Build 139 Release Notes

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What's New in SysCAD 9.3 Build 139
What's New Release Notes Revision History Product Blog (Coming Soon)

Latest SysCAD Version: 03 May 2021 - SysCAD 9.3 Build 138.28537

Coming soon! More details later.

What's New and Changed

Model Improvements

Unit Model Improvements

  • Gibbs Free Energy Minimisation (FEM) unit
    • Significant performance (speed) improvements in FEM solver together with a more robust implementation to handle a greater range of conditions.
    • Added UseConvergedSoln option to allow model to use previous solution as a starting point if feed hasn't changed much since previous iteration. This provides a significant reduction in solve time.
    • New AutoDamping option when using FixedHeat operating mode. This improves robustness and solve time of iterative FixedHeat operating mode significantly.
    • Solver settings moved to separate tab page with more user configurable settings.
    • Able to be used as a side calculation, where FEM calculations are performed and displayed but not applied to the feed stream.
  • Solvent Extraction (Mixer Settler) unit - now allows Multiple Isotherms.
    • This allows multiple reactions within a single unit to be controlled by isotherms, including different elements.
    • The old original method is no longer supported in Build139, please see Project Upgrade for more detail.
  • Shell and Tube Heat Exchanger 2
    • New Shell and Tube 2 Evaporating Mode
    • New options added to internally bypass a percentage of the primary or secondary streams when using the Sensible HX method. Includes secondary option to calculate and apply the required bypass percentage to achieve a set-point outlet temperature.
  • Simple Heater - New optional side calculation for required Steam flow to achieve specified temperature.
    • Can be used to quickly workout the steam flow requirements without having to add the physical stream.
    • Requirements specified and results shown on new Steam tab.
  • General Separator - New density separation methods
    • Allows user to split solids based on density curve, with user specified efficiency parameter to determine sharpness of split.
  • Drum Filter - Added new option to calculate the required internal recycle of filtrate (which would include wash water) to dilute feed slurry/solids to user-defined solids concentration, representing a feed tank or drum filter bath.
  • Reverse Osmosis (RO) Unit:
  • Precipitation3 - Agglomeration terms for kernel, rate and collision have been modularised to allow more variation. See Agglom Parameters for more information.
  • Electrowinning Cell - The OverrideProductT and most Heat Exchange methods are no longer allowed in the Reaction Block (RB). Only the RHX-Power option is allowed. Some additional result parameters shown in the access window.

Sub-Model Improvements

Dynamic Unit Model Improvements

  • Additional controls are available for tank level control using an Underflow connection, as well as improved bypass options.
  • The internal calculation iterations may be decoupled from the project time step using Safety.TimeStep.
  • Thickener2 model - New overflow control options. The user can set the level at which the overflow stream is taken from and set the pipe capacity in the overflow pipe.
  • Conveyor Belt improvements:
  • Added options to specify length of belt to feed onto when stopped.
  • Improved Loading display to show sections conveyor belt is divided into internally.
  • Added Copy to Clipboard option for Sections data. Allows users to analyse the data in other packages, mainly for debugging purposes.
  • Multi-Storage model - New option to display and report the combined total of all stores. Includes options to override the temperature.
  • Dynamic Tank displays IOs in order of descending height, also in most recent version of Build138.
  • Slew Rate Controller - user can set the "Output" value when stopped. Output Minimum and Maximum now correctly limits the "output" value.

