The Controller component lets you specify how your HOMER system operates during the simulation. Each controller uses a unique control algorithm or dispatch strategy. If you add multiple Controller components to your model, HOMER simulates and optimizes the system with each Controller, and presents the results so you can compare the performance with each control algorithm.
To add a controller, click the Controller button under the Components tab in the toolbar. On the Controller Set Up page, select one of the following strategies: Cycle Charging, Load Following, MATLAB Link, or Generator Order and click the Add button.
Note: Before the Controller component existed in HOMER, only Load Following and Cycle Charging dispatch strategies existed. With the addition of the Controller component, the Generator Order and MATLAB Link options are available. However, Load Following and Cycle Charging are still good Controllers to model first for many systems.
After you add the Controller, you can specify a cost and a lifetime on the Controller page, or you can leave the cost set to zero (with zero cost, the lifetime doesn't matter). Determining the best Controller (and dispatch strategy) depends on many factors, including the sizes of the generators and battery bank, the price of fuel, the O&M cost of the generators, the amount of renewable power in the system, and the character of the renewable resources.
Note: The dispatch strategy is abbreviated "Dispatch" in the sensitivity and optimization results tables.