It usually takes approximately two weeks to learn how to use the basic functions of the EnergyPLAN tool. It is a good idea to begin using EnergyPLAN by completing the exercises provided here on the website, since the answers are also provided so you can follow the solutions once you have attempted them.
EnergyPLAN can be divided into two primary sections:
- The technical design of the energy system
- The cost of all the components in the energy system
You can often consider these are two separate parts when you are learning how to use the model. Begin by designing what your energy system looks like: how many power plants, how many wind turbines, how much fuels is consumed for heating the buildings, industry, and transport, etc.
Then, once you have designed the technical design of the system, you can add in the costs associated with the system. For example, you can add the fuel prices so the model knows how much you need to pay for different fuels, you can add investment costs so the model knows how much to pay for the power plants, and you can add maintenance costs so the model knows how much needs to be paid for maintaining the plants each year.
If you cover these main issues, then you will know the major principals of EnergyPLAN, but it will take a few months to become familiar with the details of the model. You can learn more by reading the FIDE guide, checking the EnergyPLAN documentation, reading our FAQs, checking our forum, attending an EnergyPLAN workshop or by contacting us with your questions.