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Plants in Simulink∗

Peter Niebert

VERIMAG, 2, av. de Vignate, Gières, France

May 26, 2000

Abstract

In this work, we report on efforts for building a prototype simulink

library for compositional modelling of hydrodynamic networks. The

work is inspired by a cooperation with the EDF, where the desire for

compositional modelling in a causal framework was exposed. The na-

ture of the dynamics of hydrodynamic systems itself is compositional,

and it is desirable to profit from this compositionality for modelling.

This can be of great importance for quick production of prototype

simulation models for understanding system dynamics.

We explain the modelling technique used and how it relates to

other approaches, give examples to indicate the construction of the

prototypic simulink library and comment on experiences gained with

this model.

1 Introduction

In this work, we consider the modelling hydro- and thermodynamic networks

as used for heat transport in thermal powerplants and other technical appli-

This work was supported in part by contract number 9853, “Application de la technique

∗

des centrales à EDF” with ELECTRICITE DE FRANCE, and by EC Esprit-LTR Project

26270 VHS.

1

cations. The aim is to develop a compositional modelling framework on the

basis of the popular simulation package Simulink.

A huge variety of tools for the simulation of hydrodynamics in general

and hydrodynamic networks (as in the case study) in particular are avail-

able, often better suited to the domain than a general purpose simulator like

Matlab/Simulink. However, sometimes other aspects of the simulation envi-

ronment – such as the possibility to generate real time code or compatibility

with simulation models of other parts of the system – may make a particular

tool like Matlab/Simulink preferable to other tools.

A characteristic of modelling with Simulink is the underlying dataflow

model. Models are described by block diagrams, where bigger blocks are built

out of smaller blocks, and blocks are connected by signals, which impose a

direction on the influencing sizes of the system. A block realises a function,

transforming an input signal into an output signal, but possibly using and

changing an internal state. Therefore, often blocks are described as pure

functions in the Laplace transform.

The problem in modelling the phenomena occurring in hydraulic networks

is the lack of a direction of causality, i.e. usually the states of a component in

a hydrodynamic network will usually depend on the state of its neighboring

components and vice versa.

This phenomenon has long been known in the context of physical mod-

elling and different solutions have been chosen. One solution is to avoid flow

diagrams as modelling formalism on the whole and instead to use constraint

based modelling methods as in Modelica to specify the system with Kirchhoff

equations for steady state assumptions. The models obtained this way can

be translated back into block diagram models, but at a price. The resulting

models would not be easy to read.

If on the other hand one wants to stick to block diagrams as primary

specification formalism (and Simulink as corresponding tool), two options

arise: One tries to formulate the Kirchhoff equations as algebraic constraints,

which the simulator (integrator) would have to resolve dynamically. As the

number of connections in the system rises, this is no longer realistic.

Alternatively, one can model the hydrodynamic network in the flavor of

current-potential-equations, as has been developed in [2]. In that work, a

network theory is proposed for modelling processes as they occur in chemical

process control, but naturally the techniques can be applied to hydro- and

thermodynamic networks as well.

We will elaborate the concept for the current application in the following

2

sections and outline a prototype simulink library for hydraulic networks,

which we have developed on this basis.

In this section, we outline the modelling method based on opposing potential

and current vectors as was proposed by Gilles in [2].

The purpose of the method is to obtain a compositional hybrid model

for multiphase hydraulic networks, but it is phrased in very general terms

applicable to a wide variety of physical phenomena. The meaning of com-

positionality here essentially is that the topology of the model consisting of

blocks and connections maps straightly onto the topology of the actual phys-

ical plant. Gilles furthermore proposes a hierarchical modelling technique

in that the different phases contained within a liquid in a container are in-

terconnected in a similar way as are the physical components on a higher

level.

A hydrodynamic network consists of components as containers, pipes,

pumps etc, and connections between these components. The ideology be-

hind this partitioning of the system is that the components contain mass

and energy in different forms whereas the connections define the interaction

between the contents of the components but do not contain mass or energy

themselves. Whether one wants to look at a valve as a component or as a

connection is a matter of presentation. Gilles proposes to look at valves as

connections and we follow this approach.

