HELICS Quick Start

If you just want to get a HELICS co-simulation running on your local machine and to see how it works for yourself, this is the place to start. This Quick Start Guide will get HELICS installed along with the Python interface along with the first fundamental example. You’ll then be able to run it, see your results, and take a look at the code. And, of course, at the end of all of that you’re puzzled as to what you actually did, we have a whole Users’s Guide to get you up to speed.

The commands below are are terminal/command-line tools available on Windows, Linux, and macOS.

Install HELICS and the Python Language Binding

pip install 'helics[cli]'

The HELICS User Guide predominantly uses Python as, in our experience, Python is the lingua franca of the application-oriented (vs. computer science) computing world. The above command installs the Python language bindings for HELICS (allowing you to add import helics to any Python script) as well as a HELICS library.

Confirm installation

helics --version should return something reasonable-looking, namely a version number followed by unique identifier for the release.

Clone in the HELICS Examples Repository

git clone https://github.com/GMLC-TDC/HELICS-Examples.git


Download a copy of the repository (if you’re not familiar with Git.)

The HELICS Examples repository contains all the examples for the User Guide (and other example content as well). Cloning or downloading this repository will give you a local copy of all those examples.

Run the Fundamental Default Example

helics run --path=fundamental_default_runner.json

The helics run command provides an easy way to launch a co-simulation based on the contents of the runner file (“fundamental_default_runner.json” in this case). In this case, the runner launches two Python federates created for this example, “Battery.py” (which models five EV batteries) and “Charger.py” (which models five EV chargers). You should a few graphs that look like this:

Next Steps