Framework Factsheet

Overview / urbs (urbs)
Last updated -
Open Source
License Academic Free License v3.0
Framework Name urbs
Acronym urbs
Contact (e-mail)
Current contact person -
Institution(s) Chair of Renewable and Sustainable Energy Systems (TUM-ENS)
Geographical Scope Regional, National, Local/community, Single-project
Sectoral Scope Electricity, Heat/Cooling, Transport, Hydrogen, natural gas
General Problem Scope Exploring
Specific Problem Scope Energy demand, Energy supply, Environmental, Appraisal, Modular build-up, Energy dispatch, Capacity expansion planning, Unit commitment, Sector-coupling
Inital purpose Academic research
Inital purpose change -
Research questions technology assessment, renewables integration, reaching emission goals
Inital Release Date 2015-10-01
Parent Framework URBS (GAMS)
Version Version 1.0.1
Source of funding -
Programming Framework Python
External Solver CPLEX, Gurobi, Coin-Or CBC, GLPK, MOSEK
Input Data Format XLSX
Auto model generator
data preprocessing Annuity factor calculation
Output Data Format XLSX, Plots (png, pdf), HDF5
data postprocessing Grouping of costs (investment, fixed, variable, fuel etc.)
plotting functionalities
The analytical approach Top Down
Additional software
interfaces -
The mathematical approach Mixed integer programming, Linear Programming
The underlying methodology Optimization
Objective function type Minimize Total System Cost, Minimize CO2-emissions
Open Source
License Academic Free License v3.0
Code availability -
Data availability -
Data provided none
Open to developers
Support GitHub repository, documentation
Link to User Documentation {"{\"{}\"}"}
Installation guide
Link to installation guide -
Link to code documentation
Skills basic Working with spreadsheets
Skills advanced Basic understanding of energy system modelling and optimization
Fixed units
Renewable Technology Inclusion Hydro, Solar, Geothermal, Wind, Biomass
Storage Technology Inclusion Pumped-hydro energy storage, Battery energy storage, Compressed-air energy storage, Hydrogen production / storage / consumption
Transport Demand Internal-combustion vehicles, Battery-electric vehicles
Residential Demand Heating
Commercial Demand Offices
Agricultural demand
Grid model Single-node model, Transhipment model, Linear optimal power flow
Cost Inclusion Fuel prices, Investment, Fixed Operation & Maintenance, Variable Operation & Maintenance, CO2 cost
New components
Variable time step
Variable rolling
Commonly used time step Hourly
Commonly modelled time horizon Short term (<= 5 years), medium term (>5-<15), long term (>=15)
Reference Studies/Models Kay Bareiß et al. “Life cycle assessment of hydrogen from proton exchange membrane water electrolysis in future energy systems”. In: Applied Energy 237 (Mar. 2019), pp. 862–872. DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2019.01.001; Konrad Schönleber et al. “Economical energy supply of business parks”. en. In: NEIS 2017 : Conference on Sustainable Energy Supply and Energy Storage Systems. Hamburg: VDE VERLAG GMBH, 2018, 324 Seiten. ISBN: 978-3-8007-4445-9; Anahi Molar Cruz, Beatriz Guillén, and Thomas Hamacher. “Cost-optimal regional deployment of renewable energy in the Mexican electric power system”. en. In: International Energy Workshop 2018. Chalmers University of Technology, 2018.; J. Winklmaier and S. Bazan Santos. “Promoting Rural Electrification in Sub-Saharan Africa: Least-Cost Modelling of Decentralized Energy-Water-Food Systems: Case Study of St. Rupert Mayer, Zimbabwe”. In: Springer Proceedings in Energy. Springer International Publishing, 2018, pp. 71–89. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-93438-9_6
Citation reference -
Citation Johannes Dorfner, Konrad Schönleber, Magdalena Dorfner, sonercandas, froehlie, smuellr, … Okan Akca. (2019, July 2). tum-ens/urbs: urbs v1.0.1 (Version 1.0.1). Zenodo.
Projects using the framework Kopernikus-P2X, DecEnSys, Clean-Tech-Campus, 4NEMO, Geo.KW, Rolle der Kernfusion (IPP)
Model usage TUM ENS, TUM EWK


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