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Resource

HOMER (free registration)

Off-grid and grid-tie simulation software

HOMER is a computer model that simplifies the task of evaluating design options for both off-grid and grid-connected distributed generation (DG) applications. HOMER's optimization and sensitivity analysis algorithms allow you to evaluate the economic and technical feasibility of a large number of technology options and to account for variation in technology costs and energy resource availability.

HOMER provides the detailed rigor of chronological simulation and optimization in a relatively simple and easy to use model. It does not compete with the very detailed software used in utility regulatory processes, but is accessible to a much larger set of users, including non-technical decision makers. Chronological simulation is essential for modeling variable resources, such as solar and wind power and for cogeneration applications where the thermal load is variable. HOMER’s sensitivity analysis is essential where data is uncertain.

HOMER models both conventional and renewable energy technologies:

Power sources: • solar photovoltaic (PV) • wind turbine • run-of-river hydro power • biomass power • generator: diesel, gasoline, biogas, alternative and custom fuels, cofired • electric utility grid • microturbine • fuel cell

Storage: • battery bank • flow batteries • hydrogen

Loads: • daily profiles with seasonal variation • deferrable (water pumping, refrigeration) • thermal (space heating, crop drying) • efficiency measures