Thermoeconomic diagnosis procedures in the literature rely on the assumption that specific consumption of resources in the components are the key to interpret the effects of malfunctions and then to trace a path towards the sources of anomalies. The main obstacle to a successful application of these approaches is represented by the actual interactions existing among components which cause a propagation of the alteration of component specific consumptions and therefore mask those effects that would allow a direct identification of the origin of malfunction. This paper presents an extensive discussion of potentialities and limits of diagnosis procedures proposed in the literature in distinguishing the effects induced by component interactions from those that are intrinsically generated by the anomaly, which is considered here as the main task to locate effectively causes of malfunctions in energy systems.

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