A tool to develop whole of system power generation plans for renewable electricity grids
Designed to be used in conjunction with renewable energy modelling such as SIREN
Used to quantify, cost and optimize dispatchable energy generation and storage
Balances power with load for 8760 hours of a year
Produces 8760 hour graphs of generation by technology
Quantifies and costs annual dispatchable energy generation from:
- Storage: Battery, pumped hydro, molten salt (heated by CST or biomass)
- Fuelled generation: gas turbines, steam thermal
Produces costed RE scenarios
User can optimize the scenario by iteration to minimize LCOE or CO2e emissions
PB2 is the second iteration of Powerbalance and has been developed over 4 years
Open source software, available free of charge with acknowledgement of the inventor Ben Rose
How does Powerbalance2 work?
Powerbalance2 is comprised of programmed Excel spreadsheet templates for modelling different technology mixes.
8760 hour annual wind and solar generation data from renewable energy grid modelling software such as SIREN is downloaded into the first columns and the modeled capacities are entered into the top dashboard.
The user enters technology costs into the spreadsheet and enters the desired RE and dispatachable technology power capacities for each technology into top dashboard, working from left to right.
PB calculates a step-wise reduction of power shortfalls, working left to right across columns of 8760 hours,for each energy technology in order of dispatch (lowest to highest cost), until there are no shortfalls. The user manually optimizes capacities (usually for cost) by rapid iteration until the scenario LCOE reaches its minimum.
PB displays weighted average LCOE and annual CO2 emissions for the whole scenario and the individual technologies. Also more data for each technology such as MWh and percent of total energy.
Powerbalance in combination with SIREN has been used to produce renewable energy transition scenarios anywhere in the world. It has been used to produce many RE scenarios for Western Australia:
SIREN is renewable energy modelling software that models 8760 hour energy generation from wind, solar PV and solar thermal technologies.
The user selects the desired location on a clickable map and enters the type and capacity of power stations.
SIREN can produce 8760 hour generation and load scenarios for electricity grids covering whole countries, states or regions. This data can be downloaded into PowerBalance to produce whole of grid renewable energy scenarios.
SIREN uses NASA wind and solar data from the past 20 years, available for anywhere on the world’s land surface. As at 2019, only the SW of Western Australia has been modelled by SIREN.
Rose,B and King, A, 2019. Transition to 100% Renewable Electricity on the SWIS – can it be done and at what cost? Presentation to the John Curtin Institute of Public Policy, April 2019
Sustainable Energy Now, 2016. Clean Electricity Western Australia – Modelling Renewable Energy Scenarios for the SW Electricity Grid. https://www.sen.asn.au/clean_energy_wa_study
Sustainable Energy Now, 2018.. Kimberley Clean Energy Roadmap, Commissioned by Tasmanian Wilderness Society, https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/wilderness/pages/4100/attachments/original/1541554307/KCER_Book_v1.1.8.pdf?1541554307
“We are looking at how to manage the system to be more resilient as well as … cost effective and carbon neutral, or zero carbon … (they) are not necessarily antithetical,” ……..Nor is having renewable resources and having a reliable and secure system antithetical. In fact, you can have it all”
Australian Energy Market Operator CEO Audrey Zibelman