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Evaluation Tools

This section contains information and/or links to electronic spreadsheets and software available for facilitating data collection and analyses, and evaluating the economics of CHP systems.


Spreadsheets

Spreadsheet for Evaluating Economics of CHP Systems
April 1, 2003
Download - 401Kb (Microsoft Excel format)

A Walkthrough Checklist for Gathering Information for Performing Preliminary Economic Assessment of a CHP System for a Facility
November 7, 2002
Download - 66Kb (Microsft Excel format)

Software Tools

There are several software tools available and some others are at various stages of development for evaluating economics of CHP systems. Oak Ridge National Laboratory has conducted a survey of DER/CHP software which is provided here in PDF format. The list of software tools surveyed includes:

Building Energy Analyzer

The Gas Technology Institute (GTI) through its subsidiary, InterEnergy Software, has developed the Building Energy Analyzer (BEA). The BEA is a screening tool that allows estimation of monthly and annual energy loads and costs associated with integrated operation of on-site power generation, cooling, heating, thermal storage and desiccant dehumidification systems.

It allows the user to select from

  • 15 types of building (user configurable)
  • 233 cities weather data
  • 8 on-site power generation technologies (engines, gas turbines, combined-cycle gas turbines, microturbines, and four types of fuel cell)
  • Heat recovery distribution options
  • 16 cooling technologies (electric, gas and hybrid)
  • 6 desiccant dehumidification configurations
  • 5 thermal storage technologies
  • Outside air economizer and sensible/enthalpy heat recovery
  • Constant-volume and variable-air-volume air handling
  • Handles complex utility rates (including stand-by rate structure)
  • Life cycle cost analysis module

DOE2.1e simulation engine runs in the background of the BEA to compute hourly thermal and electrical loads using the specified building parameters and TMY2 weather data to calculate energy requirements and waste heat flows.

It can handle complex energy rates and control schemes, provides estimates of simple payback period, life cycle costs, life cycle payback period, and internal rate of return, and produces summary and detailed reports and many types of graphic output. The program is sold with a complete manual in PDF format.

A presentation on this software tool, in PDF format, provides additional information on some of its features.

The software is available from http://www.interenergysoftware.com.

BCHP Screening Tool

The U. S. Department of Energy (DOE), through the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), is funding the development of the BCHP Screening Tool (BST) by GARD Analytics, Inc. The BST is a computer program that can be used to calculate installed cost, operating cost, energy consumption, and simple payback of various combined cooling, heating, and power systems in commercial buildings.

The BST employs "drop-down" lists to allow the user to select from

  • 14 types of building,
  • 242 cities (weather data) in the U.S.,
  • 160 electric utilities,
  • 160 gas utilities,
  • Over 1000 different utility rate schedules,
  • 110 commercially available electric generators
    (engines, gas turbine, microturbine and fuel cells), and
  • 168 commercially available chillers, air conditioners, boilers, and furnaces.

DOE2.1e simulation engine runs in the background of the BST to compute hourly thermal and electrical loads using the specified building parameters and TMY2 weather data to calculate energy requirements and waste heat flows. Up to 26 different scenarios can be defined by the user. Results are presented in both tabular and graphical form and values can be "cut and pasted" from the BST into other PC applications.

The program is distributed with a folder of supporting information to help the user in selecting appropriate utility rates. Subfolders contain tariff sheets from each of the utilities describing the terms, limitations, and technical details of each rate schedule. The user needs to examine these PDF and HTML files for the cities and utilities of interest to choose the proper rates. The user can use the RateScriptEditor (a separate program distributed with the BST) to see the conditions and qualifiers associated with each rate as well as to create new sets of utility rates or edit existing ones.

The BST requires insightful choices by the user and is not directed toward casual users. A presentation on this software tool, in PDF format, provides additional information on some of its features. A beta version of the BST is being evaluated.

D-Gen Pro

D-Gen Pro is a screening tool for economic analysis of only distributed power generation. It allows the users to define a power generator or select a pre-defined generator from library and incorporate heat recovery. It can handle various electric and gas rate options for comparative analysis of base case and various distributed generation alternatives. D-Gen Pro is available commercially. For more information and purchasing this software, visit the Website.

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