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Data on the renewable energy flows (or reservoirs) that may serve as inputs to the energy conversion system have been a major theme of Chapter 2 and particularly of Chapter 3.

As mentioned in section 6.1.2, the performance of most conversion systems can be calculated with sufficient accuracy by a "quasi-steady-state approximation", and most of these systems possess "buffering mechanisms", which make them insensitive to input fluctuations of short duration (such as high-frequency components in a spectral decomposition). For this reason, the input data describing the renewable energy fluxes may be chosen as time-averages over suitable time intervals. What constitutes a "suitable" time interval depends on the response time ("time constant") of the conversion system, and it is likely that the description of some systems will require input data of a very detailed nature (e.g. minute-averages), whereas other systems may be adequately described using data averaged over months.

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