SysCAD 9.2 Release Notes

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Related Links: Upgrade to SysCAD 9.2, What's New, Revision History

Functionality in SysCAD 9.2 Build 131

The formal release date for SysCAD 9.2 Build 131.6369 is 30th July 2009. Since this release, SysCAD 9.2 Build 132 has been released, refer to What's New for more information on the latest version of SysCAD.

The following sections describe most of the new, or significantly changed, functionality in SysCAD 9.2.

Stream Properties and Specie Database Improvements

  1. Heat of Dilution
    • Heat of Dilution data for aqueous species may be entered in the specie database.
    • The Solver will use this data in calculating exit conditions when streams are mixed, reacted, split, etc.
  2. Boiling Point Elevation
    • Boiling Point Elevation data for aqueous species may be entered in the specie database.
    • The Solver may use this data to calculate the Boiling Point Elevation (BPE) in streams and when performing flash calculations.
    • The user may also override the BPE value for the flash calculation in a unit, see Vapour Liquid Equilibrium.
  3. Phase Change
    • Three different types of Phase Change data for paired species may be entered in the specie database. SysCAD will then automatically make the correct adjustments in all models or pipes as temperature, dilution, etc occur.
    • Solubility: The solubility of the solute changes as a function of temperature in Kelvin. For example, the change of NaCl(s) to NaCl(aq).
    • Temperature: The phase will change at a specified temperature. For example, change from one solid phase to another solid phase.
    • MassFraction: The phase changes at a defined mass fraction. For example, the change of H2SO4(l) to H2SO4(aq).
  4. Sulfuric Acid: Built in functionality for properties for H2SO4, including:
    • Heat of Dilution;
    • Automatic phase change between H2SO4(l) and H2SO4(aq) for solutions at 98.3% acid;
    • Default data included for specific heat capacity (Cp) and Density correction function.
  5. Partial Pressure
    • For vapour streams with multiple species, improved calculation and use of partial pressures in determining vapour stream properties (density, Cp, enthalpy, etc). Important for steam as properties are a function of the partial pressure;
    • In a reaction block, the user can override the partial pressure "seen" by the steam. The work performed by changing vapour amounts or ratios of vapours is reported.
  6. Custom Calculations: New functionality to specify calculations based on species in a stream.
    • Two types of calculations based on the species list can be defined, both of which are viewed and accessible as tags on the streams tab pages Qi, Qo, QFeed, QProd, etc.
    • (a) Custom calculations grouped with species and viewed with the material views. Refer to Specie Calculations.
    • (b) Custom calculations displayed with other stream properties. Refer to User Property Calculations.
    • Calculations are defined in the Configuration file, see Configuration Editor.
  7. Species Properties Page
    • Significant improvements in the Species Properties Access window pages that display values of individual specie properties at user specified conditions.
  8. New Specie Database Editor has an improved user interface and a number of new features:
    • Allows users to enter all data for a specie in one entry, instead of separate entries for each temperature range;
    • Allows users to enter Density Correction, Solubility and Phase Change functionality into the main specie window;
    • It has extended functionality for entering Heat of Dilution Data in the form of a Spline table;
    • Displays Default data where it exists;
    • Provides templates of the required form of the data, where applicable;
    • Allows the user to filter based on elemental makeup when editing and importing species.
  9. New Configuration Editor with an updated user interface and a number of new features:
    • Improved default displays and sorting of specie list;
    • Allows users to include Page breaks in the specie list;
    • Allows users to add custom calculations to be displayed with the specie list on Qi/Qo/QFeed/QProd/Content/etc pages;
    • Allows users to add custom calculations to be displayed with the properties on Qi/Qo/QFeed/QProd/Content/etc pages;
    • Removed the 'Options' Tab.
  10. New Density Correction Methods
    • The user may now choose one of two methods to use in the project for calculating the mass fraction of a specie, either relative to the solvent only, or, if it is an aqueous species, relative to the whole aqueous solution. See Density Correction Calculations for further details.

