Digital Analytics News
Version 3.73 of EdTech is now available. I have finally fixed the drawing printing interface so you can print directly to printers lacking the old PCL5 interface (many newer ones) without having to convert the drawing to a file, etc.
Version 6.01 DMSolver is now available. The only difference is it uses V2.6.4 Free Pascal which the current Lazarus switched to. Since Lazarus is a less mature product than Free Pascal, its versions change frequently, but Free Pascal has been changing much less often. The critical requirement is that the Free Pascal version is the same as what we use to compile DMSolver units.
Version 6.0 of DMSolver is now available. It uses V2.6.2 Free Pascal which has been the standard Free Pascal version for about a year. Prospective users should download the Lazarus system which includes this version of Free Pascal. See lazarus.freepascal.org. DMSolver 6.0 is about twice as fast as 5.x, and has 100% Win32 GUI operation.
While working on testing a new version 6.0 of DMSolver I found that the Free Pascal file on this website (which is specifically V2.4.0) was not the latest one which I had created long ago and was not compatible with Windows 7. I apologize for any frustrations caused by this, and have uploaded a fixed Free Pascal file. I hope to bring out V6.0 DMSolver which runs much faster than V5.0 on my machine and has a simpler user interface, but I am struggling with the problem of compatibility of the compiling process in various situations.
New EDTECH version 3.72 is like 3.70 except that the capability of adding special characters (with codes above those generated by keystrokes) has been added for its Windows fonts. Also, a bug has been fixed which prevented any special characters to be used when the text was preprogrammed.
Also, during fall 2011 a prototype DMSolver module for simulating a rigid body traveling in space with the full 6 degrees of freedom was developed. (All previous use of DMSolver methods for rigid body dynamics was limited to 3 degrees of freedom --- the BOAT3D program.)
Registered Flash Calculator has been upgraded to version 2.14. This is NOT a bug-fix version. Instead, EDTECH code has been interfaced directly with Flash Calculator code so you do not need to download and install a second application to get the graphics output of Flash Calculator, and it appears automatically after you run the calculation. Demo Flash Calculator, not having graphics, is not upgraded.
Continued examination of Flash Calculator code during upgrading of other Digital Analytics files led to the discovery of other issues, and we recommend that all users upgrade (for free) to a version 2.13.
Previously when Flash Calculator found that there was no 2-phase equilbrium there could be a logical problem as regards deciding what to report. This problem and other details have been fixed without changing the physical property models (2-phase equilibria values are exactly as before). We recommend that all users immediately upgrade (for free) to the new version 2.12.
A new version 2 of BOAT3D Demo Viewer is announced with very simple operation so that it can be tried quickly by a new user, and the old version with more complex menus which displays more of the BOAT3D output has been retained for users who want to try it also. It is now V1.1, updated so files are compatible with V2.
A demo version of Flash Calculator is announced, which does not have to be registered. This is like normal registered Flash Calculator except that the number of components in a mixture is limited to 4, the graphical studies are removed, and no special Peng-Robinson binary coefficient estimator is included. Also, a similar demo version of EDTECH 3.70, with no registration requirement, is available. See the download page.
Also, the old version of Distillation Guide was adapted to the new properties database used by Flash Calculator and an operational problem corrected, and it is now available for download as a registered product with 60-day free trial period.
In a minor upgrade of DMSolver, features were added to the source code editor to make it easier for the user to manage large programs with many procedures.
Historically, research on planing boats includes drop tests where a boat section is dropped vertically into water and the impact investigated. BOAT3D equations were used to simulate drop tests in a new report. Also, a minor upgrade to BOAT3D involves new user output options and minor user interface changes.
A minor upgrade of DMSolver has been done (to version 5.31). The way that the Preprocessor behaves when it encounters and lists programming errors has been improved. Also, a documentation file with more-detailed explanations of error messages is now included with the download.
Version 2.1 of Flash Calculator is announced. The physical properties correlations allowed, in addition to including correlations from the appendix of the Reid/Prausnitz/Poling 1987 book as before, can include correlations from the 1999 book by Yaws, which has many more compounds covered than in the earlier book. Also, there is an improvement in the search procedure for finding bubble and dew points which gives success in some cases which previously failed. A new window allows you to see your previous definitions of lists of components so you can select the one you want without having to remember its file name. For this version we are no longer restricting the number of components allowed in the trial version, so the full capabilities are present in the trial version.
Version 3.7 of EDTECH is announced. Changes have to do with the special DSF database files (which many EDTECH users do not need, but which are important in some interfacing with BOAT3D and DMSolver). To work with the heirarchical structure of these files users can now use a standard Windows "Tree" display, whereas previously there was only a command-line-style "wild card" approach. Also, the DSF format previous maximum size limit of 8Mb has been greatly increased to allow storage of large DMSolver solutions.
Version 5.3 of DMSolver is announced. New feature for this version is a methodology called by acronym SOSI (Single-module Only Simple Input). For simple problems the SOSI procedure takes a simple list of parameters and equations and expands it to a DMSolver source code file, so the Pascal language programming is wholly or partly done for you. To use all the features provided for the analysis of large, complex problems, you need to work with the source code file directly as before.
