What's New

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Related Links: Upgrade to SysCAD 9.3, Revision History


  • SysCAD 9.3 Build 137 general release was 31st October 2017, but was used selectively from June 2017. Build 137 is the second major release for SysCAD 9.3.
  • See Revision History for a full list of improvements and fixes after the first release of Build 137.
  • See Upgrading Builds for a detailed recommended procedure for upgrading projects between Builds for the same version.

What's New and Changed

New Models

Slew Rate Controller

The new Slew Rate Controller is used to gradually change a process variable to a setpoint. It can be used in both steady-state and dynamic simulations for the purpose of making gradual changes. It has a number of methods available to make the gradual change including fixed rates and first order response.


The new Thermocompressor is a form of steam ejector in which a flow of higher pressure primary steam is used to entrain lower pressure secondary steam. The discharge stream is at an intermediate pressure between the high and low pressure steam flows. This potentially enables recovery of some of the energy in the low grade steam.

Pressure Exchanger

The new Pressure Exchanger unit model can be used to model energy recovery devices such as those used in reverse osmosis plants to recover energy from high pressure brine streams.

The unit has two feeds, a low pressure feed and a high pressure feed. The pressure energy in the high pressure feed is transferred to the low pressure stream, thus acting like a pump for the low pressure stream, increasing its pressure.

The model can be used to model a wide variety of physical devices such as a Pelton wheel, a Francis turbine, a reverse pump, a Turbocharger and a PX.

The model includes a leakage parameter to allow for modelling of devices where some mixing can occur.

The model can make use of the Demand logic to set the flow on the low pressure side.

Simple Condenser

The new Simple Condenser is a generic "heat exchanger" model without regards to its cooling media or equipment size. It is designed to give estimates of Duty required to cool the feed to the saturation temperature and condense all of the chosen species.

The model can make use of the Demand logic, including as part of a Flash Train.

Simple Evaporator

The new Simple Evaporator is a generic "heat exchanger" model without regards to its heating media or equipment size. It is designed to give estimates of the Duty required to evaporate a required amount of material. Only a single component can be evaporated such as H2O(l) or NH3(aq).

Direct Contact Heater 2

The new Direct Contact Heater 2 is used to transfer energy from a stream containing live steam to a liquid or slurry stream. It has additional options and improved functionality compared to the original Direct Contact Heater model. The model can make use of the Demand logic, including as part of a Flash Train.

Underflow Washer

The new Underflow Washer is similar to Washer and used to separate the solids from the liquids with washing efficiency based underflow wash stream.

New SysCAD OLI Add-on

Implemented new OLI add-on for SysCAD. OLI Systems provide leading Electrolyte Simulation Software. This SysCAD add-on requires an appropriate license from OLI Systems (olisystems.com) as well as requiring SysCAD "Heat Exchange" and "SMDK Runtime" add-ons. OLI in SysCAD is not implemented as a Species Properties Model but as unit models for use at appropriate locations in a plant model. Currently the following unit models using OLI are implemented:

  • OLI Chemistry Model - Used to define and view various options for the selected OLI chemistry model, including management of mapping of SysCAD species list to species list used in OLI.
  • OLI Sample Model - Stand alone unit model to perform side calculations using OLI for predicting aqueous chemistry equilibrium conditions and properties including pH.
  • OLI Reactor - Include this model in a SysCAD stream to use OLI 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.

Model Improvements

New Makeup Block Modes

  • New makeup modes have been added to the Makeup Block:
    1. Product Density - A Makeup stream is added to achieve a user specified product density.
    2. pH - A Makeup stream is added to achieve a user specified product pH. Please note that the pH calculated in SysCAD is an estimate.
    3. User Calculation - A Makeup stream is added to achieve a user specified setpoint for a user selected User Calculation.
    4. Species Calculation - A Makeup stream is added to achieve a user specified setpoint for a user selected Species Calculation.
    5. Species Model Property - A Makeup stream is added to achieve a user specified setpoint for a user selected Species Model and Property.
  • Improved method of selecting Makeup Source and error reporting when Makeup Source is not specified or found.

