Distributed generation and trigeneration: energy saving opportunities in Italian supermarket sector

Alessia Arteconi, Caterina Brandoni, Fabio Polonara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents an analysis of the potential for introducing distributed generation systems in the supermarket sector in the light of Italian legislation (inasmuch as concerns tax incentives and regulations) with a view to arriving at some generally applicable criteria. The energy users in question are characterized by a strong demand for energy for refrigeration for food preservation and for ambient air-conditioning during the summer. This makes supermarkets particularly suitable for trigeneration applications with the prime mover coupled with absorption systems. This study analyses the feasibility of implementing trigeneration systems for the combined production of electricity and ambient heating and air-conditioning energy or, alternatively, for the combined generation of electrical energy and refrigeration for the preservation of food. Finally, the hypothesis of combining trigeneration systems with photovoltaic systems aimed at maximizing the energy saving achievable was also considered. This paper analyses the various technologies from a technical, economic and environmental standpoint, enabling advantages and disadvantages to be identified in relation to a real case.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1735-1743
JournalApplied Thermal Engineering
Issue number8-9
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 19 Aug 2009


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