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Updates to mVSO Energy Modeling Software Explained

March 8, 2021

CleanSpark’s mVSO recently underwent considerable upgrades. mVSO is a microgrid modeling and design tool created for Developers, EPCs, and Energy Consultants to help accurately plan projects that utilize multiple distributed energy resources.

Regardless of the location of a project or the utility rate, CleanSpark’s mVSO will deliver the optimal configuration of Solar PV and Energy Storage to meet the client’s objectives. The step-by-step wizard guides the user through the creation of a new project for analysis and can be used for both Commercial and Industrial projects as well as large Residential Estate homes.

The latest release to mVSO includes reworked customer-facing reports and analyses as well as communication of scenarios, information consolidation, and value propositions of proposed microgrids. Revised clear, concise and compelling graphics help customers identify optimal solutions for their needs. From top-level financial metrics for 20-year projects to sample operational charts, every proposed microgrid is explained in non-technical terms any customer can understand. Seamless outputs can be utilized from similar software including Helioscope, PVSyst and PVWatts. The software continues to accept custom rate structures, as well as hourly interval data, in simple Excel and CSV file formats.

The optimization results report is an interactive set of visualizations detailing multiple aspects of the scenario’s financial and operational results. Throughout the report, the suggested scenario is compared to baseline operation which assumes no DERs are installed and that the load in the energy use profile is fully satisfied by the utility under the chosen tariff.

The report is comprised of three sections including the project summary, utility bill savings, and time series. The project summary recaps the project details such as location, cost power and storage. An analysis on energy savings is provided by the utility bill. Lastly, the time series provide 15-minute modeled operations of selected DERs against the provided energy use profile.

In addition to reporting changes, CleanSpark added the ability to combine data from externally modeled PV generations. mVSO allows the use of this data within scenarios from other modeling tools. Once uploaded, detailed DER interactions and cost savings data can be included in mVSO proposals or financial models.

mVSO’s time-of-use and two types of tiered rate modeling are options for customers. Time-of-use rates vary based on time of day and allow utility customers to shift energy use to lower-cost periods whereas tiered rates have a constant energy cost at all times.  Utilities base tiered rates on a customer’s energy consumption in a given billing period. As a customer uses more energy in a billing period, the customer’s energy rates will enter new pricing tiers. These tiers can increase or decrease in price and be either retroactive or non-retroactive.

There are numerous terms a customer will see within mVSO regarding their savings. Total energy savings is the aggregation of baseline energy charges for a year minus the aggregation of the projected energy charges before energy credits. Annual PV energy savings is the sum of the PV generation used to load at each interval multiplied by the total consumption rate applicable at that interval. Annual storage savings is the difference between the cost of energy purchased from the utility offset by the battery discharge minus any cost to charge the batteries from the grid. 

The combination of a behind-the-meter microgrid and a tiered rate has implications when comparing the cost of energy before and after installing the microgrid. The addition of DERs results in a difference between the baseline and proposed rate structure after installation. Due to this adjustment, it is possible to have what may appear as a mismatch between Total Annual Energy Savings and Total Annual PV Energy Savings plus Storage Savings. When CleanSpark evaluates the energy generated or stored by a DER, the energy is multiplied by the current effective rate, not the baseline rate.

A microgrid typically consists of one or more DERs that modify energy consumption from the utility. For example, solar panels may generate energy to offset utility imports or an energy storage system may store excess generation for later use. In either case, the DERs modify utility imports and tiers may change compared to the billing in the absence of DERs. This discrepancy in tiers can cause differences between energy savings and the value of energy generated or stored by the DERs. Specifically, CleanSpark defines energy savings as the difference between the cost of energy before and after the addition of DERs. 

mVSO also enables you to generate a sharp, effective project proposal with a single click. CleanSpark proposals are designed to educate your customer on the full benefit of a proposed project and provides all of the salient information they need to make an informed decision.

There is an immense ecosystem of distributed energy technologies today with the frequent introduction of new products. CleanSpark is constantly evolving to keep up with the dynamic technology landscape and products such as mVSO and its enhancements help their clients advance more projects from proposal to contract.

To register for a Free Trial of mVSO, CLICK HERE.