David OAKLEY, Senior Project Engineer, Software Development, HTRILogo of Heat Transfer Research, Inc.At the CAPE-OPEN 2020 Annual Meeting, Dr David OAKLEY, Senior Project Engineer, Software Development at HTRI presented (access PDF here) on the new fired heater simulation and rating tool, Xfh® Ultra.

Dr OAKLEY graduated from Imperial College with a degree in Chemical Engineering and a PhD in modelling high temperature heat transfer. During spells with AEA Technology Harwell, Hyprotech and AspenTech, he developed interests in software development and process simulation. He joined HTRI in 2014 where he leads the effort on fired heater software.

As mentioned at the CAPE-OPEN 2019 Annual Meeting, HTRI asked CO-LaN to provide consultancy services in order to help develop Xfh® Ultra as a CAPE-OPEN Unit Operation relying on COBIA for interoperability with PMEs. These consultancy services were awarded to HTRI that proceeded with the development. David will present the results obtained.

It appears that HTRI did not need much support from AmsterCHEM, the provider of consultancy services on behalf of CO-LaN, in order to achieve the development. Besides the programming experience shown by HTRI, this seems to show that COBIA Phase II delivered the tools necessary to make development easy enough using COBIA.


Xfh® Ultra from HTRI is software for the detailed simulation of fired heaters. This presentation describes HTRI’s development of an Xfh Ultra CAPE-OPEN process modeling component (PMC) using COBIA, followed by a short demonstration of the PMC in several process simulators. The PMC can display the Xfh Ultra user interface (written in .NET WPF) within the process simulators without compromising the speed of the underlying fired heater calculation (in native C++). Also, the PMC adapts to the varying number of process, fuel, and flue gas stream connections possible in a fired heater.