User Interface

General Improvements

  • Improvements to Flowsheet Printing - New graphic page printing option - Print Multiple PDF. This option allows user to print all graphic pages to a single document. This function requires the "Microsoft Print to PDF" driver.
  • Importing Species from HSC Database - Added new import functionality for HSC8 and newer. To use the new import functionality, the HSC COM interface is required. This requires user to have a licensed working copy of HSC installed. If not, the connect to HSC COM Interface fails, and user cannot import from HSC directly.
  • Explorer Window functionality added for Manipulating Graphics Windows to allow creating, deleting and renaming of areas. This is significantly easier than using the Access window fields in PlantModel Flowsheets. Drag and drop of flowsheets between areas is also supported.
  • Reorganised Document Window commands:
  • Access Window improvements:
  • Project Window - user can right click on any of the file path or document in the Files or Environment list to get the "Open Containing Folder" popup option, clicking on this will activate the "Windows File Explorer", showing the folder or file of interest.
  • Subsequent clicks of the Recent Graphics Window RecentGraphics.png or Recent Trend Window RecentTrend.png Hot Jumps will scroll through the graphics/trend windows in order by name. Holding down Alt will scroll through them in reverse order.
  • Change Tag now includes changing of tags referenced in PID functions and in data fields for General Controllers marked as {tag} variables.

Graphics Improvements

  • Reroute Link Reroute Link.png - New graphics command. This combines the Disconnect Link, Connect Link and Redraw Link commands, allowing user to change the pipe's connection points and pipe line graphics in one continuous command.
  • Change Unit Model graphics command - Added a Next button to the dialog box, allows user to change multiple units in one session.
  • Graphics Copy and Paste between projects: when pasting the copied graphics into another project, any reference files used by the copied models (eg: reaction, pgm, mp, csv files) will be copied to the new project location; if the reference file exists in the destination (eg: a file with the same name exists in the destination project) , the file will be skipped.
  • Graphic Symbols Library - New Symbols subfolder for Shapes. The Symbols folder is part of the BaseFiles folder. This contains some basic drawing shapes such as circles, squares and triangles. Previews of the SysCAD graphic symbols can be found in ..\SysCADXXX\BaseFiles\SysCADSymbolsList.pdf
  • Animation - Improvements to Graphics - Insert Annotation Table:

New TPS Models and Add-Ons

The following new TPS (Third Party Software) Add-ons all relate to flexible integration in SysCAD plant models of third party software performing detailed equilibrium and thermodynamic property calculations. The direct integration of these specialist software programs in SysCAD provide a significant range of new and detailed applications in the SysCAD flowsheet simulator for a range of pyromet, hydromet and aqueous chemistry systems.

These add-ons were originally released as a BETA version in Build 138. They have been significantly improved and new unit models added in Build 139. PHREEQC and ChemApp FACTSage add-ons are no longer a BETA version.

Each add-on comes with the following improved models. These were originally released as BETA versions in Build 138:

  • Model Configuration - Used to define and view various options for the selected TPS database, including management of mapping of SysCAD species list to species list used in TPS.
  • Direct Calc - Stand alone unit model to perform side calculations using TPS for predicting chemistry equilibrium conditions and properties on a user defined TPS stream.
  • Side Calc - Stand alone unit model to perform side calculations using TPS for predicting chemistry equilibrium conditions and properties on a SysCAD stream in the current project. New for Build 139 is the ability to combine several streams/contents to be evaluated in a single Side Calc model.
  • Reactor - Include this model in a SysCAD stream to use TPS to calculate predicted outlet conditions. Functionality is similar to SysCAD Reaction Block and FEM where for a given feed, reactions occur with optional heat exchange. The model can be configured in a number of ways for different purposes.


See PHREEQC Add-On for a description of this new add-on. PHREEQC is a computer program that is designed to perform a wide variety of aqueous geochemical calculations. It is developed and maintained by the United States Geological Survey

New in Build 139 is the ability for the user to enter estimated LogK values directly into SysCAD. See LogKAdjust page for more information.

ChemApp FACTSage Add-On

See ChemApp Add-On for a description of this new add-on. ChemApp is a computer program for thermodynamic phase equilibrium calculation primarily in pyrometallurgy using ChemApp and FactSage. It permits the calculation of complex, multicomponent, multiphase chemical equilibria and their associated extensive property balances. ChemApp [1] is developed and maintained by GTT-Technologies [2]. FACTSage [3] is by CRCT ThermFact Inc [4] and GTT-Technologies [5].

