We analyze the computational complexity of the synthesis problem of decentralized energy systems. This synthesis problem consists of combining various types of energy conversion units and determining their sizing as well as operations in order to meet time-varying energy demands while maximizing an objective function, e.g., the net present value. In this paper, we prove that the synthesis problem of decentralized energy systems is strongly NP-hard. Furthermore, we prove a strong inapproximability result. This paper provides the first complexity findings in the long scientific history of the synthesis problem of decentralized energy systems.
Published in Computers & Chemical Engineering (DOI: 10.1016/j.compchemeng.2019.02.002).