DNV GL has approached CO-LaN to evaluate if the CAPE-OPEN standard can be used to ensure interoperability between FMI-based models and process engineering models.

In order to further understand the needs and requirements expressed by DNV GL, CO-LaN organized a conference call today attended by Stanley YOO (Research Engineer, Safety & Systems at DNV GL – Maritime in South Korea), Levi Kristian JAMT, Group Leader Simulation Technology at DNV GL), Claas ROSTOCK (Head of Department Safety & Systems Engineering at DNV GL – Maritime Advisory Hamburg und Umgebung), Richard BAUR, representative of Shell Global Solutions International B.V. in CO-LaN, Oliver KOCH, representative of Linde in CO-LaN, Jasper van BATEN (AmsterCHEM), and Michel PONS (CO-LaN Chief Technology Officer).

As a non-governmental organization that establishes and maintains technical standards for the construction and operation of ships and offshore structures, DNV GL, within the Open Simulation Platform initiative, is aiming at merging the process engineering field with conventional multi-physical domain in terms of simulation framework. DNV GL recognizes CAPE-OPEN as a open-sourced standard in the process engineering field. Securing a compatibility between FMI with CAPE-OPEN could bring advantages to the simulation world as FMI takes a similar position in the multi-physical domain as CAPE-OPEN does in process engineering. There are many requests to merge those domains from industry which strongly relies on commercial software packages.

The discussion held today looked into how co-development could help secure inter-operability.

DNV GL is looking at both steady-state and dynamic processes, mostly on board ships, including the engine-propulsion part. CO-LaN has provided DNV GL with the provisional CAPE-OPEN Dynamic Unit Operation interface specification developed by the UNIT Special Interest Group. This provisional interface specification adds dynamic capabilities to a PMC adhering to the CAPE-OPEN Unit Operation interface specification.

In the domain of multi-physics, CO-LaN pointed out that COMSOL AB has adopted CAPE-OPEN in COMSOL Multiphysics to easily access any thermodynamic server. Development at COMSOL AB goes back to 2007-2008: it was presented at the 5th US CAPE-OPEN Conference within the AIChE 2008 Annual Meeting (November 2008).

MATLAB can be made to use a CAPE-OPEN thermodynamic server or a model of a unit operation in MATLAB can be transformed as a CAPE-OPEN Unit Operation (as demonstrated a number of times by NTNU for membrane processes and used at the Technical University of Munich to make students aware of CAPE-OPEN). Same with Scilab. The necessary tools are provided by AmsterCHEM.

There has been two CAPE-OPEN related developments involving Open Modelica which is present in the Open Simulation Platform mentioned above. One has been conducted at Vortech and reported  at the 11th International Modelica Conference. The other took place at University of Pretoria by Carl SANDROCK and reported at ESCAPE-11 (11th European Symposium on Computer-Aided Process Engineering).

DNV GL is looking into the possibility to bring an entire flowsheet developed in a process simulator within the Open Simulation Platform. Wrapping an entire flowsheet as a CAPE-OPEN Unit Operation is doable as illustrated by COFE and SolidSim. However this was never done for a dynamic unit operation.

CO-LaN and DNV GL agreed to pursue discussions with a first objective being to develop a suitable business case that could serve as illustration.