The oemof (Open Energy Modeling Framework) modeling framework is a tool used for modeling and analyzing energy systems. It is an open-source licensed software that is modular and flexible so that it can be put together according to individual requirements. This makes it suitable for use in cross-sectoral studies.
At present, research results are often based on the results of energy system models, the details of which are not release to the public. This makes it difficult for readers to understand the modeling approaches and to assess their quality. Possible model errors remain hidden and can reduce the credibility of results. Similar model approaches are constantly being redeveloped at various institutions instead of pooling the workforce and working together on a solid code base.
A different approach was therefore chosen with the oemof modeling framework. In mid-2014, oemof was developed in a collaboration between the Reiner Lemoine Institute (RLI), the University of Magdeburg and the Center for Sustainable Energy Systems (ZNES - European University / University of Flensburg). Under the open-source license GPL 3, oemof is available for the energy system modeling community for use and further development. It has been developed and published on GitHub. It also fulfills the best practice rules for computer models and the transparency checklist for energy system models.
The structure of oemof enables the coexistence of different modeling approaches in one software framework. Until now, the SOLPH library has primarily been used. It enables a description of energy systems in the form of linear problems and mixed-integer linear problems (MILP). There are already numerous examples demonstrating how SOLPH works available in oemof.
In addition, the ZNES already has its own applications and other projects which have been developed and applied using oemof. On the EUM side, oemof has been used and developed in the projects open_eGo, VerNetzen, Mena and open_ModSH. In addition to the projects, oemof is used in lectures, bachelor, and master theses as well as for dissertations.
The RLI has published further applications which were developed using oemof and which demonstrate the possibilities offered by oemof / SOLPH:
- Urban sector coupling of electricity and heat in Berlin
- Illustration of the electricity and heat supply in East Germany
Oemof is currently being used in research and teaching at other German and European institutions. Currently 19 people in 10 teams are involved in oemof.
Oemof is implemented in Python and builds on existing libraries. Because the approach was collaborative from the start and the implementation was modular and flexible, the concept of apps offers users maximum freedom in using a range of functions. This means that the software can be adapted to a large number of applications. The complete transparency of the modeling not only offers developers the opportunity to further develop the framework for their respective purposes, but it also improves the traceability of studies and individual consulting services for the private sector and politics that are based on energy system models created with oemof.
All energy system researchers are cordially invited to use oemof and to contribute to the further development of oemof!