Engineering consulting services for the design, analysis and testing of reciprocating

internal combustion engines and engine systems.

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Modeling and Simulation

Modeling and Simulation is a discipline for developing a level of understanding of the interaction of the parts of a system, and of the system as a whole. The level of understanding that can be developed via this discipline is seldom achievable via any other means.

A system is an entity that maintains its existence through the interaction of its parts. A model is a simplified representation of the actual system intended to promote understanding. Whether a model is a good model or not depends on the extent to which it promotes understanding. Since all models are simplifications of reality (i.e. all models are wrong) there is always a trade-off as to what level of detail (fidelity) should be included in the model. If too little detail is included in the model one runs the risk of missing relevant interactions and the resultant model does not promote understanding. If too much detail is included in the model the model may become overly complicated and actually preclude the development of understanding.

A simulation generally refers to a model that is run over time to study the implications of many different interactions. Simulations are generally iterative in their development. One develops a model, simulates it, learns from the simulation, revises the model, and continues the iterations until an adequate level of understanding is developed or until the model is adequately benchmarked by a physical system.

Some examples of Modeling and Simulation

  • Finite Element Analysis (stress, vibration, heat transfer, etc.)
  • Computation Fluid Dynamics
  • Numerical Models (spreadsheet, custom programs)
  • Controls and System Modeling Tools

Modeling is not a substitute for first-hand observation or empirical data nor does it replace experimental testing in all cases. In fact, in many instances the best analysis is a combination of empirical, experimental and analytical techniques. For an interesting discussion of this topic, please see ASME paper referenced below.

Vronay engineers have employed finite element analysis programs including ABAQUS/CAE from Simulia, simulation packages such as Simulink® from the MathWorks™, VisSim™ from Visual Solutions or MapleSim™ from the Maplesoft Corporation and numerical solution tools such as Engineering Equation Solver from F-chart software.

For more information on the effective use of modeling with regard to engine systems please, see the following references:

Vronay, John C., "On the Cost-Effective Application of Modern Stress Analysis Techniques to Large-Bore Reciprocating Engine Components", presented at the ASME Energy-Sources Technology Conference and Exhibition, January 26th - 3th, 1992. Houston, Texas. ASME paper 92-ICE-12.
Andersson, Eriksson and Nielsen, "Modeling and Architecture Examples of Model Based Engine Control" Vehicular Systems, ISY. Linköping University SE-581 83 Linköping SWEDEN.

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Contact us for solutions to your need for assistance with diesel, spark-ignited or dual-fuel engines. We have applied our expertise to engines ranging in size from less than 100 kW to more than 10,000 kW.