Leap Into New Capabilities: REopt Offers Enhanced Energy Solutions

Minimize Costs, Achieve Decarbonization Goals, and Ensure Resilience With the Newest Features in REopt Web Tool and Open Source Code

Feb. 29, 2024 | By Courtney Hausler | Contact media relations

Throughout the past year, the REopt® team at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has been hard at work expanding the publicly accessible REopt web tool and underlying open-source code to offer even more powerful capabilities.

This techno-economic decision support platform serves as a crucial tool for optimizing energy systems in diverse settings, including buildings, campuses, and microgrids.

Elevated Performance and Functionality

Significant improvements to the web tool, API, and Julia package reaffirm REopt's commitment to providing cutting-edge capabilities to support cost-effective, sustainable, and resilient energy planning.

REopt Julia Package ('REopt.jl'): The recently released REopt Julia package allows increased speed and flexibility for programmatic analysis and integration into other tools. Researchers and industry tools are already leveraging this even more efficient energy optimization solution.

Energy Resilience Performance (ERP) Capability: REopt's resilience model now considers how technology reliability—along with a site's critical load, dispatch strategy, and outage timing—impact the probability a site can sustain critical operations during a grid outage.

Portfolio Analysis Capability: Users can now screen portfolios of sites directly through the REopt web tool to inform strategic prioritization of high-potential sites for a more detailed REopt feasibility assessment. This streamlined and user-friendly capability expedites previously highly manual and time-intensive web analysis without requiring programming skills.

Expanded Geothermal Heat Pump (GHP) Model: REopt's expanded GHP model allows flexibility for multiple GHP configurations—including central plant water-to-water heat pumps and distributed water-to-air heat pumps—and both hybrid and non-hybrid geothermal heat exchangers. This increased versatility paves the way for more sustainable heating and cooling solutions.

Net Billing Modeling: As net metering policies evolve, REopt can now seamlessly evaluate distributed energy resources (DERs) with net billing policies such as NEM3.0 with time-of-use-based compensation for grid exports.

Tax Model Updates: Tax incentives, including those covered by the Inflation Reduction Act, offer a comprehensive financial assessment of energy projects.

New Off-Grid Wind Model: Adding wind to REopt expands planning capabilities for optimized, integrated microgrids.

Default Value Updates: REopt's default values allow users to evaluate DERs with only three to four required inputs, while offering substantial flexibility with many customizable defaults. These annual default value updates keep REopt updated and aligned with the latest technology costs and performance.

Open-Source Advancements

The following new capabilities are currently only available in the open-source code, not via the web tool.

Electric Heater: Introducing a new feature to model electric heaters, including electric resistance heat and electric boiler systems.

Battery State-of-Health Modeling Improvements: Considers impacts of battery dispatch on battery state-of-health, performance, and life span in REopt's optimized dispatch. Note: This model requires advanced parameters specific to a battery make/model that require lab testing to obtain.

Anticipating Tomorrow's Needs

The REopt team is excited to continue advancing the platform to address emerging challenges and opportunities in renewable energy optimization.

Cambium Grid Emissions Projections Integration: Integrating NREL's Cambium grid emissions projections will enhance REopt's fidelity in estimating greenhouse gas emissions impacts of DERs.

Hydrogen Technologies: Covering fuel cells, electrolyzers, and low- and high-pressure storage, this feature will enable integrated analysis of hydrogen generation, storage, and use—including for fuel cell electric vehicle loads and hydrogen process loads—integrated with REopt's many other technology options.

Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHP): ASHPs provide an increasingly cost-effective option for decarbonizing heating and cooling, including technology advances that allow for cold climate operations. Adding ASHP to REopt will expand REopt's thermal electrification technology model offerings.

EV Smart Charging, V2B and V2G, and EVSE Sizing: Advancing electric vehicle (EV) technologies, this development focuses on co-optimized EV and DER planning, including smart charging solutions, vehicle-to-building (V2B), and vehicle-to-grid (V2G) modeling capabilities.

Process Heat Load Modeling: Enhanced precision in heat load modeling will increase REopt's ability to optimize industrial decarbonization planning. Users will be able to evaluate technologies for differentiated heating loads, including space heating, water heating, and industrial process heating.

Long-Duration Energy Storage: Addressing the demand for prolonged energy storage solutions, the REopt team is actively working on developments in this emerging technology space.

Driving the Future of Energy Optimization

"As we grow and enhance REopt, our focus is to provide comprehensive and integrated technology optimization for diverse energy objectives, while ensuring these enhanced capabilities remain approachable for users of all levels, from beginner to expert. These advancements reflect a collaborative effort to make clean energy optimization more accessible, accurate, and impactful, aligned with our commitment to facilitating sustainable solutions."

— Kathleen Krah, REopt program lead

Ongoing enhancements and developments underscore REopt's dedication to innovation, sustainability, and resilience. As the energy landscape continues to transform, REopt remains at the forefront, empowering users to navigate the complexities of renewable energy optimization with confidence and ease.

Learn more about REopt and how to contact us if you are interested in working with our team or if you have any questions about how REopt can help you achieve your sustainability goals.

Tags: Solar Market Research,Wind,Transportation Energy Storage,Geothermal,Energy Storage,Energy Systems Integration,Energy Analysis,Energy Security and Resilience,Technology Deployment