HSC Sim – Process Simulation Module
The traditional HSC Chemistry software was designed for various simulation and modeling applications based on independent chemical reactions and process units. The HSC Sim module expands the possibilities for applying HSC Chemistry to a whole process made up of several process units and streams.
The HSC-Sim module consists of graphical flowsheet and spreadsheet type process unit models. The custom-made variable list makes it possible to create many different types of process models in chemistry, metallurgy, mineralogy, economics, etc. Each process unit is actually one Excel file. The HSC Add-In functions may be used to turn these independent calculation units into small HSC engines for thermodynamic applications.
The HSC-Sim module contains tools for users to build their model using three different modeling approaches: Particle, Reaction and Distribution. Particle units use calculation of inert particles in water with particle size distribution. Reaction-based units contain and calculate user-defined phases and chemical reactions. In the Distribution units the species are divided into elements and calculation is done with element distributions. Units can be used together or separately and the calculations can be Excel- or DLL-based.
The process model created using the HSC-Sim flowsheet module consists of one HSC-Sim file with a graphical flowsheet and one XLS file for each process unit. These process files are always saved in the same file folder. The XLS files contain the calculation model of the unit, and these XLS-models may be reused in the other processes.
The target in HSC-Sim development has been to create a simple but powerful simulation tool for the ordinary process engineer. If users can use traditional HSC Chemistry and Excel software then they should be able to use the new HSC-Sim module too. The HSC-Sim module also has high quality and versatile graphics capabilities and visualization. For example, the HSC-Sim module has built-in "Sankey diagrams" to visualize the distribution of the elements and process variables.
The HSC approach to process simulation is quite different from traditional simulation software. This approach makes it possible to simulate nearly any type of process. The Sim module has been tested in real work at Outotec and it is used as a main simulation tool for mineralogical and hydrometallurgical mass balance simulations.
The user-specified variable list, Excel-type unit models and HSC Add-In functions make HSC-Sim an extremely flexible and easy-to-use simulation tool for a number of applications - in mineralogy, chemistry, biology, economics, etc.
The user-specified variable list, for example, makes it possible to handle some 10 000 different particles (variables) in the mineralogical process model and calculate the elemental compositions and other stream parameters automatically from the particle distributions.