Department of Energy’s NREL adds flow battery module to HOMER software suite

Vancouver, British Columbia, Nov. 9, 2005 — VRB Power Systems Inc. and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) announced the addition of a Flow Battery module to NREL’s HOMER software.

HOMER, The Micropower Optimization Model, is one of the world’s most powerful micropower assessment models. HOMER simulates and optimizes stand-alone and grid-connected power systems comprising any combination of wind turbines, PV arrays, run-of-river hydro power, biomass power, internal combustion engine generators, microturbines, fuel cells, batteries, and hydrogen storage, serving both electric and thermal loads. It is used by utilities, project developers, researchers and others who are evaluating the potential for distributed or renewable power systems. The HOMER output includes a range of recommended technology combinations, and provides an economic and technical assessment of each, including the quantity of air emissions avoided.

“The Flow Battery module provides HOMER with the flexibility to independently assess how to optimize the battery’s power and energy ratings, a characteristic unique to flow batteries. In trial runs with the new module it quickly became clear that flow batteries are a viable option for cases where moderate or better wind speeds are available, and enable the use of significantly higher renewable resource penetration than traditional storage systems,” said Peter Lilienthal, senior economist at NREL and project manager for HOMER.

HOMER can be freely downloaded from

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