The modelling technique follows the idea that the potentials of the com-

ponents lead to a current between them through the connection. Thus in a

flow diagram model, the connection takes the potentials of the components

as inputs and computes a resulting current. The components take the cur-

rent as input and thus compute the change in potential. Figure 1 shows a

general example.

The potentials pi and currents Ii may of course be vectorial. The approach

allows compositional specification, because the physical preservation laws

need only be established locally, i.e. by the connection element (sum of energy

flows must equal zero) and by each component individually (the integration

of mass energy inflows and outflows determines the amount of energy within

the component).

A component itself may be unstructured, thus have its internal state

3

pi pj

connecting

Ci element Cj

Ii Ij

may have an internal structure. The internal structure then is given again by

components and interconnections on a lower level. A full hierarchy of mod-

elling levels is thus possible in a homogenous fashion. For instance, in Figure

2 the inner structure of a pipe is given by three segments. This approach

S1 S2 S3

The unrealisable limit is a continuous vector field where the infinitesimally

small connections are represented by partial differential equations. We will

however always stick to the discrete structure indicated above.

At the bottom of the hierarchy we thus find unstructured atomic compo-

nents with scalar energy levels etc. Naturally, at this level we have to make

use of a simplified model of behaviour. It will have to take into account all

currents at the connections and assumptions about its behaviour. To come

up with simulation models, we will typically assume homogeneous distribu-

tion of mass, energy, etc. within an atomic component, as is usually done in

finite element modelling.

The latter assumption implies that the connections – while principally

bidirectional – will have to take into account the direction of flow of ma-

4

terial in a switched manner. Consider for instance the case that there is

water flowing from component 1 to component 2. Then the thermal energy

in component 2 results as immediate mixture of the thermal energy of the

container contents and the inflow, whereas the energy loss of component 1

depends only on the outflow but not the conditions within component 2.

The above way of modelling unavoidably introduces imprecisions rela-

tively to the the continuous modelling via partial differential equations: The

resulting behaviour of the model will usually differ from the behaviour of the

continuous model.

This means that only the last step in the modelling – the modelling of the

atomic components and connections differs from the modelling for simulation.

However, for purposes of simulation for technical applications, the introduced

error will often be small compared to the imprecisions of the actual physical

system. Robust control systems should not rely on these imprecisions in

order to function correctly.

In the following section, we explain in detail the mathematical model of

atomic components used for hydro- and thermodynamic networks.

tions

In the following we present a model for the behaviour of atomic components

or phases in a hydro- and thermodynamic network.effects.

Hundreds of years of hydrodynamics have produced a sophisticated ana-

lytic theory based on very simple mechanic laws and assumptions. For those

unfamiliar with hydrodynamic simulation models, it may come as a little sur-

prise that very little of this theory is needed for the compositional modelling.

This is simply due to the fact that the complexity dealt with by the analytic

theory results from the connections and is thus implicit in our formalism.

There is, however, one complicating factor which we have to take into ac-

count, which analytic theory can neglect, and that is the thermodynamics of

liquid water.

The physical aspects of the state of a phase which we will take into account

are as follows:

5

• the kind of the phase: liquid water, vapour, air, etc.

• its volume and more generally the geometry of the component or the

phase;

• its mass;

tion (relative to the connections);

mass is given and the kind of the phase implies its specific heat

capacity.

– The potential energy is already represented by the geometry and

the mass (which is assumed to be homogeniously distributed in

the system).

– The kinetic energy is determined by the flow speeds at the con-

nections. Since we will keep track of the flows at the connections,

it need not be represented explicitely in the components.

connections and phase connections. For connections of two components

which allow the flow of liquid as well as heat transfer by conduction, two

distinct connections would thus be required in the modelling. We will com-

pletely ignore heat transfer by diffusion due to different density.

For the liquid connection between two components, we state:

the components.

