The US based company UGE (http://www.ugei.com/) has developed UGE SET, a proprietary system design software, built to optimize microgrid energy systems to provide you the lowest cost of energy.
UGE SET (the Site Evaluation Tool) uses time-step analysis to simulate the electrical load, weather resources, energy generation and ssociated costs in one-hour increments for the entirety of the project lifetime, allowing the user to confidently design microgrid systems.
As stated in the white paper recently launched by the company (1), "UGE SET allows for much more detailed modeling of the performance of the system, leading to much greater confidence in the ability of the system to meet the project’s requirements and predict the ongoing costs".
The software returns a series of graphs and metrics that describe the configuration and performance of the optimal system (or alternatively any of the modeled systems) for technical review and saves all of the information to a PDF file.
When compared to the current industry standard software, both HOMER (2) and UGE SET seems to be similar in terms of allowing modeling of the same resources and types of equipment, and ranking systems by the levelized cost of energy (LCOE). However, UGE SET developers state that there are several key differences between Homer and their software that make much easier to accurately model microgrid systems. Some of them would be:
- Much more detailed breakdown of CAPEX and operating, expenses, making it much easier to accurately calculate system cost.
- Use of cost escalators in order to account for the rising costs of fuel, electricity and the value of currency.
- Ability to specify the resource dispatch order accurately simulating the system performance and associated expenses.