New VLEquilibrium Options in Feeder

Two new VLEquilibrium options have been added to the Feeder and Makeup Source models:

  • SuperHeat_Vap(dT,P) - allows the user to specify the pressure and degrees of superheat for a superheated vapour stream.
  • SubCooled_Liq(dT,P) - allows the user to specify the pressure and degrees of subcooling for a subcooled liquid stream.

Refer to Feeder model - Temperature & Pressure Requirements for more information.

PSD Interpolation Methods

There are now several options for the interpolation method to be used when performing size distribution calculations such as P80, including Linear, TSpline and LogLog. These are defined in the configuration file for each Size Distribution. They are also shown on the Plant Model - Qualities Tab.

Tank (Dynamic)

  • New Content EHX - An Environmental Heat Exchanger (EHX) sub-model can be enabled on the content of a Dynamic Tank. Methods available in a CEHX include Product Temperature, Loss to Ambient (types 2 and 3) and Fixed Heat Flow. Please refer to Environmental Heat Exchanger (EHX) for more information.
  • New Static Head Pressure - The static head (height of material above the outlet) and static head pressure are now shown on the Connect page of the Dynamic Tank. There is also an option on the Settings page for this pressure to be added to the tank pressure when determining the outlet pressure.

Random Number Generators

The Noise Controller model has additional random number generator methods available including Binomial, Geometric, Exponential and LogNormal.

PID Controller

  • The Output Value can now be set by the user when the model is stopped. Ideal for setting initial values when in Auto mode.
  • The user may enter a description of the PID controller as text. This field is handled by SysCAD like a normal tag, therefore it can be reported and set via Excel.
  • New result fields Index and CfgState for improved reporting

Please refer to PID Controller - Data Sections - Individual for more details.

General Controller

  • New UnitTags Find button on the TagRefs tab page to open the Find dialog with all the referenced unit models selected.
  • Various improvements to PGM load, error reporting, PGM Classes and language functionality. See Controller PGM (and_MP) Improvements.

Free Energy Minimisation (FEM)

  • The Free Energy Minimisation (FEM) model now works with ionic (charged) species, and can for example determine ionic strength and pH in aqueous solutions. If hydrogen cations (H+(aq)) are present in a stream or contents, an estimate of the pH is displayed. The user may modify activity coefficients based on the calculated ionic strength.
  • The user can also filter the species view on the FEM tab, selecting either species or interest, or the temperature range of interest. This is very useful for projects containing many species.


  • A new Steam Specification method has been added which allows the user to specify the desired steam based on pressure and degrees of superheat.
  • A new Steam Demand method allows the user to specify the required amount of steam within the model and this is passed back through the feed streams using Demand logic.

Simple Heater

  • A new method has been added to heat or cool the feed to the saturation temperature of a selected component (eg. H2O). If evaporation or condensation is required, then use the new Simple Evaporator or Simple Condenser models (which also have this method as an option).


  • Removed limit on number of ores with PSD that can be included.
  • Various display and input data validation improvements.

Other Model Improvements and Changes

  • Improve pass through of correct SpModel in many unit models, where projects have multiple SpModels available.
  • Miscellaneous improvements to Sugar species and unit models.
  • Improved display when vapours in OF for Thickener1, Classifier, Washer and CCWasher.
  • Some additional Environment fields (Latitude, EvaporationRate and RainfallRate) have been added to Plant Model - Environment. These variables are accessible from PGM Plant Model Class.
  • Control models that have multiple models with a Summary table on the first tab page, now have an option to show one model per page. The affected controller models are Signal Waveform Controller, Noise Controller, General Statistics and Flow Statistics.
  • Some improvements in short and long tag naming and consistency in different models.

