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AURORA v13.0

The following list showcases new features and enhancements in the latest version of AURORA.

Updated User Interface 

Aurora v13.0 releases a fully enhanced user interface. The powerful capabilities of AURORAxmp haven’t changed, but they are now offered in a refreshed and reformatted layout keeping ease–of–use at the forefront. In this version, you can design the screen the way you want with moveable pod windows and the options to auto–hide them to free–up real estate or pin them for consistent use. Additionally, we’ve refreshed and reorganized the toolbar into a more recognizable tab and ribbon format.

Easy, Intuitive Forms

The new Project Setup window has moved important and most–used settings right up front that load automatically when launching a project. The study type, study period, output database selection and study cases for Change Sets are now front and center for quick changes before launching a study. This translates into accumulated time–savings due to less clicking on a single form for settings as previously required.

Simulation Dashboard

The new Simulation Progress window automatically opens when a simulation is started and contains pertinent run statistics all in one place. The window includes a status bar, simulation progress, machine information - like memory and CPU usage - as well as notifications of warnings and errors in real time.

Table-Level Custom Columns

We've made Custom Column output reporting even easier to use in version 13.0. You can now select only the columns you are interested in for each table and time period. For example, you can get all columns for ZoneYear output but limit the ZoneHour table to only 3 columns such as Time_Period, Name and Price. This enhancement can reduce runtime by reducing large output data writes and limit output database size by just reporting what you need. Eliminate all the unwanted and unused columns from your outputs table-by-table.

Report Sets

Have you ever wanted to share an intricate report set-up with another project or colleague? Or maybe you wanted to have a project switch between custom hourly reporting for short studies, but all the details when running the same simulation for longer time frames? Now you can with Report Sets which offer multiple report set-ups in one project. Furthermore, these settings can also be exported and shared with other projects via an external Report Set File (.arp). With this enhancement, you can set-up your custom reporting once and then quickly share it wherever you need to.

Ability to Parallelize Multi-Year Simulations

This version includes a powerful, new option that can significantly improve the run time of zonal studies that span multiple years. The time-savings really add up when used in the context of a long-term capacity expansion run! Found on the General form of Simulation Options, the Parallelize the Run Across Years setting divides up the different years of the study period and solves the chronological dispatch for all specified hours in a year in parallel with those of all other years. Each of these parallel processes more fully utilizes the cores on the machine and results in drastic reductions in run times. The setting for Maximum Concurrent Solves is used to determine how many different solves to run in parallel at the same time, and the Years Per Thread parameter determines how many years to run in each thread. Both of these options can be dynamically determined by Aurora based on the number of processors and the total memory on the machine.

Resource Capacity Revenue Adjustment

This new option is used adjust the capacity revenue calculation for individual resources, and it is useful when renewable resources which contribute to the reserve margin are not eligible to receive capacity payments because they receive revenue from renewable energy credits.

Prerequisite/Priority New Resources

The new Prerequisite New Resource ID column in New Resources table is used to specify a constraint that limits a new resource option's consideration until another option is fully built, i.e. Option B cannot be considered until all of Option A has been built. This logic uses the Overall Max value of the Prerequisite New Resource to determine how many units of the referenced new resource ID must be built before any units from the record can be considered. In other words, it ensures the option's earliest build occurs at or after the year of the last referenced Prerequisite option build, when the overall max is reached.

Improved Nodal Islanding Logic

Version 13.0 now offers the ability to include all buses in a system with multiple islands during the nodal solve. The capability is activated by the Allow Multiple Islands in Base Network switch on the Nodal study type form in Simulation Options. Without the use of this switch (and in previous versions of AURORAxmp) the simulation will only consider those buses in the largest island, but now the user can ensure that all buses in the network file are modeled in the nodal solution.

Congestion Price Cap for Contingencies

This version includes the option to set an alternate Contingency Shadow Price Cap, in the Supplemental Branch table, that will override the global price cap setting and applies a price cap on congestion pricing for N-x contingency constraints. This is especially useful for markets such as ERCOT that have different shadow price caps for various kV rated lines and for different interfaces.

Aggregate Area Reporting

With version 13.0, Aurora will now report Aggregate Area information in the NodalArea output table.

Minimum Fuel Usage Constraints

This version includes a few new options in modeling fuel constraints. For a granular approach, the new Daily Fuel Minimum and Hourly Fuel Minimum columns in the Fuels table are available to ensure a minimum fuel usage for a particular fuel is met in those time periods. For longer time horizons, the new Fuel Min constraint type in the Constraint table can be used, similar to the existing Fuel Max option, to enforce minimum fuel usage for a single or group of fuels over some subset of months in a year.

Database Enhancements

EPIS, LLC delivers database updates independently of major software enhancements. This application release includes a few generic example files, but major databases are available at other times to facilitate the delivery of timely updates to licensees between software releases. For more detail on data updates since the last application release, please logon to our website and view the Database Updates page.

Data Download

Aurora includes a seamless way to access databases and examples files. As part of the installation, a window will announce available data packages after the licensing is complete.

Please login for the full v13.0 release notes.

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