibollahzade A. Thermoeconomic analysis of a hybrid PVT solar system integrated with double effect absorption chiller for cooling/hydrogen production. Energy Equip Syst 2018; 6:41327.
[2] Habibollahzade A, Houshfar E, Ashjaee M, Gholamian E, Behzadi A. Enhanced performance and reduced payback period of a low grade geothermal-based ORC through employing two TEGs. Energy Equip Syst 2019;7:23–39.
[3] Mirzaee M, Zare R, Sadeghzadeh M, Maddah H, Ahmadi MH, Acıkkalp E, et al. Thermodynamic analyses of different scenarios in a CCHP system with micro turbine – Absorption chiller, and heat exchanger. Energy Convers Manag 2019;198:111919.
[4] Mortazavi Beni H, Ahmadi Nadooshan A, Bayareh M. The energy and exergy analysis of a novel cogeneration organic Rankine power and two-stage compression refrigeration cycle. Energy Equip Syst 2017;5:299–312.
[5] Habibollahzade A, Gholamian E, Houshfar E, Behzadi A. Multi-objective Optimization of Biomass-based Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Integrated with Stirling Engine and Electrolyzer. Energy Convers Manag 2018;171:1116–33.
[6] Behbahani-nia A, Shams S. Thermoeconomic optimization and exergy analysis of transcritical CO2 refrigeration cycle with an ejector. Energy Equip Syst 2016;4:4352.
[7] Naserian MM, Farahat S, Sarhaddi F. Exergoeconomic analysis and genetic algorithm power optimization of an irreversible regenerative Brayton cycle. Exergoeconomic Anal Genet Algorithm Power Optim an Irreversible Regen Brayt Cycle 2016;4:188–203.
[8] Behzadi A, Gholamian E, Houshfar E, Habibollahzade A. Multi-objective optimization and exergoeconomic analysis of waste heat recovery from Tehran’s waste-to-energy plant integrated with an ORC unit. Energy 2018;160:1055–68.
[9] Abbasi M, Chahartaghi M, Hashemian SM. Energy, exergy, and economic evaluations of a CCHP system by using the internal combustion engines and gas turbine as prime movers. Energy Convers Manag 2018;173:359–74.
[10] Li M, Mu H, Li N, Ma B. Optimal design and operation strategy for integrated evaluation of CCHP (combined cooling heating and power) system. Energy 2016;99:202–20.
[11] Rajamand S, Ketabi A, Zahedi A. Simultaneous power sharing and protection against faults for DGs in microgrid with different loads. Energy Equip Syst 2019;7:279–95.
[12] Khademi M, Behzadi Forough A, Khosravi A. Techno-economic operation optimization of a HRSG in combined cycle power plants based on evolutionary algorithms: A case study of Yazd, Iran. Energy Equip Syst 2019;7:67–79.
[13] Ghasemkhani A, Farahat S, Naserian MM. The development and assessment of solar-driven Tri-generation system energy and optimization of criteria comparison. Energy Equip Syst 2018;6:367–79.
[14] Mehrpooya M, Sadeghzadeh M, Rahimi A, Pouriman M. Technical performance analysis of a combined cooling heating and power (CCHP) system based on solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology – A building application. Energy Convers Manag 2019;198:111767.
[15] Wang Z, Han W, Zhang N, Liu M, Jin H. Proposal and assessment of a new CCHP system integrating gas turbine and heat-driven cooling/power cogeneration. Energy Convers Manag 2017;144:1–9.
[16] Li L, Mu H, Gao W, Li M. Optimization and analysis of CCHP system based on energy loads coupling of residential and office buildings. Appl Energy 2014;136:206–16.
[17] Jing R, Wang M, Brandon N, Zhao Y. Multi-criteria evaluation of solid oxide fuel cell based combined cooling heating and power (SOFC-CCHP) applications for public buildings in China. Energy 2017;141:273–89.
[18] Hossein Abbasi M, Sayyaadi H, Tahmasbzadebaie M. A methodology to obtain the foremost type and optimal size of the prime mover of a CCHP system for a large-scale residential application. Appl Therm Eng 2018;135:389–405.
[19] Feng L, Dai X, Mo J, Shi L. Performance assessment of CCHP systems with different cooling supply modes and operation strategies. Energy Convers Manag 2019;192:188–201.
[20] Moghimi M, Emadi M, Ahmadi P, Moghadasi H. 4E analysis and multi-objective optimization of a CCHP cycle based on gas turbine and ejector refrigeration. Appl Therm Eng 2018;141:516–30.
[21] Al Moussawi H, Fardoun F, Louahlia H. 4-E based optimal management of a SOFC-CCHP system model for residential applications. Energy Convers Manag 2017;151:607–29.
[22] Luo XJ, Fong KF. Development of multi-supply-multi-demand control strategy for combined cooling, heating and power system primed with solid oxide fuel cell-gas turbine. Energy Convers Manag 2017;154:538–61.
[23] Chen X, Zhou H, Li W, Yu Z, Gong G, Yan Y, et al. Multi-criteria assessment and optimization study on 5 kW PEMFC based residential CCHP system. Energy Convers Manag 2018;160:384–95.
[24] Chitgar N, Emadi MA, Chitsaz A, Rosen MA. Investigation of a novel multigeneration system driven by a SOFC for electricity and fresh water production. Energy Convers Manag 2019;196:296–310.
[25] Behzadi A, Gholamian E, Ahmadi P, Habibollahzade A, Ashjaee M. Energy, exergy and exergoeconomic (3E) analyses and multi-objective optimization of a solar and geothermal based integrated energy system. Appl Therm Eng 2018;143:1011–22.