Reaction Block (RB) Improvements

There are a significant number of improvements and new functionality in the SysCAD Reaction Block (RB) providing greater flexibility. The improvements and new functionality are described in the following sections. Some of the highlights include:

  • Many new and improved Reaction Extent Types
  • Useful new reactions summary table
  • Various new options for display of additional information for managing reaction extents
  • New option to set limits on reaction rate or fraction reacted
  • Improved Reaction Block solver
  • Updated Reaction Editor

New Reaction Extent Types

A significant number of new reaction Extent Types have been implemented often removing the need to implement controllers adjusting a reaction extent to achieve a setpoint.

New Extent types:

  • Amount Reacted - Set the reaction rate directly as a mass or mole flowrate.
  • Final Flow - Specify the required mass or mole flowrate required after completion of the reaction.
  • Final Elem Conc - Similar to existing Species Concentration method but based on Elemental concentrations.
  • User Calc - React to achieve a desired value for a specified User Calculation.
  • Sp Calc - React to achieve a desired value for a specified Species Calculation.
  • SpModel Prop - React to achieve a desired value for a specified SpModel and Property.

Improved existing Extent types:

  • Final Conc - Can now specify species molar concentration or species mass concentration.

Display and Feedback Improvements

  • New Summary Table of all reactions displayed on new RS tab page. Fields shown in the summary table can be selected using new field SummaryTableInfo.
  • Calculate and Display Values at Limits - Optional additional displays which allow the user to display the maximum forward and reverse amounts that can be reacted for each reaction given the feed for that reaction. The extent value at these limits for the reaction extent type is also shown. Ideal for seeing the effect if reaction proceeds as far as possible and for trouble shooting when reaction extents are not met. This new functionality is enabled using the new ShowReactionLimits option on the RB tab page.
  • Reaction Extent Error Reporting in the reaction block has been improved. Includes error condition when reaction is at the temperature limits.
  • For all extent types, both an absolute and relative extent error are now automatically calculated and displayed. Refer to Reaction Block - Individual Reactions for more details.
  • Various improvements (including some tag changes) and rearranging of reported fields in Access window for reaction blocks.

Reaction Block Solver and Saved State Improvements

  • Improved solver so that target reaction extents for iterative methods, such as Final Concentration, are met with significantly more accuracy (and in less iterations).
  • Improved display and management of various Reaction Block tolerance settings and feedback status of the various interrelated convergence loops.
  • User data, for example extents, are saved and recovered correctly when editing a reaction file and adding new reactions, deleting reactions or re-ordering reactions.
  • The internal state for most of the data for each of the reactions are now saved and recovered correctly. This is ideal for viewing, using or reporting reaction details immediately after a project load without the requirement to first solve the project.

Reaction Reagent Requirements

Optional additional displays in the reaction block which allow the user to display the amounts of reagents required to achieve the required extent for each reaction using the new ShowSpRequirements option on the RB tab page.

Requirements are shown for each individual reaction and overall on the RB tab page. The overall page also includes an excess calculation which subtracts the calculated requirement from actual feed.

New Reaction Limits

  • New option to specify the maximum rate of a reaction can be enabled using the new LimitAmountReacted option on the RB tab page. This feature is particularly useful for dynamic mode for reactions in tanks (CRB) where the rate can be limited when targeting a final concentration, or ratio or similar.
  • New option to specify the maximum fraction of extent species that can be reacted can be enabled using the new LimitFracReacted option on the RB tab page. This feature is particularly useful when using calculation extent types to prevent all of a species being reacted.

Improved Reaction Editor

  • Supports all new Reaction Extent Types and enhancements.
  • Miscellaneous display and data validation improvements.
  • New Reaction Editor version 1.3 supports 3 different formats of the rct files and can be used with SysCAD 9.2, SysCAD 9.3 Build 136 and latest SysCAD 9.3 Build 137.

User interface

New Report Template

Users can now run standard Steady State SysCAD reports for their projects. These are off-the-shelf ready to go reports that will work for all steady state projects. With any steady state project open, simply open the Excel Automation Dialog box, and SysCAD will automatically add in the default reports:

  • 02GeneralReport.xlsx: This includes a simple stream information report and a simple overall mass balance report.
  • 04DetailedReport.xlsx: This includes many reports extracting various information from the project, including Stream information reports, reactions, controls and other sub model reports.
  • Generate the report to populate the data from the project.

