Concept of expanding the openmod online presence to an OpenEnergy Platform
The concept of the OpenEnergy Platform is under development at the moment. Theses wiki pages are constantly updated and are meant to give an overview of the objectives as well as the current state of the concept and implementation of the different components forming the OpenEnergy Platform.
This platform got the working title OpenEnergy Platform (OEP). Considering the low number of participants in the undertaken decision making process with regard to the naming, we decided to continue with the name, which was used until now. In this way we hope to avoid misunderstandigs.
Many of the activities regarding the OpenEnergy Plattform, undertaken by ZNES, RLI, Next Energy and the University of Madgeburg, are currently (08/2015 until 08/2016) part of the project open_eGo, which itself is funded by the German Federal Ministy of Economic Affairs and Energy.
The project proposal was written before the openmod initiative was established and was promoted by the project partners for the same reasons for which they also participated in the foundation of the openmod initative. Now, the OpenEnergy Platform team wants to avoid double structures and use their resources to support the openmod initiative.
During the workshop in London (09/2015) a break-out group discussed the idea of an OpenEnergy Platform and different aspects. The participants agreed on expanding the existing online presence of the openmod initiative. The collected suggestions were advanced during a workshop in October 2015 in Berlin.
Thanks to all, who support the development of our common environment with critical and constructive remarks. In other words, please, feel free to discuss the concept with us.
Objectives of the OpenEnergy Platform (OEP)
The objectives of the OpenEnergy Platform are defined as follows:
- expanding / improving the existing openmod online presence (homepage and wiki) with regard to the wishes and interests of the openmod community
- providing a place to meet and exchange with people interested in open source modelling of energy systems
- giving an overview of open source energy system models
- giving an overview of proprietary energy system models in order to increase the transparency in the field of energy modelling and to do the first step towards code disclosure
- giving an overview of various existing scenarios together with the input-parameters that were used for modelling these scenarios (and maybe together with their outcomes)
- offering a place to store and exchange data (raw data and processed data), which are needed for modelling
- offering a place for exchange about modelling related issues (e.g. data quality, model quality etc.)
- offering advice for good collaborative working practice (rules, guidelines, processesand tools) and general / structural support (by providing a well-organised working platform)
Users of the OpenEnergy Platform
- model developer: A model developer is a person, who works on the design and code of energy system models.
- model user: A model user is person who has downloaded / wants to download a model in order to make calculations with own data input and assumptions (scenarios). A model user might become a model developer in future, because she/he might get interested in understanding, improving and expanding the code.
- non-modeller: A non-modeller is a person, who does not intent to make own calculations with an energy system, but is for example interested in data and results obtained with different models and scenarios. This could be e.g. a climate protection manager working for a municipality, a person working for a NGO or … .
Main page and where it links to
When the user comes to the main page, she/he sees the openmod logo, a short definition („We are a grass root initiative of modellers from various universities and research institutes across Europe.“), a welcome statement (, the latest news, a tag cloud), “Connect!” information and the overview of (as well as a link to) the provided content, which can be grouped into the following areas:
From here the user goes to the different subsections depending on her/his background and reason for coming.
The proposed idea means an adjustment and extension of the existing openmod website (openmod-initiative.org/), which will become the connector between the different areas of the OpenEnergy Platform like for example the wiki and the database. Therefore, the user should easily get back to this main page by clicking on the openmod logo, no matter on which site she/he is.
Dear openmod community, being in the openmod wiki a click on the openmod logo leads to the main page of the wiki. Could this click lead to the main page instead?
Best case: A user, who wants to edit, add and watch articles, statements or other content (including data) on the OpenEnergy Platform, logs in or if not done before creates an account in order to be able to log in. At the same time a profile is created, which the users use to present themselves and to find contact information. That means the existing openmod wiki accounts will give access to the function of the entire platform.
The log-in is possible from every single page of the platform. A users, who indicates that she/he forgot her/his password, will be mailed a link to a password reset website.
Current setup / Less-than-perfect solution: A user, who wants to edit, add or watch articles and statements on the OpenEnergy Platform (meaning the openmod wiki), logs in or if not done before creates an account in order to be able to log in. At the same time a profile is created, which the users use to present themselves and and to find contact information.
The log-in is possible from every single page of the wiki. A users, who indicates that she/he forgot her/his password, will be mailed a link to a password reset website.
For changing and uploading data in the database (and maybe also for editing model and scenario fact sheets) the user needs another account. The main page allows the user to log into the wiki as well as into the other areas.
In order to achieve the best case the Auth-Plugin of the underlying openmod MediaWiki needs to be redefined. The expected challenge is the export of the account data including the encrypted passwords from the database of the openmod wiki and the import into the user management of the database using CKAN. In case of unsolvable problems with the data transfer the implementation of an additional user management for the database using CKAN is considered as the second best solution.
Dear openmod community, is someone of you interested in supporting the user management unification?
Search function for the entire platform / platform components
The user finds a search field on every page of the OpenEnergy Platform. In the drop down menu the user selects which part of the platform is meant to be scanned, for instance the wiki, the glossary or the database. In order to make the search more efficient, the user searching information can choose a term from a list of keywords, that users of the platform use to organise and classify the content (faceted search).
In case of a search inside the database, the user is offered the opportunity to limit the results to a specific geographical area by the means of a map.
Depending on the performance of the data search a scan of the entire platform might be offered. It needs to be taken into account, that this goes with a less detailed scan of the database. For this reason a hint will be displayed: “For a more detailed search, please, use the database search.“
The search function is based on CKAN and is adjusted to the requirements of the OpenEnergy Platform. This search is a faceted search, meaning keywords (so called tags) are defined and can be searched. On the one hand this search function can scan the tags and descriptions of the datasets in the database in order to find a certain table. On the other hand also a selected dataset in the database can be scanned in order to find a certain term or value.
The search inside of the wiki and the other pages will be integrated into the search function. To do that, the (wiki) pages will be extended by tag fields. In the end the search function can scan the tags as well as the content of the (wiki) pages and present the search results to the user.