– the direction of the mass flow;

– the temperature of the mass in the component, from which the

flow is going outwards.

6

For a thermal connection we assume that the two components are ther-

mally connected by a heat conducting medium.

its physical properties (e.g. conductivity, surface and thickness) and by

the temperature differences between the connected components.

mal connection plays a role than it should be modeled as a (solid)

component of its own right with two thermal connections to the adja-

cent components.

atomic component, we state:

densating).

component between the liquid and the gazeous phase may change.

as well as for the connections. What is missing is a mathematical precision

of the mutual dependency between components and connections.

Afterwards, we will go through some concrete examples.

nections.

The dependency of the state of components relatively to the computed flows

of the connection is very simple: The flows integrated over time give the

states. The integration of the inflow of mass gives the mass, and the integra-

tion of the inflow of enthalpy gives the enthalpy. Thus the causal connection

from current to potential is straight forward.

The converse direction is much harder, and it is here that the unavoidable

modelling mistakes become visible. Put otherwise, it is here where modelling

decisions have to be taken. We have chosen the following approach:

7

• We make the mass flow a variable of the connection. The mass flows at

the connections of a pipe thus implicitely describe the kinetic energy

of the liquid in the pipe.

The development of the mass flow is then determined via the local

force, more precisely the force gradient at the connection. Given the

connection area and the definition of pressure as force per area, we

can thus determine the flow (in mass per second) as integration of the

average pressure gradient multiplied by the connection surface.

An important advantage of this modelling decision (instead of keeping

track of the acceleration and passing this information to the compo-

nents) is that it allows to close connections (set the flow to zero) without

delay. For the derivative, this would have to be modelled by a Dirac

pulse, which is not supported by Simulink.

• The second – and most crude – design decision coming into the picture

is how to determine the pressure gradient at the connection out of the

mass, temperature and geometry of the connected components.

We thus decided to determine the average pressure in the components

according to an equation of state for liquid water, i.e. a thermodynamic

law relating density, temperature and pressure of water. Such an equa-

tion of state gives us two functions, a function to calculate the density

of water from its temperature and pressure and dually its pressure out

of the temperature and the density. This is elaborated in Section 3.3.

homogeneous, so is to be the pressure. This yealds a contradictory and

useless infinite pressure gradient at the connections. In reality also, the

pressure varies continuously at the connections of the components and

within the components.

Hence, we approximate the pressure gradient by assuming a linear vari-

ation of the pressure between the centers of the components (where we

assume the average pressure to hold). If one thinks about this in de-

tail, it gives rise to many contradictions. This is not the point, it is an

approximative estimate.

the compontents and pass this information together with the distance

8

from the gravitational center to the connection. Within the connection,

the corresponding information concerning both components is com-

bined by the assumption of a constant pressure gradient between the

centers of the components.

• All of the above is sufficient for the case of horizontal, frictionless and

passive pipes. For the case of pipes passing an elevation, for the case

where viscous friction is modelled, and for active components such as

pumps this is not sufficient.

From an analytic point of view, all of the above cases lead to a change in

pressure between the ends of a pipe. Friction makes the pressure drop

in the direction of the flow. An active pump raises the pressure in the

pumping direction, and gravity raises the pressure in the downwards

direction. In order to model these phenomena, we superimpose their

pressure effects over the mean pressure.

• The flow of enthalpy as mentioned follows the flow of mass. Within

the connection we thus first determine the direction of the flow and

from the temperature of the component with the outflow we derive the

enthalpy flow.

For thermal connections, the modelling technique is simpler, because the

transfer of heat uses a medium with a certain conductivity, thickness and

connection area. Using simple laws of thermal conduction, we thus determine

the enthalpy flow from the differences of temperatures.

This is consistent with the assumption of equally distributed temperature

within a component. Still, this contains the systematic modelling error, that

the change in thermal energy is immediately visible at all other connections

of a component as well.

