The evaluation of HOMER as a Marine Corps expeditionary energy pre-deployment tool
Newell, Brandon H.
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In this thesis, the author evaluated whether HOMER Micropower Optimization should be used by the Marine Corps as a pre-deployment tool for meeting expeditionary energy demands. The author created two unique experiments to facilitate the evaluation of HOMER's modeling capability. First, a grid-tied-photovoltaic (PV) system at the Naval Postgraduate School was monitored for a one-month period. During this experiment, a HOMER model of the system was created. The actual energy production from the system was compared to the model. Then, the model was calibrated to the particular system to ensure that the model's energy estimate matched that of the actual system. The second experiment involved the use of two different types of PV panels and a small wind turbine. Each system was monitored over a one-month period, and the results were compared to a HOMER model of the systems. The difficulty of modeling wind turbines and the related limitations of HOMER's modeling strategy is discussed in this thesis. The calibration method established in the grid-tied-PV experiment was used to ensure the HOMER models were accurate. Following the calibration, the concept of expeditionary energy density as it pertains to power production was defined and utilized to evaluate each of the systems. The final portion of this thesis shows the advantage of using HOMER as part of the Experimental Forward Operating Base (ExFOB). The ExFOB was conducted by the Marine Corps to evaluate alternative power solutions currently on the market for expeditionary energy purposes. Four distinct power production solutions were chosen by the Marine Corps following the ExFOB. These solutions were then field tested in Morocco and scheduled to be deployed to Afghanistan. This thesis details how the use of HOMER would have benefited the ExFOB process had it been utilized.