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Applied global simulation of renewable energies on internet: removing barriers to re by embedding powerful software into a social context


The AVALANCHE Server provides product information on PV modules, wind turbines, mini-hydro turbines and biogas plants. It further includes incentive schemes for renewable energies, environmental information and examples of installed renewable energy technologies (RET). Simulation programs allow calculating energy outputs, economic efficiency and environmental impacts. The need to develop the AVALANCHE Server has been based on the fact that nowadays, the Internet offers plenty of up-to-date information, but in the area of renewable energy technologies like in many other sectors, it does not allow an organised search for specific product information. The RET databases do allow such an organised search, but they are often old and maintenance requires a lot of effort. The AVALANCHE Server provides the infrastructure for an always up-to-date electronic market for RET on the Internet. This allows an organised search for RET products similar to a database. The innovative feature is that this federated database requires little maintenance; because it will be composed by individual web-sites of RET manufacturers who will update their own web-sites in their own interest. By developing and setting up the infrastructure for the AVALANCHE Server and by having industries fill it with a critical mass of RET products, an AVALANCHE of organised information should be initiated. The market for AVALANCHE includes two areas: the people using the software in order to calculate the energy output, economic efficiency and environmental impact of their renewable energy application and manufacturers who present their products in AVALANCHE and benefit from global marketing at low cost. The server is located at Core of the AVALANCHE Server is an Internet agent that has been developed based on the “Compass Server” with the kind co-operation of the Netscape Company. Standard data presentation in form of so-called META-tags inside individual HTML-documents have been developed. Almost all contacted RE-industries have shown high interest in participating in AVALANCHE, whereas only few companies have already implemented the META-tags into their own web-sites. Energy simulation software as well as economic efficiency calculations and environmental balances can be performed using product information from the AVALANCHE Server. Additional information on renewable energy installations are given. An Expert system PVDiS (PV-Wind-Diesel Hybrid system) was also developed in the framework of the AVALANCHE. The documentation of results introduces the major characteristics of this expert system. It defines the problem which will be solved by the expert system PV-DiS in detail and it develops the corresponding goals, the goal rules and an expansion of the core expert system. Further, it shows how PV-DiS is codified in the developing environment KAPPA-PC. As a last step, it shows how PV-DiS is connected to an EXCEL spreadsheet and the Avalanche server.
PVS 2.000 is a powerful instrument to plan and dimension grid-connected and stand-alone photovoltaic systems. PVS was developed in connection between the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy systems and econzept Energieplanung GmbH. With the program the user is able to compute the PV energy output, characterize and evaluate the operation of the system, compare different variants of the system or optimise system parameters such as the tilt angle or the battery capacity. In developing the program special emphasis was put on easy use of the system, a clear and comprehensive display of the results and short computation time. The actual update PVS 2.000 contains some new interesting features like the connection to the Internet databank Avalanche for solar modules. The functionality of this feature is fully integrated into the program. The only requirements for the user are the existence and the establishing of a connection to the Internet.