Introduction: EnergO is a Windows Desktop application developed as part of a postgraduate research thesis in the NTUA (National Technical University of Athens). The application exhibits unique characteristics that are very useful to anyone dealing with energy planning and management. With the click of a button, every feature that has to do with energy in an area is captured and, at the same time, a thorough socio-economic analysis is taking place, including the environmental protection and the needs of the local communities, in order to provide the optimal energy mix at district level. All these are accomplished through a pleasing and user-friendly environment, which allows the production of the desired results to be easy, fast and completely customizable, according to the needs of the user. We are particularly proud of the credibility and the accuracy of the methods, since they are the product of plentiful hours of field work and validation.
Functionality: The core of the application is a linear programming model created in the context of a PhD thesis and was improved for the needs of the application. The model consists of several decision variables, which represent energy from various sources. At the moment the model supports 27 energy sources covering almost all the available technologies, however additions can be made on special request. Sources are sorted into three general categories; the renewable energy sources (wind turbines, photovoltaic panels, biomass plants, etc.), the conventional systems (boilers, heating pumps, etc.) and the energy saving systems through interventions in the building shell. Solving the model provides the optimal amount of energy from each source to satisfy energy needs, at the lowest cost, bound under certain physical and technical constraints. The innovation of the model is based on the introduction of environmental and social factors to the financial analysis of the energy planning. Thus, the total socio-economic cost consists of the installation cost, the maintenance and operating cost, the environmental cost and the social benefit, which employment increase from new investments can produce. The user is able to define the period of investment and crucial financial settings, such as the discount and tax rate.
Database: The application’s database contains all the required information to automatically solve the optimization model for the near 6,000 municipal districts of Greece. Most of the data were obtained from tables and maps of the Hellenic Statistical Authority and the Center of Renewable Energy Sources, while some were created with raw data through Geographical Information Systems (GIS). Overall, the records exceed the 1,200,000, since the calculations of the model are quite complex and demand a large number of data. The application simplifies the complexity of such a large database by sorting data to corresponding categories and displaying the relevant information for the selected study area.
Developers: Katsoulakos N. (Mechanical Engineer) & Panagiotopoulos G. (Agriculturist, Environmentalist, MSc, IT expert) | Affiliation: Laboratory of Mining Technology, NTUA | Link: http://www.minetech.metal.ntua.gr/