The design of multi-carrier energy systems (MESs) has become increasingly important in the last decades, due to the need to move towards more efficient, flexible, and reliable power systems. In a MES, electricity, heating, cooling, water, and other resources interact at various levels, in order to get optimized operation. The aim of this study is to identify the optimal combination of components, their optimal sizes, and operating schedule allowing minimizing the annual cost for meeting the energy demand of Pantelleria, a Mediterranean island. Starting from the existing energy system (comprising diesel generators, desalination plant, freshwater storage, heat pumps, and domestic hot water storages) the installation of solar resources (photovoltaic and solar thermal) and electrical storage were considered. In this way, the optimal scheduling of storage units injections, water desalination operation, and domestic hot water production was deduced. An energy hub model was implemented using MATLAB to represent the problem. All equations in the model are linear functions, and variables are real or integer. Thus, a mixed integer linear programming algorithm was used for the solution of the optimization problem. Results prove that the method allows a strong reduction of operating costs of diesel generators also in the existing configuration.
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