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Teaching Renewable Energy System Design and Analysis with HOMER

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Renewable Energy in Classroom

Tagged Division

Energy Conversion and Conservation

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.1169.1 - 24.1169.13



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Paper Authors


Radian G. Belu Drexel University (Tech.)

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Dr. Radian Belu is Assistant Professor within the Engineering Technology (ET) program - Drexel University, Philadelphia, USA. He is holding a PHD in power engineering and the other in physics. Before joining to the Drexel University Dr. Belu hold faculty and research positions at universities and research institutes in Romania, Canada and United States. He also worked for several years in industry as project manager, senior engineer and consultant. He has taught and developed undergraduate and graduate courses in power electronics, power systems, renewable energy technologies, smart grids, control theory, electric machines, instrumentation, radar and remote sensing, numerical methods and data analysis, space and atmosphere physics, and applied physics. His research interests included power system stability, control and protection, renewable energy system analysis, assessment and design, smart microgrids, power electronics and electric machines for wind energy conversion, radar and remote sensing, wave and turbulence simulation, measurement and modeling, numerical modeling, electromagnetic compatibility and engineering education. During his career Dr. Belu published eight book chapters, several papers in referred journals and in conference proceedings in his areas of the research interests. He has also been PI or Co-PI for various research projects United States and abroad in power systems analysis and protection, load and energy demand forecasting and analysis, renewable energy, microgrids, turbulence and wave propagation, radar and remote sensing, instrumentation, atmosphere physics, electromagnetic compatibility, and engineering education.

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Richard Chiou Drexel University (Eng. & Eng. Tech.)

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KETKI GHAISAS Drexel University


Tzu-Liang Bill Tseng University of Texas, El Paso

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Dr. Tseng is an associate professor of Department of Industrial, Manufacturing and Systems Engineering at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). He received his M.S. degree in Industrial Engineering (concentration on manufacturing systems and decision sciences) from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1993 and 1995 respectively and Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Iowa in 1999. Dr. Tseng is also a Certified Manufacturing Engineer from Society of Manufacturing Engineers since 2002. Dr. Tseng is specialized data mining, knowledge management, decision sciences and statistical analysis, specifically in the area of IBDSS. Over the years, he has served as principle investigators sponsored by NSF, NIST, NASA, DoEd, , KSEF and industry like LMC, GM and Tyco Inc.

Dr. Tseng delivered research results to many refereed journals such as IEEE Transactions, IIE Transaction, IIE Proceedings, International Journal of Production Research, Journal of Manufacturing Systems, Expert Systems with Applications and Computer Standards & Interfaces and other conferences (over 160 refereed publications. Moreover, he was listed in the “Who’s Who in America” for his achievement in 2005 and he also received 2009 and 2013 University Research Awards at University of Texas at El Paso. He is currently serving as an editor of Journal of Computer Standards & Interfaces (CSI) and editor boards of International Journal of Data Mining, Modeling and Management (JDMMM) and American Journal of Industrial and Business Management (AJIBM). He is currently a Senior Member of IIE and SME and is actively involved in several consortia activities.

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Teaching Renewable Energy System Design and Analysis with HOMEREquipping engineering students with the skills and knowledge required to be successfulglobal engineers in the 21st century is one of the primary objectives of undergraduate educators.Enabling students to practice self-directed learning, to find solutions to design problems that aresustainable to the application requirements, to have appropriate skills and knowledge, as well asthe familiarity of the modern software packages, tools and equipment used in today industries aremajor goals of all engineering or engineering technology programs. This paper is about how theuses of HOMER computer software's are such valuable tools for undergraduate engineeringeducation, specifically in the design, modeling and analysis of renewable energy systems.However, today there are quite a few programs in the area of renewable energy design, analysisand modeling. Some of them are more complexes, others user-friendlies, while others too simple.In our approach, the software package HOMER (Hybrid Optimization Model for ElectricRenewable) has been considered to have all the features and tools necessarily to make a goodoption, while being not too complicated and complex for undergraduate engineering orengineering technology students with limited or not previous knowledge in the areas ofrenewable energy systems. HOMER optimization software package can be used for design,model and analysis to determine the optimal architecture, structure, size and control strategy ofthe hybrid power system. It can perform comparative economic and modeling analysis on adistributed generation power system in order to get the best solution in terms of cost,performances, size and structure. As part of this project, several educational modules weredeveloped, planned or in process to be to developed. However, the first module is about how touse, interact and understand with HOMER package. Another module focuses on how to design aphotovoltaic system for residential and standalone applications to lower energy cost. A moduleunderway to be developed is one that can be considered as a guide on how to use renewableenergy to secure a sustainable grid. The paper also presents the technical skills gained by thestudents using the software HOMER package. Finally, undergraduate and graduate students hadthe exposure to non-technical engineering skills, like economic feasibility, logistic and decisionon energy security. We hope the materials presented herein can be used as the starting point forother instructors considering offering a similar course on renewable energy and the use ofHOMER as teaching help and design and analysis tool.

Belu, R. G., & Chiou, R., & GHAISAS, K., & Tseng, T. B. (2014, June), Teaching Renewable Energy System Design and Analysis with HOMER Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--23102

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