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HOMER Pro 3.13

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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 each strategy and presents the results so you can compare the performance with each control algorithm.

To add additional controllers, 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, Generator Order, Combined Dispatch or Predictive Dispatch and click the Add button.

For more information about each of the strategies, view the table below.

Dispatch Strategy

Description

HOMER Cycle Charging (CC)

Under the Cycle Charging strategy, whenever a generator is required, it operates at full capacity, and surplus power charges the battery bank. Cycle charging tends to be optimal in systems with little or no renewable power.

HOMER Load Following (LF)

Under the Load Following strategy, when a generator is needed, it produces only enough power to meet the demand. Load following tends to be optimal in systems with a lot of renewable power that sometimes exceeds the load.

HOMER Pro Matlab Link (ML)

The HOMER Pro MATLAB Link allows you to write your own dispatch algorithm for HOMER Pro using MATLAB. HOMER  interacts with the MATLAB software to run your MATLAB functions during the simulation.

HOMER Generator Order (GO)

Under the Generator Order strategy, HOMER follows a defined order of generator combinations, and uses the first combination in the list that meets the Operating Capacity. The Generator Order strategy only supports systems with generators, PVs, wind turbines, a converter and/or storage components.

HOMER Combined Dispatch (CD)

The Combined Dispatch strategy can improve performance over the Cycle Charging and Load Following dispatch strategies by making more efficient use of the generator.

HOMER Predictive Dispatch (PS)

Under the HOMER Predictive dispatch strategy, the dispatch algorithm knows the upcoming electric and thermal demand, as well as the upcoming solar and wind resource availability. It will often produce results with lower system operating costs compared to the other dispatch strategies in HOMER Pro.

 

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.

See also

Cycle Charging

Load Following

MATLAB Link

Generator Order

HOMER Predictive Dispatch

Combined Dispatch

How HOMER Calculates Emissions