For 2010 we are changing policies. DMSolver, our simulation system which is a descendent of the first application developed when the company was started is now available for for the first time for free trial so that prospective users can evaluate it. Another two applications, EDTECH and Flash Calculator, will continue to be available for free evaluation, but we ask that you register them (for free) before trying them (and re-register when the trial period is up, if you wish to continue with them).
Version 4.5 (replacing 4.4) of BOAT3D has been announced. The most important feature being added is the ability to specify curves of the bottom cross-sections in a general way rather than just by the cubic polynomial method used since V4.0.
EDTECH is now Version 3.6. Modifications were taken to streamline some of the steps needed in preparation for graph plotting and use of landscape drawing mode. The user can now choose to draw graph axis numbers with commas to indicate decimals and can choose milimeters instead of inches to specify the size of drawn objects.
Two new file formats have been added for graphics output from EDTECH, .emf and .jpg. Windows enhanced metafile (.emf) is best for inserting into MS Word documents, and .jpg may be used with some applications, although .jpg is more appropriate for color photographs, etc, than for EDTECH's line drawings. The previous only option, .pcx (paintbrush) is very efficient but seems to be supported mainly in older software.
We are now announcing V.4.4 of BOAT3D. Finally the "boat levelers" (trim tabs) previously in V.2.3 have been redone for 4.4. Also, several bugs relating to the propeller drive have been fixed.
To get a better idea of what BOAT3D does you can now download the BOAT3D Demo Viewer, which displays condensed results of a number of example cases which we have run.
Another new version of BOAT3D is available. 4.3 is similar to 4.2 except that an additional improvement in modelling semi-planing cases has been added. At fully-planing speeds results are virtually the same at with 4.2. 4.3 addresses the point made in the Technical Paper for 4.2, that BOAT3D sometimes underestimates the resistance and bow-up trim at certain lower Froude numbers.
EDTech version number is increased to 3.51 due to bug fixes.
A new version 4.2 of BOAT3D is now the official version. Version 4.2 has the added feature that an optional 2nd chine can be specified. Also, a number of adjustments to its internal equations have been made to improve simulation performance in unusual cases.
BOAT3D has received a user-interface upgrade to Version 4.1. A dedicated editor for the boat shape table now makes it simpler to work with this input dataset. On the output side, the graphic of the boat and the water surface now can appear on the screen superimposed with the numeric output values and their plots vs time. Clicking on "Go" produces a "video" of the boat in motion through the waves.
A new Version 3.5 of EDTech is announced. A little "navigation bar" has been added to the program. Since EDTech has 3 primary working windows, each with a different function and different types of data files (plus several secondary windows with their own functions) we have made it possible to quickly switch windows with function keys. However, a new user may have had problems with this non-standard methodology, so for Version 3.5 we provide a "navigation bar" with buttons to select with single clicks the exact items which the user needs. Also a user may close or minimize the whole program from the navigation bar without having to shuffle working windows to get to a button. Some changes have also been made to EDTech's automatic scaling/axis numbering logic to improve appearance.
"EUROKIN" is a consortium of over 10 European companies and 4 universities which was established in 1998 and "whose aim is the implementation of best practise in the area of chemical reaction kinetics" (see www.eurokin.org). In 2001 this organization published on their web site a paper describing 4 test cases for kinetic parameter estimation (www.eurokin.tudeflt.nl/publications/Paper_par-est-1.pdf). The expected orders of magnitude of the parameters were given, but the test cases were given without final results, i.e. the reader was invited to perform the parameter estimations himself as a software test.
Version 5.2 DMSolver with nonlinear least-squares add-ins was used to run the 4 test cases as given, except for a few deviations from the EUROKIN directions. A report about this work is now on the Digital Analytics web site. The lead consortium author, Robert Berger, stated "I had a quick look at your report. In general the values obtained are close to the ones I obtained with several commercial packages." (Personal communication.)
The goal of this work was to test Version 5.2 of the DMSolver least-squares add-ins, and I believe it also demonstrates that DMSolver is a very good software package for work in the chemical kinetics and reactor design field of technology. The user can use a very detailed model if desired without running into software limitations. Source code for the 4 test cases is given in our report.
Version 2.2.0 of Free Pascal is now standard for DMSolver and the optional user-written procedure in BOAT3D, and a convenient guide program for working with the user-written procedure has now been developed.
New Version 5.2 of DMSolver is announced. There are only slight changes to the Solver itself, but the add-in procedures previously available with versions 4.x have been updated and adapted to 5.+ DMSolver versions.
The technical paper documenting Version 4.0 of BOAT3D has now been uploaded, and V. 4.0 now fully replaces V. 3.1 BOAT3D.
New version 4.0 of BOAT3D, replacing 3.1, has now been tested with the Fridsma study data and is fully operational, with only documentation, testing with other studies, and minor cleanup of details unfinished.
New Features of 4.0:
There are very few user interface changes but many internal changes, justifying a designation of 4.0.