[26] Gholamian E, Zare V, Mousavi SM. Integration of biomass gasification with a solid oxide fuel cell in a combined cooling, heating and power system: A thermodynamic and environmental analysis. Int J Hydrogen Energy 2016.
[27] Behzadi A, Habibollahzade A, Zare V, Ashjaee M. Multi-objective optimization of a hybrid biomass-based SOFC/GT/double effect absorption chiller/RO desalination system with CO2 recycle. Energy Convers Manag 2019;181:302–18.
[28] Bejan A, Tsatsaronis G. Thermal design and optimization. John Wiley & Sons; 1996.
[29] Ahmadi P, Dincer I, Rosen MA. Multi-objective optimization of a novel solar-based multigeneration energy system. Sol Energy 2014;108:576–91.
[30] Gholamian E, Zare V. A comparative thermodynamic investigation with environmental analysis of SOFC waste heat to power conversion employing Kalina and Organic Rankine Cycles. Energy Convers Manag 2016;117.
[31] Yari M, Mehr AS, Mahmoudi SMS, Santarelli M. A comparative study of two SOFC based cogeneration systems fed by municipal solid waste by means of either the gasifier or digester. Energy 2016;114:586–602.
[32] Gholamian E, Hanafizadeh P, Ahmadi P, Mazzarella L. 4E analysis and three-objective optimization for selection of the best prime mover in smart energy systems for residential applications: a comparison of four different scenarios. J Therm Anal Calorim 2020.
[33] Khani L, Mehr AS, Yari M, Mahmoudi SMS. Multi-objective optimization of an indirectly integrated solid oxide fuel cell-gas turbine cogeneration system. Int J Hydrogen Energy 2016;41:21470–88.
[34] Dincer I, Rosen MA, Ahmadi P. Optimization of Energy Systems. John Wiley & Sons,; 2017.
[35] Behzadi A, Arabkoohsar A, Gholamian E. Multi-criteria optimization of a biomass-fired proton exchange membrane fuel cell integrated with organic rankine cycle/thermoelectric generator using different gasification agents. Energy 2020;201:117640.
[36] Gholamian E, Hanafizadeh P, Ahmadi P, Mazzarella L. A transient optimization and techno-economic assessment of a building integrated combined cooling, heating and power system in Tehran. Energy Convers Manag 2020;217:112962.
[37] Bejan A, Moran MJ. Thermal design and optimization. John Wiley & Sons; 1996.
[38] Wu C, Wang S sen, Feng X jia, Li J. Energy, exergy and exergoeconomic analyses of a combined supercritical CO2 recompression Brayton/absorption refrigeration cycle. Energy Convers Manag 2017;148:360–77.
[39] Balli O, Aras H, Hepbasli A. Thermodynamic and thermoeconomic analyses of a trigeneration (TRIGEN) system with a gas-diesel engine: Part I - Methodology. Energy Convers Manag 2010;51:2252–9.
[40] Indicators E. Marshall&Swift Equipment Cost Index. Chem Eng 2011:72.
[41] Dinçer I, Rosen M, Ahmadi P. Optimization of energy systems. John Wiley & Sons; 2017.
[42] Rokni M. Thermodynamic and thermoeconomic analysis of a system with biomass gasification, solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) and Stirling engine. Energy 2014;76:19–31.
[43] Sánchez D, Chacartegui R, Torres M, Sánchez T. Stirling based fuel cell hybrid systems : An alternative for molten carbonate fuel cells 2009;192:84–93.
[44] Assar M, Blumberg T, Morosuk T, Tsatsaronis G. Comparative exergoeconomic evaluation of two modern combined-cycle power plants. Energy Convers Manag 2016;153:616–26.
[45] Landau L, Moran MJ, Shapiro HN, Boettner DD, Bailey M. Fundamentals of engineering thermodynamics. John Wiley & Sons; 2010.
[46] Bejan A, Tsatsaronis G (George), Moran MJ. Thermal design and optimization. Wiley; 1996.
[47] Gholamian E, Hanafizadeh P, Ahmadi P. Advanced exergy analysis of a carbon dioxide ammonia cascade refrigeration system. Appl Therm Eng 2018;137.
[48] Yari M, Mehr AS, Mahmoudi SMS, Santarelli M. A comparative study of two SOFC based cogeneration systems fed by municipal solid waste by means of either the gasifier or digester. Energy 2016;114:586–602.
[49] Ahmadi P, Dincer I, Rosen MA. Exergy, exergoeconomic and environmental analyses and evolutionary algorithm based multi-objective optimization of combined cycle power plants. Energy 2011;36:5886–98.
[50] Gholamian E, Hanafizadeh P, Ahmadi P. Exergo-economic analysis of a hybrid anode and cathode recycling SOFC/Stirling engine for aviation applications. Int J Sustain Aviat 2018; 4:11.
[51] Tao G, Armstrong T, Virkar A. Intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cell (IT-SOFC) research and development activities at MSRI. Ninet. Annu. ACERC&ICES Conf. Utah, 2005.
[52] Nemati A, Sadeghi M, Yari M. Exergoeconomic analysis and multi-objective optimization of a marine engine waste heat driven RO desalination system integrated with an organic Rankine cycle using zeotropic working fl uid. Desalination 2017;422:113–23.
[53] Gomri R, Hakimi R. Second law analysis of double effect vapour absorption cooler system. Energy Convers Manag 2008; 49:3343–8.