A general purpose dynamic process simulator

Process simulators are indispensable for the modern chemical industry.  For small and medium enterprises and also for new startups in the general area of chemicals and refining, simulation is an important mechanism to increase profits and to remain competitive.  As most small companies carry out their processing through batch operations, dynamic simulation capability is very important.  A general purpose open source dynamic process simulator has the potential to improve the employment potential of chemical engineering graduates.

Good open source simulators, such as DWSIM, are available for steady state simulation.  General purpose modelling and simulation environments, capable of dynamic simulation, such as OpenModelica, are also available.  Our group has ported thermodynamic packages into OpenModelica and made it capable of carrying out process simulation.  We are also porting unit operation blocks into OpenModelica.  A graphic user interface for the chemical process simulation is also getting developed for OpenModelica.

We need to develop strategies to build and to carry out general purpose dynamic process simulation.  In the simplest of cases, this capability will be required to carry out what if studies and to assess the effectiveness of control strategies.  In extreme cases, this capability will be required for start up and shut down analysis.  A capability to produce specific simulators out of the general purpose simulation platform will be very useful to small companies that would have mostly repetitive tasks.  The fact that OpenModelica is designed for embedded systems makes it an attractive candidate.

The PhD work will involve building a general purpose dynamic simulator on top of OpenModelica and to arrive at ways to design and implement dynamic simulation strategies.

 

Proposing Faculty
Research Area
  • Identification
  • Modelling
  • Optimisation
  • Process Control
  • Process Safety Analysis