Contents

Hydrogen liquefaction
Visualization of thermal systems with DaVE 2.3
Release of MoBA Automation 2.2 with Draft-Mode and Ready-to-Use-Workflows
Determination of refrigerant leakage
Expanding our competence on oil in refrigerant circuits
Training courses for Modelica and TIL


Hydrogen liquefaction

Using the Linde-Hampson process as an example, we demonstrate the simulation of hydrogen liquefaction with the TIL Add-on Hydrogen-Energy-Systems as well as the visualization of the results in DaVE.

The importance of hydrogen as an energy carrier keeps growing, especially for mobile applications. For efficient storage, hydrogen can be liquefied at a temperature of about 20 K. Such low temperatures can be reached using the Linde-Hampson process. The overall process can be modeled - at first in a simplified form - with standard TIL components (figure 1). Both steady-state and dynamic simulations can be performed. TLK also provides the TIL Add-On Library Hydrogen-Energy-Systems (in short "TIL H2"). It contains additional reservoirs and pressure tanks as well as hydrogen refueling systems. In the fall release, models for fuel cell systems with additional BoP components will be added, and TILMedia will contain substance data extensions for hydrogen liquefaction. In subsequent releases we will provide further models, for example electrolyzers. We will be happy to offer customer-tailored solutions in this respect.

Figure 1: Linde-Hampson process for hydrogen liquefaction modeled with TIL.
In the following, we explain the individual steps of hydrogen liquefaction shown in figure 1.

Compressed-gaseous-Hydrogen supply (CGH2 supply)

First, gaseous (normal) hydrogen from standard gas cylinders is throttled with a pressure reducer to a chosen process high pressure. Hydrogen heats up during this throttling due to the (at this point still) negative Joule-Thomson coefficient.

Precooling

This is followed by roughly isobaric heat transfer in a countercurrent heat exchanger. The heat exchanger enables an energy exchange between the inflowing warm hydrogen and the outflowing cold hydrogen.

Precooling with liquid Nitrogen (LN2)

The already precooled hydrogen is now cooled down further with the aid of vaporized nitrogen in a subsequent countercurrent heat exchanger before it flows through a container with liquid nitrogen. The cooled gaseous hydrogen now has a temperature of approximately 77 K and is at about the pressure level set with the pressure reducer.

Linde-Hampson process

The hydrogen flows into a third countercurrent heat exchanger. Now the Linde-Hampson process begins. In the stationary case, the hydrogen is precooled with hydrogen vapor (state changes 1-2 and 5-6 in figures 1-3). This is followed by isenthalpic throttling, during which the hydrogen is expanded from the process high pressure into the two-phase region (2-3). During throttling, the hydrogen crosses its Joule-Thomson inversion line and thus initially warms up but then cools down altogether. While the vaporous portion of the hydrogen (state 5) is used to precool the hydrogen entering the countercurrent heat exchanger (state 1), the liquid portion (state 4) can be extracted. The returning gaseous hydrogen then passes through all of the above mentioned countercurrent heat exchangers to precool the CGH2 and is released near ambient pressure and temperature into the environment. Alternatively, it can be reintroduced into the process with a compressor.

Using the TIL model of a hydrogen liquefaction plant as presented here, a wide range of information can be obtained. In addition to the component and system design, the modeling also allows a detailed analysis of the influencing variables, e.g. the heat exchanger geometries, the pressure levels and the throughput on the efficiency of the process. Furthermore, suitable control concepts can be designed and tested with TIL.

The results can then be visualized and evaluated over time in DaVE. For this purpose, p-h- or T-s-diagrams, among others, are suitable. In figure 2 and figure 3, these diagrams are shown as an example for the stationary Linde-Hampson process with normal hydrogen after liquid nitrogen precooling. The labeled states can also be found in figure 1.

Figure 2: Illustration of the Linde-Hampson process in a p-h-diagram using DaVE.
Figure 3: Illustration of the Linde-Hampson process in a T-s-diagram using DaVE.

For further information on hydrogen please contact Dr. rer. nat. André Thüring
For further information on TIL please contact Dipl.-Ing. Ingo Frohböse
For further information on DaVE please contact Dr.-Ing. Roland Kossel

We would be happy to support you with your questions about hydrogen-based energy systems. We also welcome your suggestions and ideas.

Visualization of thermal systems with DaVE 2.3

With the new release 2.3 of our visualization and simulation environment DaVE, it is now possible to create Mollier-h-s diagrams, set time offsets of different data sources and integrate DaVE with LabVIEW even better.

DaVE 2.3 release

Soon we will provide you with the DaVE installer for version 2.3 for download. The current version 2.3 contains numerous innovations and improvements, of which only the most important are mentioned below.