Units: New Functionality and Improvements

  1. New Ion Exchange model
    • Implemented new Ion Exchange (IX) unit model.
  2. Feeder improvements
    • Added new VLE Options to specify quality as well as T or P when feeder contains steam and non-condensables. For example this is useful to specify a saturated mixture of air and water.
    • Improved access window by only showing relevant options and tags when feeder is configured as material source, material sink or cross page connector.
  3. Flotation Cell improvements
    • Added new method to allow the user to set the Liquid fraction in the concentrate.
    • Added new method to allow users to specify size recovery to the concentration stream and extended the elemental recovery method to allow the user to specify an Exclude element.
  4. Layered Tank (dynamic mode improvement)
    • In Dynamic mode, a new option to select layered tank behaviour as an alternative to perfectly mixed is available. See Tank - Dynamic Mode.
    • Can be configured to operate in a variety of ways including types of plug flow, but does not currently allow reactions.
  5. Multi-Storage (dynamic mode model)
    • Implemented new inbuilt bypass (and makeup) option for the Multi-Storage model.

Pipes: New Functionality and Improvements

  1. Simple Pipes
    • Pipes can be specified as simple pipes if they do not have functionality enabled within the pipe such as Reactions, heat exchange, etc, such that the outlet may differ from the inlet.
    • Simple pipes will only have a Qo page. There will be no Qi page, simplifying the pipe and the access window.
    • Pipes that are identified as tear streams by the network solver will not be simplified.
    • Pipes in new projects will be simple by default. For upgraded projects, the "Simplify" option will need to be set in all pipes and any references to Qi tags will need to be changed to Qo. Refer to Pipe - Requirements.
  2. Po (and To) changes
    • Po is now the outlet pressure of the pipe, not the pressure of unit that is immediately downstream of the pipe. This provides clarity as all pressures shown in the pipe are related to the pipe inlet and outlet points.
    • This affects the Qo properties. For example, if the pressure is different, the stream temperature (To) and volume flowrate may be different.
  3. Access Window Improvements
    • General improvements in arrangement and inclusion of relevant tags for both ProBal and dynamic. Moved global options for making groups of tags available to Plant Model.
    • More specie views are available. For example Elemental Molar flows, etc. These are now selectable in Plant Model.
  4. Relative Humidity
    • The relative humidity in a pipe is now displayed in the Saturation Values section of the Access Window.

Usability Improvements

  1. New Look Menus
    • Simplified and rearranged main menus, toolbar buttons and pop-up menus.
  2. Alternate Background Colour schemes
    • User can select alternative background colours such as white and gray as well as the original black, see Graphics Symbols Displaying Colours.
    • The full graphics window zoom has been improved so that the unnecessary empty borders are much smaller.
  3. Change tag in PGM
    • When changing a tag, the tag change is also made in PGM files of controllers. This option is enabled in on the Global tab page of the General Options.
  4. Cross-page connections
    • Left mouse button double click can be used to navigate between connected cross page connectors.
    • Only feeders can be used to connect cross-page connectors. A drop down list for choosing from all available sinks is provided rather than typing or copying tags from feeders or sinks.
  5. Makeup configuration
    • Drop down lists for choosing Makeup Sources in a Makeup Block rather than typing or copying tags.
    • Improved behaviour and use of the associated Direct Links automatically created by the makeup blocks.
  6. Demand improvements
    • Improved functionality of demand calculations in the network, as well as implementing new messages to provide feedback on Demand calculations that are not met or not specified correctly.
    • In selected pipes, the user can now block the demand calculation from being transferred.
    • Added new and improved existing display in access windows of demand behaviour in units and pipes.
  7. User Documentation of Models
    • New long multi-line equipment memo field on Info tab page of all models, which is ideal for longer descriptions in models.
    • New link fields on Info tab page of all models, which is ideal for URL links to web pages or external documents.
  8. Access Window
    • Implemented Summary Table of connections to a model on the Audit tab page of all models.
    • Improved display of when * (NAN) is allowed as an input. If there is a * to the right of the value in the access window, then NAN (*) is an allowable and meaningful input option.
    • Improved arrangement and layout of fields for many of the models.
    • Rearranged top two rows of buttons and options of the Access window.
  9. Plant Model
    • Improved arrangement and options in Plant Model access window.
    • Display extra project, configuration and solver information.
    • Functionality and options to determine when or if extra calculations (eg Audit, Range Checks, etc) are performed. Useful for analysis during project evaluation and review, but can be switched off or restricted when running scenarios on a mature project.
  10. New Project Find or Project Compare Changes
    • New functionality to compare model changes made since a project was loaded. Ideal for reviewing changes before a save.
    • The same functionality can be used to compare projects. Ideal to compare the active project to a previously saved version.
  11. Quickview
    • Implemented default set of quick view tags in Basefiles folder. Improved behaviour for then adapting the quickview tag list.