Thermodynamics (among other subjects) provides equations of state. The

equation of state for an ideal gas is prominent in every introduction to

physics: p = ρRS T , where p is the pressure, ρ the density, T the absolute

temperature and RS a specific gas constant (depending on the molecular

mass of the gas).

Less well known to the general scientific public are equations of state for

substances other than ideal gases, in particular for liquids. The assumption of

9

incompressibility of liquids like water is indeed inconsistent with an equation

of state.

Nevertheless, equations of state for water have been formulated to de-

scribe the relation of the three sizes (pressure, density, temperature) within

certain ranges. These equations are approximations using certain assump-

tions on the form of the equation and have several coefficients (playing a

similar role as RS for an ideal gas) which have been determined by curve

fitting experimentally obtained triples.

For the purpose of demonstrating the feasability of the approach, we

have chosen to use a simple equation, the UNESCO equation of state for

seawater (IES80). The reason for chosing this equation was an available

matlab function for computing the density from pressure, temperature and

salinity.

We set salinity to zero and for the resulting simplified function we also

(using a computer algebra system) computed the inverse function to deter-

mine the pressure from density and temperature at salinity zero.

As its name saysm this equation is meant to approximate the equation of

state for water at conditions which occur in the seas of earth. Its applicability

is thus limited and the choice is a compromise.

There are, however, other approximations available such as the recently

published [3], which claims to be very exact over a wide range of pressures

and temperatures.

The matlab code for computing the pressure is given in the appendix.

A Simulink library is a collection of reusable Simulink blocks. Using drag

and drop they can be included in a model. If the library link, i.e. the link

from the block in the model to the library component persists, then changes

to the block in the library will also affect the instance of the block in the

model.

In the library at the time of writing, we have a collection of atomic compo-

nents, i.e. pipes in some variations (with and without friction, with a thermal

connection), forks, i.e. components with three and with four connections, ba-

sic versions of a valve and a pump, a pressure source. It has blocks for liquid

as well as for thermal connections.

And it contains a few structured blocks, such as a heating (which is a

10

pipe to which energy can be added to heat it) and a counter-current heat

exchanger. These blocks are included as demonstration of the possibility

to compose a collection of locally connected components to a subsystem

independently from the rest of the system.

Most components in the library are masked and allow the specification of

some parameters, typically physical dimensions of the component as well as

information about the initial state (initial temperature and pressure).

Completely lacking at the moment are gaseous phases. As a compensa-

tion, there is a components called water column which represents the liquid

phase of an cylinder open to atmospheric pressure and with a liquid connec-

tion at the bottom.

In the following subsections we show some examples of components in

the library to explain its structure. We assume basic familiarity with block

diagrams.

A complete print of the library is attached in the appendix.

In Figure 3, the Simulink model of a frictionless pipe is depicted. It is

specified by its diameter, length and elevation (deltaheight). It takes two

vectorial inputs to represent the inflows of mass and thermal energy at the

ends of the pipe. Outflows are represented as negative inflows.

The inflows are added and then integrated to obtain the internal state of

the component, its mass and enthalpy. “Enthalpy” is represented as mass (in

kg) times temperature (in degrees Celsius). Since the substance is assumed

to be plain water with known properties, this information is sufficient and

easy to compute.

The block named transformation transforms mass, enthalpy and volume

to density (mass per volume) temperature (“enthalpy” per mass), and pres-

sure calculated by a matlab function from temperature and density.

The gravitational center of the pipe is found in the middle, at length/2.

Pressure, temperature and this distance from the middle are then combined

to output vectors.

Since the pipe rises from end 1 to end 2, hydrostatics tells us that there is

a pressure drop from end 1 to end 2. This pressure drop is superimposed over

the medium pressure and added to or substracted from the output pressures

accordingly.

