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News

NREL releases new version of energy evaluation software

DOE/National Renewable Energy Laboratory : 04 January, 2005  (New Product)
Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory recently released Version 2.1 of HOMER, a micropower optimization software model that simplifies the task of evaluating design options for both off-grid and grid-connected power systems.
Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory recently released Version 2.1 of HOMER, a micropower optimization software model that simplifies the task of evaluating design options for both off-grid and grid-connected power systems.

Users supply information about electrical loads, renewable resources and component costs and HOMER simulates multiple designs and generates an optimized list of options that can serve those loads. It is valuable for evaluating remote, stand-alone and distributed generation power applications.

The upgraded software includes the following new features:

Time of use and seasonal grid power rates
Scheduled generator operation
Hydrogen production, storage, delivery, and demand
One-click access to NREL and NASA solar resource databases
Modeling of pollutants, including carbon dioxide, nitrogen, sulfur oxide, carbon monoxide, unburned hydrocarbons and particulate emissions
Interface improvements for ease of use
Updated Help system
More than 6,000 people in 162 countries have downloaded the software to date. HOMER users are energy planners, academics and engineers in both the private and public sectors.

NREL has provided HOMER training for energy planners to support rural electrification efforts in several countries. In Sri Lanka and the Maldives, HOMER training was part of NREL's rural energy-training package that also covered resource assessment and data preparation, renewable energy technology overviews, and hybrid power system design. In Mexico, NREL staff taught a local trainer to use HOMER so he can provide training services as part of the national secretariat of energy's efforts to include renewables in rural electrification projects. Both projects were supported by the USAID.

In January 2005, NREL will conduct HOMER training as part of a broader rural energy-training program in Brasilia and Manaus Brazil, in a USAID-funded effort to support the government of Brazil's rural electrification program.
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