Solver and Other Improvements

  1. Solution Speed
    • In almost all cases SysCAD solves projects faster, sometimes significantly (~20%), despite the fact that additional calculations and tests are performed in streams, unit models and the network solver. This is primarily achieved through the implementation of faster water/steam property calculations, but also improved use of multi-threading (especially for flash trains) and other model implementation improvements.
  2. Audit Page
    • Significant improvements in audit page, including re-organisation of the access window.
    • Audit page of unit includes list and information of connected tags. Additional Audit summary information can be enabled from the Plant Model settings, including an option to only perform a mass and energy balance audit for final iterations.
    • New functionality to include full specie list in the audit list.
  3. OperatingP
    • Implemented option to set pressure ("OperatingP") in all Mass Separation Models as well as most other unit models. This allows easier management of pressures in the flowsheet and unit operations.
  4. Vent Connections
    • Implemented consistent behaviour and options for "extra" or "unexpected" vapours in all Mass Separation Models as well as all other unit models. Generally if an optional vent stream is connected then vapours exit through this, or a warning is given and vapours exit with one of the exit streams.
  5. New Area Model
    • All unit models belong to an area model. Every project will automatically have one "Global Area". The user may insert other area models, which in turn will belong to the Global Area.
    • The Area model is used for summary information of all unit models belonging to it. In dynamic this includes total inlet and outlet totalisers as well as spill summaries.
  6. Tear Stream and Tear Block rearrangement
    • A tear stream is used for convergence of a recycle. In 9.1 these were shown as QiI pages in pipes. In 9.2 there are no QiI pages, instead there is a separate object that can be accessed from pipes that have tears, but can also be accessed from the new graphics symbol ("chevron" like graphics symbol) automatically shown on pipes.
    • The corresponding tear block with settings for tear convergence can be accessed from the tear stream.
    • The Tear Block access window for viewing and configuring tear blocks is new.
  7. Range Checks
    • Range Check options and usability has been extended. These are configured in Plant Model and are useful for checking if all streams and models are operating in the expected data ranges for the defined specie data properties.
  8. Solver Actions
    • Simplified the list of set state or solver actions available. Single Reset action for ProBal and a few actions such as Empty & Reset for Dynamic.
    • Improved behaviour of unit model when these state actions are set.
  9. COM Automation - programming interface
    • Simplified and renamed from three to two main COM Automation interfaces. The new .tlb files are installed and registered.
    • Added some additional function calls.

Dynamic Mode: Solver and Other Improvements

  1. Spill Management in dynamic mode
    • There are two types of spills, solid/liquid/slurry spills and vapour spills. A spill can occur from many types of units and pipes. The total spill is reported in these units.
    • Spill reporting has been improved in the Audit page of units and a new spill summary in any individual Area and PlantArea models.
    • New options for managing reporting and actions (e.g. pause solver) are available as settings in PlantModel.
  2. New Accumulator options
    • A range of accumulation or totaliser tags and statistics are available with stream properties in Qi/Qo/QFeed/QProd/etc pages. These can be enabled in Dynamic Configuration.
    • Includes option to record time or iteration when flow first occurs in a stream.
  3. Steady State Monitor
    • Significantly extended the Steady State Monitor (or "Change Monitor") used to determine if behaviour in units (with or without surge) and pipes has reached steady state.
    • Configuration is on the SS Monitor tab page for dynamic configuration.
  4. Runtime Statistics
    • Implemented runtime statistics page (View|Runtime Statistics menu option) for analysis of solver time on different models.

