Improvement of fuel sources and energy products flexibility in coal power plants via energy-cyber-physical-systems approach

Haitao Zhao, Peng Jiang, Zhe Chen, Collins I. Ezeh, Yuanda Hong, Yishan Guo, Chenghang Zheng, Hrvoje Džapo, Xiang Gao, Tao Wu

    Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

    22 Citations (Scopus)


    The fluctuating energy requirement from time-varying demand changes require flexible power system to respond to the dynamic load balance. In certain scenarios, flexible power systems are necessary to provide high system efficiencies and increase the long-term economic benefits. Therefore, it is important to identify the relationship between energy requirement of a city and/or industrial zone with the dynamics of a flexible power system. In this paper, we evaluate the possible benefits of adopting the energy-cyber-physical-systems (e-CPSs) concept in realization of a flexible closed-loop control power system in case of coal-sewage sludge co-combustion. The case study performance analysis of flexibility, efficiency and economics (FEE) for a 356 MW coal-fired power plant was conducted by means of simulation in Aspen PLUS software. The analysis was based on a specific multifarious model of a dynamic power system with two energy sources and four energy products. The results confirmed that substantial advantages including a more flexible, efficient and economically viable system can be achieved by using e-CPSs based solution in different case scenarios. Moreover, following the analyzed data from the proposed case scenarios, a forecasting model for optimization of the power plant parameters based on the use of artificial neural network (ANN) was established. The results showed that ANN-based approach for predictive model is capable of modelling the complex process within an acceptable prediction accuracy. The study demonstrates that the proposed flexible closed-loop control power system based on e-CPSs concept is able to achieve higher efficiency and economic benefits compared to the traditional approaches.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number113554
    JournalApplied Energy
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2019


    • ANN
    • Aspen PLUS
    • CCHP
    • Co-combustion
    • Coal
    • Energy flexibility
    • Sewage sludge
    • e-CPS

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Building and Construction
    • Mechanical Engineering
    • Energy (all)
    • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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