View utilizes NREL’s System Advisor Model (SAM) Version 2018.8.13 (version 191) for computation of power and energy performance for each design configuration considered during optimization. Detailed documentation of the SAM software may be viewed on NREL’s website (https://sam.nrel.gov/documentation). For each design iteration within a View optimization run (which may be many thousands of design iterations), View submits plant design data to SAM which simulates hourly system performance of the plant. SAM then returns hourly plant performance data so that View can post-process it and use it along with other plant data (such as system costs) to compare with other plant designs as it searches for the optimal system configuration.
At a high level, the energy simulation process between View and SAM is as follows: