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REopt Lite Tutorial: Inputs Overview (Text Version)

This is a text version of the video REopt Lite Tutorial: Inputs Overview.

Let’s start with an overview of the inputs of the REopt Lite® tool.

First, select whether you want to do a financial or resilience analysis. A financial analysis will identify the system that minimizes your cost of energy. A resilience analysis will also identify a system that minimizes your cost of energy, but with an added constraint that the system must be able to sustain your site’s critical load during an outage.

Let’s take a look at a financial analysis. Start by entering your site data. Data is entered under each expandable section shown here. Expand or collapse a section with the plus or minus sign on the right-hand side.

In the Site and Utility section, note that required inputs are marked with an asterisk. There are only a few required inputs in REopt Lite, and location and electricity rate are two of them. If you just want to test out the tool, click “use sample site” and all required inputs will be populated for you.

Otherwise, begin by entering your site’s location by typing, then selecting, the best match from the dropdown menu that appears. You can enter a specific address, or a city and state. For this example, let’s use Palmdale, California.

Next, select an electricity rate available in that area from the dropdown. The most common rates are listed first based on the number of customers. You can typically find your rate name on your utility bill.

You can view more information by clicking on the Rate Details link to see the Utility Rate Database [URDB], which includes energy and demand charges, and how rates vary over time. If you do not see your rate listed in the dropdown, check the box to enter custom utility rate values. Make sure you’re logged in before you build and save a detailed utility rate. Additional inputs can be found using the Advanced Inputs link at the bottom of each section.

Next, enter a load profile. You can choose to either upload interval data from your utility, or simulate a load based on your building type and annual energy consumption. There are 17 building options based on DOE’s Commercial Reference Buildings. Let’s model a retail store that consumes about 1 million kilowatt-hours per year.

This is all the information you need to enter for a financial analysis.

Under the Financial section, you can opt to keep the default values, or you can easily change them.

Finally, select which technologies you want to evaluate. The model defaults to PV and battery systems, but you can also evaluate wind. In each technology section you can adjust the technology-specific assumptions. For example, if you expand the PV section, you’ll see cost and incentive assumptions. Under Advanced Inputs you’ll find additional performance characteristics. Here you could specify a minimum or maximum technology size. Similar inputs are available in each technology section.

Once you have completed these steps, click “Get Results” to run the analysis.