AQSol Add-On

See AQSol Add-On (currently in BETA) for a description of this new add-on. The AQSol program can be used for general phase equilibrium calculations for aqueous solutions. It is developed and maintained by Aqueous Solutions ApS, Søborg, Denmark

General TPS Improvements

  • Multithreading implemented for all.
  • Increased configuration options, including number of engines and minimum water content.
  • Individual phase deportment information now available for all models.

New TPS Unit Models

  • PHREEQC Evaporator / AQSol Evaporator - Uses PHREEQC/AQSol to calculate the equilibrium conditions and properties. May be used as a Crystallizer. Allows embedded HX and slurry separator. Can be used as part of a Flash Train.
  • PHREEQC Flash Tank / AQSol Flash Tank - Uses PHREEQC/AQSol to calculate the equilibrium conditions and properties. May be used as a Crystallizer. Can be used as part of a Flash Train.
  • PHREEQC Reverse Osmosis Unit / AQSol Reverse Osmosis Unit - Uses PHREEQC/AQSol to calculate the equilibrium conditions and properties. The user may specify the yield and efficiency of the process, as well as the outlet pressure requirements.
  • PHREEQC Solvent Extraction - Uses PHREEQC to calculate the equilibrium conditions and properties. The Solvent Extraction unit will mix perfectly all the input streams, complete species transfer across phases, then separate the output based on individual phase or density.

New TPS Example Projects

Other Improvements

Functionality and Solver Improvements

  • Audit - Significant update of Audit page shown on all models.
    • Improved calculation efficiency, options and display of mass & energy balance.
    • New option for Audit by Element
    • New simpler Basic Audit
    • Global Audit Option selections now shown on Audit page of every unit model.
    • Combines old Audit and Closure. Removed some tags.
    • Audit layout and tags have significantly changed, refer to Plant Model - Audit page and Audit.
    • See Tag Changes
  • Links Table - Significant update of Links page shown on all models.
    • Significantly simplified display of all the material in and out of the model. New display now includes the name of pipe connection ports.
    • Option to display a detailed view which expands the information displayed.
    • A Summary Table separately shows all material in and out of the unit by connections and in and out of the project (Sources/Sinks). This is ideal for project mass balance checks and/or unit model mass balance checks.
    • Tag naming is completely reworked, so any reports or controllers referencing these tags will need to be updated. See also Tag Changes.
  • Command Scripts - New options to allow Setting and Reporting of Tags from text files via Command Scripts.
    • This allows user to use text files (eg: .csv comma delimited file) for data input or extraction to and from SysCAD.
    • This includes both tag lists and tag tables.
    • This option has significant time saving benefits. Suitable for data dumps for very large projects.
    • An example of this has been added to the Gold Example Project, refer to this example for more information.
    • Command Script dialog box - New option to allow user to disable logging of commands to Message Window.
    • String tags can now be set via the SetTag or SetTags commands.

Species Properties Improvements

  • Cp Equation formats - New Specific Heat equations
  • Steam IF97 equations - For Steam IF97 and IF97_2 equations, these have been merged into a single equation "IF97" (SysCAD 9.3 Build139 Version). Please see IF97 for more information.
  • Vapour Properties - New option to specify normal Boiling Point in species database. This is used as a check on the vapour pressure equation on load. Please see Gas Constants for more information.

"Under the Hood" Changes

  • Reduced memory use: Even with new functionality most projects use less memory.
  • Solver speed improvements: Most projects solve slightly faster (more iterations per minute), and significantly faster if Gibbs FEM Reactor was used.
  • Improvements in error and condition reporting.
  • Updated checks for matching Build number of model DLLs (reduces errors with mismatched DLLs in bin folder).
  • Other.dat now only contains MP and PGM states and is renamed to Controls.Data
  • Small improvement in project load and save time. Includes improvements in data saved and recovered state of models at project load.
  • Compiled with Microsoft Visual Studio 2019 making use of new features available in C++ and the standard library.
  • Upgraded SQLite version used to 3.35, which increases maximum number of columns in a table from 999 to 2000.
  • Moved Electrowinning Cell from Separ1.dll to Separation.dll.

