Co-simulation > Coupling to Control Software

FlowmasterLink for MATLAB®

MATLAB® from Mathworks® is commonly used to model dynamic systems including virtual vehicle, flight simulator and control systems. Co-simulation of MATLAB® and Flowmaster through FlowmasterLink for MATLAB® enables systems engineers to build Virtual prototypes and perform Simulations between mechanical and fluid systems, significantly improving the understanding system behave and interact leading to a reduction in prototyping costs and design time.

Different engineering systems typically have different simulation tool requirements. For example a control engineer may be interested in the design of a particular controller, whilst a thermal engineer would want to understand how the valve opening controlled by the controller affects the flows and heat transfer around a piece of machinery for optimum operation. The control engineer might have used MATLAB®. The thermal engineer would need to use Flowmaster.

However engineering systems invariably interact – and today’s machines are highly integrated complex systems so engineers need to understand how the various sub-systems might interact, in order to optimise design and operating performance.

FlowmasterLink for MATLAB Features:

  • A dedicated interface application to configure the connections between Flowmaster and MATLAB®

  • An S-function block in the MATLAB®/Simulink® environment that allows co-simulation between Simulink and Flowmaster. (Simulink® is a UI environment for using MATLAB®)

  • Supporting documentation and illustrative examples.

Example Scenario:

In the automotive industry, many vehicle designers use MATLAB based vehicle performance programs to predict the performance of concept vehicles over ranges of industry standard drive cycles. FlowmasterLink for MATLAB® can be used to couple Simulink® vehicle prediction programs and Flowmaster Thermal Management System networks to understand the impact in on cooling, lubrication, air conditioning, engine bay air flow etc.

In the example of an engine cooling circuit Flowmaster can be used to calculate coolant temperatures, pressures and flowrates, whilst MATLAB® may be used to provide a vehicle dynamic model to model the engine to wheel mechanical systems to calculate engine speed, air flowrates through front grills etc. and also to specify the overall drive cycle and load conditions.

Extra Information on MATLAB® & Simulink®

MATLAB® is a high-level language and interactive environment that enables users to perform computationally intensive tasks faster than with traditional programming languages such as C, C++, and Fortran.

Simulink® is an environment for multidomain simulation and Model-Based Design for dynamic and embedded systems. It provides an interactive graphical environment and a customizable set of block libraries that let you design, simulate, implement, and test a variety of time-varying systems, including communications, controls, signal processing, video processing, and image processing.