There are two types of heat balance programs: “Application-Specific” and “Fully-Flexible”. An Application-Specific program is a special-purpose tool, focusing exclusively on one type of plant. The program includes a vast, general model and the user selects a subset of it via a guided, structured procedure. A Fully-Flexible program is a general-purpose tool, which allows its user to construct any model by connecting appropriate building blocks, in a flexible, unfettered fashion. Each type of program has advantages and limitations.
|Many system modeling features and details are already in place in a logical, ordered manner. All the user needs to do is select which features to include and the numerical values of its relevant input parameters. Since many complex plant features are already modeled within the software, the user may invoke them by making a few guided selections rather than needing to synthesize their model from elements. Due to the overall logical structure, hundreds of inputs can be automatically created or user-defined, and can be cross-checked and validated to ensure their consistency, preventing errors and crashes.
|The program is more general, and can, in principle, model any system that its user wishes to define. The program provides a library of component models, which the user can connect graphically to construct any configuration. This allows greater variety than can possibly be included in an application-specific program.
|The pre-built models are, by their nature, finite. The user is limited to features and details that are within the pre-defined scope of the general model. Thus, in order to have a satisfactory application-specific program, the pre-engineered model must be large and mature enough to ensure that all reasonable features and details are included. Thus, it takes many years to develop a comprehensive family of programs of this type, making them more expensive than a fully flexible program that can cover the same scope.
|This type of program normally provides component-logic but leaves system-logic up to its user. The burden placed upon the user is thus, by its nature, far greater than for the application-specific type. The burden placed upon the program itself is also much greater; because it must be capable of gracefully handling system configurations and component applications that its developers have never intended, conceived of, or tested. Since the program cannot always “know” what its user is trying to do, it cannot cross-check all inputs, increasing the possibility of inconsistencies, problematic calculations, and crashes, relative to a robust, well-organized application-specific program.
As the largest and most experienced developer of this type of software, Thermoflow supplies mature products of both types. Whether you prefer specialized tools that help you to perfect each job, or whether you prefer to use a single multi-purpose tool for all jobs; Thermoflow has the perfect product for you. Best of all, Thermoflow’s programs are mutually compatible, allowing your investment in one program to complement and enhance the value of your investment in the others, if and when you need them.