Species Filter

  • Users can now filter the species on the Sp tab of pipes and other units to show only the species of interest. For example, if the user is interested in seeing only species contains Chlorine, they can enable the Filter and show only species contains Cl. Filter can be applied to Elemental definition or species tags. This functionality is especially useful for projects containing many species. Please see Filter On/Off Button.
  • The Species Properties ($SDB) page allows users to filter the species, including additional option to filter based on temperature range for Cp.
  • The FEM Reactor allows users to filter the species view, based on elements or text and/or Cp temperature range. This makes it much easier to configure and troubleshoot this model.

Excel TagSelect Reporting Improvements

  • New optional GroupBy parameter with various options to separate groups of tags in the resulting report. For example, create neater reports by separating graphics pages with headings and a few blank lines.
  • TagSelect report generation time decreased significantly when using any of the optional ClearTags, ClearRange or Clear parameters.
  • Makes use of the improved TagSelect Engine that can now return lists of SubTypes (Sub Models). Ideal for easily reporting all SubModels such as all Reactions, EHX, Makeups, etc.

TagSelect Engine Improvements

Previously the SysCAD TagSelect Engine, used in Excel Tag Select Reports, Find Units using Query and PGM Tag Select Class only returned a list of model tags that meet a specified criteria. It is now possible to get a list of all SubModels or SubTypes that meet a specified criteria. For example a list of all EHX, MakeupBlocks, Reaction Blocks, Individual Reactions, etc used in any model, regardless of how the full tags are arranged and how many of the SubType exist in a specific model. On the Info page of all models is a list of all SubTypes that a model includes. When using TagSelect with SubTypes it is possible to reference tags in the parent or main model as well as the SubType as described in TagSelect.

Project Configuration (cfg) Files

  • Now require separate Project Configuration (cfg File) for Dynamic and Steady State (ProBal) projects shown in separate lists. Provides clearer management of selected models and options for projects linked to a cfg file.
  • Improved mechanism for creating new cfg files from a list of existing cfg files in distributed example projects using new New Project Group menu option.

Merge Project

Significant improvements for Merge Project functionality:

  • Most importantly global options for a project are compared and differences reported. User can chose to proceed using global settings from the current or imported project.
  • Improved reporting of tag and file conflicts.
  • Faster project merge time (various speedups).


  • Implemented support (primarily button bitmaps) for high resolution DPI (eg 4K) displays.
  • Renamed File Menu to Project and other minor changes to other menus and toolbar buttons. See Menu Commands.
  • Condition Messages in the Message Window on the "Solver Conditions Messages" tab are sorted as Error, Warning, Note.
  • Improved how graphics flowsheet pages are listed in Plant Model - Flowsheets page. New and improved options for Activating and Deactivating graphics pages.
  • Minor updates for COM Automation interface and removal of unused or obsolete functions.
  • For species Nett flows shown on Links page where there are multiple phases for the species selected in Plant Model - Settings, a nett component tag is automatically added to easily report a nett species change. This makes species mass balance reporting significantly easier using TagSelect; for example for water balance using new Links tag Nett.Qm.H2O.

New Global Conversions Options

On the Manage Conversion Defaults and Display dialog box (Edit - Conversions - Defaults and Display..), there are three additional global options:

  • allow units with or without slashes (eg. t/h vs tph)
  • allow units with or without carets (^) (eg. m^3 vs m3)
  • allow units with or without 'a' for absolute in pressure units (eg. psia vs psi).

Please refer to Conversions - Defaults and Displays for more information.

Stream Property Improvements

Various new fields for stream properties have been added to Material Flow Section:

  • New fields to show some Solution Impurities such as TDS and TSS under new "Solution Impurities" heading. Most of these fields will only be shown if the user has chosen to display the SolutionImpurities in the Plant Model - Views tab page or from the Include Properties dropdown list on the first page of the material flow section.
  • Expanded optional H2O Properties section to include separate water and steam display of IF97 properties as well as the H2O properties for the currently selected equations.
  • New fields in Material Flow Section for Volume fractions for Solid, Liquid and Vapour phases. Also new Solid and Liquid mass fractions in Slurry, shown under Mass Fractions heading.
  • New VapourFraction and SubCooling@P shown under Saturation Values.

