HOMER Energy announces HOMER® Pro v3.10, which includes new features for greater ease-of-use and more sample data to users across the globe. This release adds a diverse library of sample loads for more accurate modeling, new templates to help get data into HOMER Pro quickly and easily, and more than 20,000 new components so users can now model with the specific hardware they need.
Get accurate load data with sample load profiles
Electric load is a critical input for a hybrid microgrid or distributed energy system. Unfortunately, load data is often hard to determine, making it difficult to obtain an accurate system design. With v3.10, HOMER Pro offers a diverse library of sample loads for more accurate modeling. HOMER Pro’s load library now includes loads for 16 different commercial building types (including hospitals, warehouses, and hotels) as well as for residential buildings in 1,020 locations. For each scenario, HOMER Pro provides hourly aggregated electric load data and the subsequent breakdown of this load by load type for fans, heating/cooling, lighting, equipment, and water systems.
Simplify interval data import options
Interval data comes in various formats from utilities, metering and building management systems. With these formats, it’s often a time-consuming process to organize data for the correct upload format. HOMER Pro v3.10 introduces five new Microsoft® Excel upload templates to help get data into HOMER Pro quickly and easily.
Model using your preferred hardware with expanded component library
With more than 20,000 new components, users can now model with the specific hardware they need. HOMER Pro has added library expansion packs that pull components from the CEC and Sandia libraries. To get these packs, go to settings and select from the list of available library expansion packs.
Combined Dispatch Algorithm offers best of both worlds
HOMER Pro finds the least-cost combination of equipment for consistently meeting the electric load. To do so, it uses a dispatch algorithm, which decides how various components are used to meet demand. In previous versions of HOMER Pro, one of two algorithms was used, either cycle charging or load following. Cycle charging uses the generator to charge the battery, providing it with more energy for future periods so the generator can be turned off during periods of low load. Load following, on the other hand, does not use the generator to charge the battery, meaning the generator will have fuel available to be used during periods of high load.
When HOMER Pro simulates energy dispatch in a system with batteries and generators, the new Combined Dispatch Algorithm, developed for the v3.10 release, bases its decisions on the tradeoff between the marginal cost of running the generator and battery wear costs. The algorithm uses current (not theoretical future) net load to decide whether to charge the battery with the generator. It uses the cycle charging dispatch strategy when the net load is low, and it uses the load following dispatch strategy when the net load is high.
Cycle charging during periods of low net load helps avoid using the generator at low loads. Load following during periods of high net load, on the other hand, allows continued use of the generator. This new algorithm thus provides superior decision making for generator/battery combination systems. It is especially useful in the energy access market, for modeling isolated community microgrids with a diesel genset and battery and load shapes in which the demand increases toward the evening.