Changes that may Affect Results

  • Molecular Weights - The Standard Atomic Weights have been updated to latest values from IUPAC.
  • Steam IF97 equations - For steam equations, user now only has one simple choice – namely “IF97”. This uses the correct steam Enthalpy and Density equations for region5 (ie the IF97_2 equation in Build138 and earlier).
    • This may affect results if the project was using the old equation with steam at high temperatures. You can avoid this, by first ensuring you use "IF97_2" for Steam Density and Cp(Enthalpy) in Build 138 then solve and save; then on project upgrade there will be no effect on results.
    • Cfg files are upgraded in Build139, the files are not backward compatible, so if they are re-used in earlier build there will be load errors/warnings.
  • Bug fix for H2SO4(aq) if attempting to use user-defined Cp equation data (in the SysCAD.93.db3). It was always ignored, and hardwired data "KWA()" was always used. This has been fixed, user can now override the H2SO4(aq) Cp data with user-defined data.
    • This may result in change of heat flow if user-defined equation is used.
  • Precipitator3 changes:
    • GrowthAsDeposition option removed. All growth rate functions now give GrowthRateR (radial/crystal growth) as a result, with GrowthRateD (diametric/particle growth) shown independently. If a mismatch between GrowthMethod and GrowthAsDeposition is detected when upgrading to 139, a warning is shown and the option UseCorrectedGrowth should be selected. This may require retuning of growth rate and/or agglomeration rate parameters.
    • Evap.AllowDiscard option removed. Vapours from evaporation can no longer be discarded to "nowhere". Tanks require a Vent connection or vapours will be sent to Product (with a warning). An additional option ProdGasEntrainment has been added to allow entrainment of a fraction of vapours present in the feed or evolved from reactions. This excludes evaporation water vapour as this must be removed by definition.
    • A correction to the calculation of thermal loss due to evaporation may cause slightly different results in tanks with an Evaporation method selected.
  • General Separator - Bug fixes for General Separator when using Density separation method:
    • Fixed calculations for Underflow Concentration and UF density methods, previously not returning the correct concentrations.
    • Fixed calculations when "BypassSeparCalcs" is enabled, underflow concentration and UF density methods were not returning correct concentrations.
  • Flash Tank 2 - Bug Fix for FlashTank2 in FlashTrain mode not clearing some results when model is turned Off. This may affect reported values from the FlashTank2 unit when offline.
  • Shell and Tube Heat Exchanger 2 - Bug Fix for Shell and Tube 2 model with reaction sub-model in use, the LMTD calculations has been corrected to include heat of reaction. This fix may change theoretic area and theoretical duty calculation displays, no changes to the actual duty.

Project Upgrade and Tag Changes

Project Upgrade

To ensure projects will upgrade smoothly from Build138 to Build139, users should update their projects to the latest version of Build138, make the necessary changes as listed below, solve (and re-tune model if required) before upgrading to Build139.