11

massinit

initial mass

1 enthalpy flow 1

Demux

1

In1 mass flow 1

mass pressure

s

mass volume volume temperature

enthalpy density

1 transformation

2 Demux enthalpy flow 2

s

In2 mass flow 2

enthalpy

tempinit

initial enthalpy 1

initial temperature

Out1

length/2

halflength

deltaheight 0.5

9.81

pressure drop due to rise distribute

grav. acceleration (m/s^2)

2

Out2

In Figure 4, a liquid connection is shown. It takes two vectorial inputs, triples

of pressure, temperature and distance and outputs two vectorial outputs of

dimension two (mass flow, enthalpy flow).

First, the pressure gradient is calculated, then multiplied by the connec-

tion area to give the force gradient. The integration of the force gradient

gives the mass flow.

To determine the enthalpy flowing with the mass, the direction of flow is

first determined and the temperature of the component with the outflow is

chosen and multiplied with the mass flow.

The thermal connection shown in Figure 5 simply takes a temperature

difference and transforms it according to the conductivity lambda of the

medium, the area A, the thickness length of the medium and finally the

heat capacity of water to an enthalpy flow.

12

vectorial inputs: pressure temperature distance

[p1]

In1 [p2]

1 Demux [T1]

signals 1 2 Demux [T2]

[d1] signals 2

In2 [d2]

[d1]

[d2]

1 [T1]

[p1]

s

force gradient [T2]

[p2] negative pressure gradient flow flow temperature

enthalpy flow −1 1

Out1

A qinit Gain

2

connection area initial flow

Out2

1

T1

2

−1 1

T2

Out1

enthalpy flow Gain

(lambda*A)/(length*cwater) 2

Out2

13

4.3 Example: A countercurrent heater

As an example of a complex component, Figure 6 shows a countercurrent

heat exchanger. It is modelled by two pipes of three segments, which are

connected by liquid connections. The parallel segments are linked by thermal

connections.

Supposing that a hot current flows through the upper branch from left

to right and a cold current flows through the lower branch from right to left,

then the resulting heat exchange will be stronger due to higher temperature

differences along the pipes (i.e. in the segments) than if the currents both

flow in the same direction.

OutA1

1 2

OutA2

Out1

Out2

In1

In2

Out1

Out2

In1

In2

Out1

Out2

liquid liquid

pipe with friction pipe with friction pipe with friction

connect connect

and thermal connection and thermal connection and thermal connection

Out1

Out2

Out1

Out2

In1

In2

In3

In1

In2

In3

In1

In2

In3

InA2

1 2

InA1

T1

T2

T1

T2

T1

T2

thermal thermal thermal

connect connect connect

Out1

Out2

Out1

Out2

Out1

OutB1 Out2

3 4

Out1

Out2

In1

In2

Out1

Out2

In1

In2

Out1

Out2

OutB2

liquid liquid

pipe with friction pipe with friction pipe with friction

connect connect

and thermal connection and thermal connection and thermal connection

Out1

Out2

Out1

Out2

In1

In2

In3

In1

In2

In3

In1

In2

In3

InB2

3 4

InB1

tion models

In the following, we address some practical issues related to the simulation

models in Simulink.

14

5.1 Appropriate Integration Methods

The modelling technique proposed here is meant for easy compomisition of

understandable simulink models. Unfortunately, the simulation models have

properties which sometimes make the simulation, i.e. numerical integration

slow (not generally suited for the generation of real time code). Neverthe-

less, some measures can be taken which help to come up with sufficiently

performing models.

A key problem in the modelling technique is due to the presence of oscil-

lations of relatively high frequency with relatively low amplitude, which do

not contribute to the macroscopic behaviour of the models. Models with this

property are called stiff. A variable step integrator thus has to reduce the

step size to deal with the high frequency disturbancies unless they vanish to

a magnitude below integration precision.

We usually obtained the best results using Simulinks integration method

ode15s with maximum order 2.

The oscillations are due to the modelling of compressibility, which we

introduced in order to obtain models compositionally. Intuitively, these os-

cillations are due to a discrepancy between the pressure as calculated from

density and the pressure which reflects the macroscopic state of the system

(macroscopic flows, . . . ).