Solver Improvements

  • Functionality for Activating and Deactivating pages, including from PGMs has been improved and is more robust.
  • Project Networks Information - A new tab page has been added to the Plant Model access window called PrjNetworks. This tab page shows information on the independent flow networks in the project including number of nodes (units and links) and whether it is currently active. Users can also easily copy information on each network to the clipboard or use the find command to select all nodes in the network.
  • A new option (Execute.Optimisation) has been added to the Solver Setting - FS Solver page to allow the solver to optimise the solver evaluation sequence multi-threading either via the number of nodes or evaluation time.

Controller PGM (and MP) Improvements

  • Expanded PGM Matrix Class and Array Class with a number of new methods, including functions for matrix algebra.
  • Added new GetValues method to Tag Select Class that returns an Array of values for a specified field. Eliminates need to loop through TagSelect models, concatenate tags and retrieve individual tags. See example.
  • Implemented new keywords SetChangeTagOff and SetChangeTagOn which controls if MP or PGM files must be searched for any Change Tags. By default this is off for Model Procedures (MP) and on for General Controller (PGM). This impacts time taken for change tag, especially when multiple tag changes such as during merge project.

"Under the Hood" Changes

  • Compiled with Microsoft C++ 2015 making use of new features in VS2015, Standard Libraries and ISO C++11.
  • Significantly enhanced SMDK (SysCAD Model Developers Kit). Expanded list of helper classes and new methods for existing classes.
  • Reduced memory use for projects allowing even larger projects with more species. New error messages when available memory is very low and prevent solve under these conditions.
  • Various general and solver speed improvements.
  • Some splitting and reorganisation of code and models in libraries (DLLs).
  • Various underlying code improvements, enhancements and modernisation.


Updated Tutorial documentation and videos. Please see Tutorial in the Help documentation.


  • Example Projects distributed with SysCAD have been updated and there are a number of new example projects.

Build 137 Changes that may affect results or project upgrade

  • The method of programatically activating or deactivating flowsheets via the Plant Model - Flowsheets tab has changed. Previously, one field (Active CheckBox) was used to activate or deactivate the flowsheet. Now, there are separate fields, or buttons, for activation or deactivation. If you have used the functionality on this tab to activate or deactivate flowsheets in pgms or from Excel, then please be aware that you will need to change the the field tags.
  • Project Configuration (cfg File) is upgraded to be a Dynamic or Steady State. May need to edit project or cfg file to correctly select solver mode.
  • Random number generator now uses the C++ standard library. This could affect results when using the Noise Controller or PGM Noise Class.
  • PGM and MP has a few more restricted variable names such as "Filename". If these were used PGM load errors occur. While upgrading, first change these in PGM file before first project save.
  • Some more hardwired conversions have been added to the Conversions Database. If the user had previously defined these in their Project Database and the user definition (scale and offset) is not exactly the same as the hardwired definition, then the user conversion will be discarded on load (with an appropriate message). If this occurs, then for the user to (still) have this conversion available to them, they will have to tick Show in the Conversions Defaults and Displays list next to the desired conversion unit.
  • H2O(l) is no longer allowed as a LockUp species. If a project previously used this, the user will receive a warning on load and the lockup value for H2O(l) will be set to zero.

Discontinued Functionality

  • The Recognise H2O(l) as Aqueous option in the configuration file has now been removed. SysCAD will now always treat water as an aqueous species. There are still a number of methods available if the user wishes to separate water from other aqueous species or report aqueous flow excluding water. Please refer to General Configuration for more information.
  • The option to define a default Makeup Source in Plant Model (on the Settings tab) has been removed. Any makeup blocks which were using the default makeup source (and it was a valid source) will continue to work as previously, but if the makeup source needs to be changed, it must now be done on the makeup block access window.

Previous 9.3 Builds