Updating projects in the most recent version of Build138

REQUIRED changes in Build138 - The following changes must be done in Build138 first, as methods are no longer available in Build139.
  • Solvent Extraction Unit - please change any models using the "Isotherm (Original)" method to Isotherm2 method. Please solve and retune models.
  • Precipitator3 - Projects with Precipitator3 must be updated to use "UseCorrectedBoundSoda" and "UseCorrectedCutOff", as per Build138 Project Upgrade notes. Please solve and retune models.
  • The old Screen and Cyclone models in Separ2.dll have been discontinued since Build137. These old legacy models will no longer load in Build139. Projects with these old unit models must be changed to Screen 2 and Hydrocyclone models. Please solve and retune models.
  • The old Alumina 1 Bayer Species model and Precip-1 unit model in Alumina1.dll have been discontinued since Build136. These old legacy models will no longer load in Build139. Projects with these old unit models must be changed to Alumina 3 Bayer Species Model and Precipitation3 models. Please solve and retune models.
  • PGM Variable Name Change - Maximum length of PGM variable names reduced from 64 to 50 characters. Any long tag names should be shortened.
The following changes are RECOMMENDED but optional. - These changes can be done in Build138 before project upgrade or they will be part of the project auto-upgrade process. If user wants to compare results between Build138 and Build139, then please apply these changes before project upgrade:
  • For projects with Temperature range above 800°C and using steam, please make sure Plant Model - Species tab - Species Property Overrides - Vapours is set to IF97_2 for H2O(g).Rho and H2O(g).Cp. Please solve and retune models.
  • For dynamic project using Tank as "Layered_Flow", please change the "Mixing.Model" to "Layered", please solve and retune models.
The following changes are OPTIONAL. - These changes can be done in Build138 before project upgrade or in Build139 after project upgrade.
  • Hydrocyclone Plitt method - there is a corrected calculation for sharpness term, it is recommended that you change to this. Please solve and retune models.
  • EHX Sub Model - if using the Loss to Ambient method, there is a replacement Loss to Ambient 4 method with corrections, is recommended that you change to this new method. Please solve and retune models.
  • Falling Film Evaporator model - This is a legacy model with limited functionality, it will be removed in the next version. Please change to the Falling Film Evaporator 4 unit, it has more features and can be included as part of the flash train.
  • Crush1 and Mill(1) models - These are legacy models with limited functionality, they will be removed in the next version. Please change to the Crusher2 unit.

Upgrading projects to Build139

Once the projects have been updated to use the latest methods in Build138, they should auto-upgrade in Build139:
Build139 Project Upgrade - project will be auto upgraded to the Build139 format, user will be forced to complete "Project Save Version" or "Project Save As" to save to the new Build139 format. The follow files will be moved to new subfolders:
  • All Graphics pages will be moved to the new subfolder: DocsGraphics.
  • All Trend pages will be moved to the new subfolder: DocsTrend
  • Other.dat is renamed to Controls.Data and exclusively contains PGM & MP data.
  • Projects and cfgfiles auto upgrade to always use “IF97” steam equation,
    “IF97_2” is removed as an option for various dropdown lists (eg: Plant Model - Species Tab).
Project Update in Build139 after project upgrade:

Tag Changes

  • Audit - The Audit table has been updated and layout re-organised.
    • Some tags names have been changed and some have been removed, please see Audit and Audit in 138 for comparison.
    • Please check reports and/or PGM files and change any old tags that may no longer work.
  • Links Table - The links table has been updated and layout re-organised.
    • Some tags names have been changed and some have been removed, please see Links Table and Links Table 138 for comparison.
    • Please check reports and/or PGM files and change any old tags that may no longer work.
  • Some miscellaneous tag changes have been made in various unit models to achieve consistency in use and naming across SysCAD models. In almost all cases Tags will automatically update.
  • Heating Values - Renamed Heats of Combustion. Tags will automatically update. Can no longer report on basis of normal volume flow.
  • More checking of user calculation variable names and project save names, most of the SysCAD model tag naming rules also apply to these. Please see Model Tags for list of the illegal characters. If any existing user calculations contain illegal characters, a warning will be given in the message window on project load.

Unit Model and Functionality - Discontinued

Models to be removed in next version

  • Crusher1 and Mill-1 - User will be given this note in the Access Window: === NOTE: This model will be discontinued - change to Crusher2 ===.
    • These are legacy models with limited functionality and will be removed in the next version. Please change to the Crusher2 unit, it contains more functionalities than the old models.
    • User should be able to reconfigure the model (using Crusher2) to provide equivalent behaviour.
  • Falling Film Evaporator - User will be given this note in the Access Window: === NOTE: This model will be discontinued - change to Falling Film Evaporator(4) ===.
    • This legacy model has limited functionality and will be removed in the next version. Please change to Falling Film Evaporator 4
  • EHX - Loss to Ambient Method - User will be given this note in the Access Window: ***** Method will be discontinued. Use 'Loss to Ambient4' instead! *****
    • This method contains conversion factor error for conductivity and will be removed in the next version.
    • EHX - Loss to Ambient 4 has been added with corrected conductivity values, please change any EHX sub models using "Loss to Ambient" method to this new method.

Models to be removed in future versions