A sensitivity analysis can result in a large amount of output data. Every simulation that HOMER performs results in several dozen summary outputs (like the annual fuel consumption and the total capital cost) plus about a dozen arrays of time-series data (e.g., the output of the wind turbine). HOMER typically performs hundreds or thousands of these simulations per sensitivity case. A sensitivity analysis can easily involve hundreds of sensitivity cases. HOMER's graphical and tabular output capabilities allow you to efficiently analyze all that data.
The tabular sensitivity results consist of a list of the least-cost system for each sensitivity case. In the example shown below, the first two columns display the values of the two Sensitivity Variables: the diesel fuel price (Gasoline Fuel Price) and the wind speed (Wind Scaled Average). The next five columns contain values indicating in the least-cost system the presence and size of the five components under consideration. From left to right, they are batteries, the diesel generator, wind turbines, PV panels, and the converter. Following are several columns with summary values drawn from the simulation results of the least-cost system including initial capital, operating cost, and total net present cost.
You can click on any row in the table to jump to the Optimization Results table for that sensitivity case, showing the sub-optimal systems (that were not least-cost options). You can click the row for a system to view the Simulation Results window for any of the ranked systems.
When the analysis involves more than one sensitivity variable, a graph often conveys the results in a more meaningful way than a table. You can create four types of graphs: Optimal System Type Chart, Surface Plot, Line Plot, and Spider Plot . These graphs are drawn on the Results page, or you can create them in their own resizable windows by clicking the New Window button. Right-click a graph to change its properties, copy it to the clipboard, or save it as an image file.
Click the Graphical radio button to see the sensitivity information in a graph. The Optimal System Type (OST) graph gives the highest-level view of the sensitivity results. It shows the least-cost type of system (e.g., diesel-storage or wind-diesel-storage) and two sensitivity variables. The example below shows the same information as in the Tabular display above. The Graphical format makes it easier to see under which conditions the different types of systems are optimal. Diamonds indicate points where HOMER found the least-cost system. All other points are colored using interpolation.