Further changes, fixes or improvements

  1. Changed the command for generating automatic reports in Excel from SysCAD_AutoTags(...) to SysCAD_TagSelect(...).
  2. The VLE calculation in the flash tank is independent of the pressure of the inlet streams. In SysCAD 9.1 if the inlet stream pressure was lower than the flash pressure of the flash tank in a flash train, the incorrect final flash pressure may be used.
  3. Improved VLE display (for example the VLE page for the Flash Tank).
  4. Removed use of MinSolidsCp in Alumina 3 Bayer Species Model. Minor improvements to the Precipitation3 thermal override option and added White-Bateman Yield method.
  5. Improving handling of vapours in closed tanks in dynamic mode.
  6. Various unit model improvements such as improved warning messages, new options and additional result fields in many of the unit models.
  7. Improved display of reaction extents - this allows the user to easily distinguish if values in the underlying rct file are used or overridden.
  8. Enthalpy values, heat capacities and densities of gases are now more correctly evaluated at the partial pressure of the species, rather than the total pressure.
  9. Enthalpy values and heat capacities for water and steam have been improved slightly to match the IAPWS-97 standard.
  10. Small error of 0.01 in the conversion from deg C to deg K has been corrected.
  11. The hard-wired atomic masses of the elements have been improved and are now based on a single reference. These can be viewed on the Species Properties ($SDB) page.
  12. Hard-wired many of the common engineering conversion units.
  13. General controller PGM files are placed in a controls sub folder of the project. When upgrading projects, the pgm files are moved to this folder.
  14. Now uses updated Crypkey 7.1 for licensing.
  15. Rearranged where some of the user settings are saved. Many user preferences have been changed from being saved in a project to being saved in a user file in the BaseFiles folder.
  16. SysCAD Projects Files name changes:
    • "Scd_Mdls.mdb" renamed to "ModelData.mdb"
    • "Scd_Prj.ini renamed to "Options.Project.ini"
    • "Scd_PrjAccessFmts.ini" renamed to "Options.AccessFormats.ini"
    • "Scd_Lay.ini" renamed to "Options.WindowArrangement.ini"
    • "Scd_GrfStatus.ini" renamed to "Options.GraphicStatus.ini"
    • "Scd_VarStatus.ini" renamed to "VariableStatus.ini"
    • "Scd_CBk.ini" renamed to "CopyBlockData.ini"

Simplifications; rearrangement of options; and discontinued functionality

Objective to improve usability and reduce support queries.

  1. The "Flows" tab pages in feeders have been renamed to "QProd" for consistency with other models. All tags on these tab pages will also change from to
  2. Standard Temperature hard wired to 25°C. In SysCAD 9.1 the default was 20°C but the user could override this. (Note the reference temperature is still 0°C.)
  3. Can no longer use conversion units which contain a specie name as part of the conversion name (such as reaction extent) e.g. (%.H2O(l))
  4. Can no longer use property overrides (Density, BPE, Cp, etc). Use of overrides often caused errors in recycles or where newer stream property calculations are used.
  5. No longer provide choice to use TotalP or PartialP method for VLE. Partial pressures are always used (only relevant if other vapours are present).
  6. Can not input data in a feeder (or tank content) on a volume (or volume fraction) basis. This did not always produce the required results and always failed when Bayer properties model or density corrections were used.
  7. Changed tag for pressure method from PBPress to "OperatingP" which is used in models such as ties, tanks, etc.
  8. Can no longer use Saturation for PBPressure (OperatingP) method in models such as ties, tanks, etc. This often did not work as expected as it was based on the QFeed before any model actions and NOT the saturated pressure of the exit stream.
  9. PID Controller: Removed the seldom used Original (PID2) method. Any projects that were using this method will automatically use the Clark method (PID3). Also added a separate option to select if a set-point tag will be used, making the PID access window set-point use much clearer.
  10. Exit Rules on Dynamic Tanks simplified. Now only one filter option.
  11. Removed some old or rarely used unit models. Improved capability is available in newer alternative models. Discontinued unit models include "Splitter", "Conveyor1", "DuctUnit", "Ejector" and "HeatExchange". (They are actually hidden to allow old projects with these models to load, but users cannot insert these into projects.)
  12. Removed some old conversion types which have since been replaced. For example, heat capacity("Cp") and enthalpy("Enth") on a mass basis are now "Cp(Ms)" and "H(Ms)", respectively.

Notes on Upgrading your 9.1 projects to SysCAD 9.2

Please refer to Upgrade to SysCAD 9.2.