The phenomenon typically occurs at the beginning of a simulation, where

the originally specified pressure (and derived density) is ill chosen, i.e. re-

quires an immediate and strong change of the global system state. This

becomes visible by strongly oscillating pressures and slow integration. Usu-

ally, the oscillation disappears after a short period (simulation time) due to

various aspects of friction in the system. Then the microscopic oscillation

becomes insignificant and the pressure exposes only the macroscopic oscil-

lations. Correspondingly, the integration step size remains large and the

simulation is fast.

For reuse of the simulation model, the results of a first run can be used to

improve the guess of the initial pressure by estimating the mean amplitude

of the microscopic oscillation. A second simulation will then expose a much

shorter period of microscopic oscillation.

Alternatively, a steady state analysis could be used to find better guesses

of the initial parameters.

15

5.2 Importance of friction

As has been mentioned in the previous section, the microscopic oscillations

due to the modelled compressibility of water consume computation time,

unless they disappear due to friction.

While models without friction usually have a simpler look, their simu-

lation with our approach is not neccessarily more efficient. The calculation

overhead due to computations of friction factors etc. is merited by reduced

microscopic oscillation and a consequently much bigger integration step size.

Thus, unless the behaviour of systems without friction is explicitly re-

quested, including friction is a better idea.

The calculation of pressure from density is the most frequently called func-

tion in the simulation, most certainly contributing substancially to the com-

putation time requirements: Currently, it is realised as a Matlab function

calculating several polynomials of degree upto 16. Execution of matlab func-

tions is slow and the degree of the polynomial is not justified by the precision

of the approximation.

The formula used to calculate pressure from water temperature and den-

sity is derived by precisely inverting the IES80 equation of state, which orig-

inally had a much lower degree.

Hence, there are two aspects, by which the calculation of the pressure can

be speeded up:

state of water. For instance, there is a recent proposal in [3] for a new

and very precise equation of state.

We have designed the Simulink hydro- and thermodynamic library with the

aim of optical transparency to avoid modelling errors.

However, due to limitations of Simulink, it is still possible to compose

models which are not faulty at first sight:

16

• Among the most likely errors to occur is an inconsistency of the param-

eters of the two components linked by a connection and the parameter

of the connection itself. It is currently not detected, whether the values

– in particular the area of the connection – are inconsistent.

If they are not, then usually the simulation will produce strange results

and it is not easy to spot the source of the error.

This problem could be solved by making the connection area an output

parameter of the component, so that the connection can compare the

two connection areas and raise an alarm (and stop the simulation), if

they differ.

• The current implementation does not test for over- and underflows of

containers (i.e. water columns). Overflows will just be ignored, under-

flows with negative signs will not produce meaningful results.

Again, testing for error conditions of this kind in the component and

halting the simulation would be an acceptable solution.

6 Modelling Alternatives

The modelling method we presented is not the only option for compositional

modelling. In this section, we address two other approaches, one similar is

spirit (connection-component modelling), the other classical analytical.

Since we started with the connection-component style modelling we present

in Section 6.2 on the basis of analytical models, we will first discuss the clas-

sical approach.

Analytic fluid dynamics for onedimensional networks uses a network theory

similar to electric circuits and is based on the following physical assumptions:

liquid.

• The forces working on the liquid are described by pressure (force per

area), gravity, and resistance caused by viscous friction.

17

The interplay of the different force, together with the law of preser-

vation of energy, lead to the well-known Bernoulli equation, which

however comes in many variations depending on the detail of physi-

cal modeling. E.g. under the assumption of constant density, in the

absence of viscous friction, and under the assumption of steady state

(i.e. no changes in the flow direction), the Bernoulli equation takes the

2 p

simple form: v2g +z + ρg = const, where v is the vectorial velocity of flow

at a particular point in the liquid, g is the gravitational acceleration,

z is the elevation relative to an arbitrarily chosen reference height, p is

the pressure at this point and ρ is the density of the liquid.