The cross-sectional bottom frame lines between keel and the chines no longer have to form a straight-line vee bottom shape, i.e., there can be convexity or concavity in them. There are two new columns in the input data, one for keel and one for chine. If the user puts a 1 in both columns, a straight-line vee cross-section is obtained as with BOAT3D 3.1. If the user puts e.g. a value 1.05 in the new keel column he is requiring that the deadrise slope at the keel is to be 1.05 times the straight-line value, introducing concavity near the keel. If the user puts e.g. a value of 0.95 in the new chine column he is requiring the deadrise slope at the chine to be 5% less than the straight-line value, thus introducing concavity near the chine. Convexity is introduced similarly. The cross-sectional bottom lines are constrained to be cubic polynomials, and appropriate cubic splines are used to develop the bottom shape, which of course appears in the boat lines plot.
The computations of added mass, etc., have been reorganized so that the solution computations take about 30% less cpu time. The assumptions about added mass vs. geometry, etc., are now concentrated in less program code, so it is easier for me to change them. These assumptions are slightly different than with version 3.1, and better agreement with Fridsma's experiment is obtained. Due to the ease in modification, I developed an experimental version with different hull geometry specification than 4.0 with relative ease.
Small changes in the solution algorithm were made so it does not hang up when encountering minor discontinuities.
Additional minor changes in EDTECH --- V 3.44. Serious bugs were fixed in the procedures to generate dashed and intermittent lines. Two new batch commands were added to copy data series within DSF databases. These were needed to support ongoing work with DMSolver nonlinear regression add-ins.
The set of 4 nonlinear regression test problems presented by the EUROKIN chemical kinetics consortium (www.eurokin.org) is being used to test the DMSolver nonlinear regression routines and details are being changed in DMSolver and its add-ins. In 2007 this will become version 5.2.
Normal Boat3D use does not involve programming, but the optional facility for user-written code for an added-in external force and/or moment has been reintroduced to Boat3D. This is the method original author Peter Payne used to model the use of hydrofoils, and his example foil from V2.3 has been again introduced.
Progress to date --- Improvements in Flash
Because of other responsibilities, not as much work on Digital Analytics software has been accomplished as was planned a year ago. The Free Pascal project has come up with a new version, 2.0.2, and version 5.1 of DMSolver has been adapted to use this. While DMSolver 5.0 would solve relatively easy example problems, certain features and operational details have been added to 5.1 so that it can operate more like 4.x and handle some of the big, hard-to-converge Flowsheet Toolkit examples which caused operational problems for 5.0. 2 out of the 3 Solver addins have been successfully adapted to DMSolver 5.1 so far.
A new version 2.01 of Flash Calculator is released today. Internal details were changed to give improved performance on hard-to-solve systems.
The new version 5 of Flowsheet Toolkit (FT) has significant new changes besides being set up to run with DMSolver 5.x rather than the old PMSolver 4.x. The flash and the boiling/condensing heat exchanger modules have been changed to use Flash Calculator methodology. This is a more conventional methodology than used in the old FT. In the old FT flash equations including y=Kx and equations involved in calculating K were all part of the DMSolver set of equations and only the cubic equation of state was solved internal to the module. In the new FT flash equations are all internal making it more versatile, so if all-vapor or all-liquid conditions arise a solution is obtained rather than an error message.
Not all minor utilities included in versions 4.x have been adapted to version 5, but some new features have been added. For example, after getting a flowsheet solution you can restart FLOWGEN, the program which you use to specify the major flowsheet modules, and use it to display the results BY MODULE. This is an extra-easy way to look at a solution compared with the typical display which does not group together all variables related to one module.
Despite all these advances which get FT version 5 running, other problems and responsibilities have prevented me from doing as much testing and documentation as would be required for a truly complete system.
New Chemical Engineering & Solver Versions
Version 5.0 DMSolver has been further tested and is now the official version. The advantage of the new version over 4.3 is that 5.0 comes complete, and you do not need to buy and learn the large and expensive Borland Delphi software package needed previously. A new version of PMSolver is not announced; all its functions are present in DMSolver. Some seldom-used features of version 4.3 have not yet been converted over to 5.0 and will be added back in the future.
In a new Version 2.0 of Flash Calculator new commands for computing bubble and dew pressures at specified temperatures have been added, and many cases which the old Flash Calculator could not handle are now possible. Two of the vapor-liquid equilibrium plot generators are also improved. Also, there is a consensus in the literature that mixtures containing hydrogen, the most volatile component of all that is commonly used in industry, cannot be modelled adequately with a conventional Peng-Robinson technique. I have added changes to the Peng-Robinson routines which improve hydrogen calculations but leave Peng-Robinson unchanged if hydrogen is not present. These hydrogen changes also apply to Distillation Guide and the Flowsheet Toolkit.
5.0 of Flowsheet Toolkit (FT)
is being developed to work with Version 5.0 DMSolver. Other changes are:
The new FT is still being tested and refined. Please e-mail or call if you are interested in its status.