Polygeneration microgrid

Thermo-economic and Experimental Analysis of the Seaspoon Wave Energy Converter coupled to an Energy District”


(Stefano Barberis, UNIGE,on behalf of the RESILIENT project)


“Thermo-economic and Experimental Analysis of the Seaspoon Wave Energy Converter coupled to an Energy District” (Stefano Barberis, UNIGE,on behalf of the RESILIENT project)

The monitoring activities of two seasons of one of themost innovative polygenerative test pilot in Europe. The integration of heatpump to exploit thermal energy storage to store electricity too.



“The conversion of ocean wave power into sustainable electrical power represents a major opportunity to Nations endowed with such a kind of resource. At the present time the most of the technological innovations aiming at con-verting such resources are at early stage of de-velopment, with only a handful of devices close to be at the commercial demonstration stage. The Seaspoon device, thought as a large ener-gy harvester, catches the kinetic energy of ocean waves with promising conversion effi-ciency, and robust technology, according to specific “wave-motion climate”. University of Genoa developed and patented a prototype to be deployed in medium average energy content seas (i.e. Mediterranean or Eastern Asia seas). This paper presents the installation phases of the first real scale prototype installed in the gulf of Genova and the monitoring of its perfor-mances.


A brief description of the Seaspoon WEC is presented together with the monitoring equipment and procedures. In this research a thermoeconomic analysis of its integration in a real polygenerative district is also investigated. The impact of such this kind of stochastic re-newable generator in the Savona Campus Smart Polygeneration Microgrid (SPM) is evalu-ated. The SPM plant is made up by (i) two aux-iliary boilers (500kWth each), (ii) four micro gas turbines (30kWe, 2x65kWe and 100kWe), (iii) an internal combustion engine fed by natural gas (20kWe), (iv) an absorption chiller (100 kWf) and (v) PV panels for a total power in-stalled of 100 kWe. Generators are “distributed” around the campus and they are coupled to electrical and thermal storages. Since the sys-tem is constituted by co-generative prime mov-ers it can supply both electrical and thermal en-ergy of the campus and the integration of stor-age is really important in order to follow both the requests, pursuing the best management strategy. The analysis of this smart-grid is per-formed exploiting a software developed by the Author’s research group, which allows for the thermo-economic optimization of poly-generative energy systems. A model of the real plant was built and it was implemented in the software. The off-design curves of the real de-vices installed in the campus were used in or-der to increase the reliability of the simulation results. The grid was simulated considering the time dependent nature of the demands throughout the whole year. The model was used to simulate the smart grid behavior during the whole year, and find the best operational strategy. A time-dependent thermo-economic hierarchical approach has been used, consider-ing the time-dependent electrical, thermal and cooling load demands during the year as prob-lem constraints. The results are presented and discussed in depth and show the strong inter-action between fossil and renewable resources, particularly the impact of unpredictable and ran-domized generators like the WECs ones. A dedicated model of the Seaspoon was imple-mented and exploited in the code..

Stefano Barberis, University of Genova, Italy—Stefano Barberis was born in Genoa in 1988. He obtained his PhD with a thesis titlet “Polygenerative District and Integration with Energy Storage System”. He joined TPG as PhD student in 2013 and he carries out re-search about renewable energy, smart grids and energy district collaborating to RESILI-ENT project. Vincenzo Alessandro Santamaria ,University of Genova, Italy— was born in Genoa in 1985. He obtained his Master Degree in Informatics Engineering at University of Genoa in 2012 with the Thesis “Techniques of variables selection for sensor diagnostic: applica-tion to a micro gas turbine-based test rig”. He joined TPG (Thermochemical Power Group) of the University of Genoa in 2012 as temporary research fellow. He carries out research about the control and monitoring system of Seaspoon, an inno-vative Ocean Energy device for distributed microgeneration. Alberto Traverso, University of Genova, Italy— has been Scientific Responsible for the University of Genoa of more than 1Meuro research projects, including EU funded pro-jects (Energy-Hub, RESILIENT, Bio-HyPP), International projects (National Energy Tech-nology Laboratory, USA), National projects (Regional Council), private company re-search (Ansaldo Energia, D’Appolonia, Techcom, etc.). Francesco Roncallo, University of Genova, Italy— was born in Genoa in 1989. He ob-tained his Master Degree in Mechanical Engineering at University of Genoa in 2014 with the Thesis “Sustainable energy solutions in developing countries”. He joined TPG as PhD student in 2015. He’s doing research about an innovative renewable energy system based on wave energy conversion, the “Seaspoon”.