Taking furthermore the force accelerating the liquid as a whole into

account (which is zero under the R assumption of steady flow), the equa-

2 p

tion is changed to v2g + z + ρg + g1 dvdtx dx = const, where dvdtx is the local

acceleration of the flow with time.

Furthermore, the force of resistance can/has to be added. Viscous fric-

tion follows complex physical laws, in particular, Newtonian liquids ex-

pose a non-continuous transition from laminar to turbulent flow, where

the resistance force is stronger under conditions of turbulent flow.

A compositional modelling technique on this basis thus describes the re-

lations of pressures and mass flow within a component individually and then

adds the global constraints, Kirchhoff laws, that

• The pressure at a connection is identical for the connected components.

• The sum of the flows of mass (and enthalpy) at a connection equals

zero.

A model described in this way is not directly suitable for simulation (nu-

meric integretation). A static preparation phase is required beforehand as is

done for instance by Dymola. A Modelica library for hydrodynamics specified

in this way is freely available [1].

connections

In search for a similarly compositional modelling technique for the flow di-

agram based user interface of Simulink, we have investigated the possibility

of imposing the Kirchhoff laws by connection components, which

18

• Take the flows of the connected components as input.

flows approaches zero.

A naive approach is to try to impose this by an algebraic constraint.

This however, is bound to fail, not only because the algorithms used by

Simulink in order to treat algebraic loops are not capable of achieving dynam-

ically what the analytic approach mentioned in Section 6.1 does statically,

but also, because the system has singularities whereever a switching (opening

or closing of a valve, starting the system from a resting position) occurs.

On the other hand, the pressure can also be adapted dynamically with an

intuitive model of a flexible connection in mind. The connection is specified

by:

• an initial pressure and initial mass. These serve as initial guess of the

pressure at the vertex in the network and as an intuitive measure for

the flexibility of the connection. The less mass is involved, the more

rigid is the connection.

connection.

calculate from initial pressure and mass and current mass the current

pressure.

The resulting system as a consequence does not always respect the Kirch-

hoff law that the sum of the flows equals zero. Sometimes there will be a

small inflow into the connection (and the pressure will rise), sometimes a

small outflow (and the pressure will drop). Usually however, the sum of

flows will be small compared to the individual flows which means that the

flows are essentially passed through the connection as Kirchhoff requires.

Technically, the integrator used can be seen as a controller aimed to

keep the the inflow into the connection at zero (where the Kirchhoff law is

satisfied). It can furthermore be refined to behave better in simulations.

The experience with this modelling technique, although physically less

intuitive then the technique based on potential current vector modelling, are

quite acceptable. Moreover, within the components the analytic laws for

inhomogenous pressure distribution due to gravity, acceleration and friction

19

can be maintained. As a consequence, the models of the components are a

bit more involved, i.e. analytical, and the simulation results will be closer to

analytic models.

Moreover, the description of the components as functions is inverse: they

take pressures as inputs and compute currents as outputs. The technique

can thus be seen as dual to potential current vector modelling.

7 Conclusions

We have elaborated a way of compositionally modelling hydro- and ther-

modynamic networks with Simulink flow diagrams in the spirit of potential

current vector modelling. The resulting Simulink library prototype can be

used to rapidly compose reference models of such networks.

The emphasis is on rapid prototyping, as a consequence the resulting sim-

ulation models will not perform optimally. Moreover, some physical aspects

have been incorporated into the formalism which often play a minor role in

practice. We consider its main uses in experimenting with models before

actually taking the effort of developing an efficient model and for didactic

presentation of models.

References

[1] H. Elmquist et al. Modelica – A unified object-oriented language for

physical systems modelling, 1999. TUTORIAL and RATIONALE.

Chemie Ingenieur Technik, 69(8197):1053–1065, 1997. Übersichtsbeitrag.

[3] C.A. Jeffery and P.H.Austin. A new analytic equation of state for liquid

water. Journal of Chemical Physics, 1999.

[4] The Math Works Inc. Simulink – Dynamic System Simulation for MAT-

LAB, 1999.

Analysis. McGraw - Hill, 1996.

20

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