The design optimization of complex energy conversion systems requires the consideration of typical operation conditions. Due to the complex optimization task, conventional optimization methods normally take into account only one operation point that is, in the majority of cases, the full load case. To guarantee good operation at partial loads additional operation conditions have to be taken into account during the optimization procedure. The optimization task described in this article considers altogether four different operation points of a cogeneration plant. Modelling requirements, such as the equations that describe the partial load behavior of single components, are described as well as the problems that occur, when nonlinear and nonconvex equations are used. For the solution of the resulting non-convex mixed-integer nonlinear programming (MINLP) problem, the solver LaGO is used, which requires that the optimization problem is formulated in GAMS. The results of the conventional optimization approach are compared to the results of the new method. It is shown, that without consideration of different operation points, a flexible operation of the plant may be impossible.

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