Mollier-h-s diagram

With the h-s diagram, you now have another state diagram at hand with which information on specific enthalpy and entropy as well as temperature, pressure and vapor fraction can be displayed. The Mollier-h-s diagram is used - in addition to the p-h diagram - for example in power plant or refrigeration technology.
Extract of an exemplary Rankine process in the Mollier-h-s diagram.

Time settings

New options for data connectors and the DaVE timeline allow for a targeted selection of the data to be handled. By specifying an offset for the time data, individual data connectors can be shifted relatively to each other. This makes it easier to match simulation results with measurement data, for example. The global setting of permissible minimum and maximum times makes it possible to work with slices of long data sources.

New options for instruments

Various new features are available for the instruments in DaVE. For example, vector plots of TIL components can be created very easily via a new automatic feature. New options - such as the definition of decimal character to be used or the autoscaling of plot axes - allow changing the graphical display to fit the individual needs.
Exemplary temperature curves in a counterflow heat exchanger, plotted over the dimensionless length.

DaVE-LabVIEW-Interface

The new version of the interface between DaVE and LabVIEW simplifies the data transfer from LabVIEW to DaVE. Any visualizations such as state diagrams, line diagrams and RI schematics with current states can be continuously adapted during measurement operation without changing the LabVIEW measurement program. During the development of the interface, special attention was paid to simple integration into existing LabVIEW programs. Experiences from our in-house measuring operation have also been incorporated in this process.

Thank you for your valuable feedback. With your suggestions, you have contributed significantly to the further development of DaVE. The DaVE team is always looking forward to a continued good cooperation. Please feel free to contact us.

For further information please contact Dr.-Ing. Roland Kossel


Release of MoBA Automation 2.2 with Draft-Mode and Ready-to-Use-Workflows

The new version 2.2 of MoBA Automation simplifies the development of extensive workflows. Thanks to standardized ready-to-use workflows, you can reach your goal even faster.

The new draft mode for continuous workflow development

Our MoBA Automation enables the automation of individual workflows for model- or measurement data-based development, analysis and optimization of technical systems. Version 2.2 is available for download since the end of April.

The new draft mode makes it possible to build and test a workflow step by step without having to re-run successful tasks. This shortens development time, since the results of longer simulation tasks do not have to be created again, for example. Draft mode can be activated in the toolbar of the configuration view for the respective workflow. If the tasks are successful (green status ring), they can be frozen via the Freeze command in the context menu (gray filling). New tasks can now be added to the workflow and executed.

The new draft mode facilitates the implementation of complex workflows.

New concept of ready-to-use workflows for e.g. steady-state simulations

With predefined input tables, ready-to-use workflows simplify implementations for typical task classes. These include, for example, steady-state simulations in Dymola or for FMUs, file comparisons for regression tests as well as measurement data matching and control analysis.
The simple configuration of the ready-to-use workflow allows existing workflows to be flexibly adapted to new projects.
Ready-to-use workflows can be combined with each other using standardized inputs and outputs. For instance, the outputs of the workflow of a steady-state simulation study can be used as input of the workflows for control analysis or for measurement data validation with only one task connection. The steady-state simulation workflows for Dymola models and FMUs allow to address the different problems within a simulation study with only one workflow. Only the file path to the completed table template, the model file paths and the number of parallel simulation instances need to be specified for parameterization. The workflow offers:
  • Storage of all relevant simulation and result files with timestamp in the output folder
  • Extraction of all time series of defined input and output variables in CSV format
  • Fast visualization of each individual simulation result in our software DaVE
  • Checking of results for steady-state and limit compliance
  • Summary of the last simulation values and the check in a data sheet
  • Display of all invalid or aborted simulations on one data sheet

Other customized solutions

In addition to the standard tasks, we offer our customers further customized solutions that can be used for special automation jobs. Please contact us, if we can support you in the realization of your workflows.

The list of all new features of release 2.2 can be found in the release notes.

We would like to thank you for your valuable feedback, which has contributed significantly to the further development of MoBA. Of course, we continue to work on improving the ergonomics of our MoBA Automation with great pleasure and enthusiasm.

If you have any suggestions and for further information, please contact Dr.-Ing. Philipp Ebeling


Determination of refrigerant leakage

With the help of our new SHED chamber test stand, we can now also support you in determining specification-compliant annual leakage rates.

Components of refrigerant and heat pump circuits should - with regard to environmental sustainability and maintenance intervals - allow for the lowest possible release of refrigerant into the atmosphere. The system manufacturer's specifications therefore define the maximum tolerable leakage rates. With our new SHED chamber test rig, we can measure the refrigerant leakage of various components for ambient conditions from -30°C to 80°C and different specified charge levels. To do this, we first determine the increase in refrigerant concentration in the chamber volume surrounding the component over time. On this basis, we calculate a value for predicting the expected annual leakage.

Refrigerant compressor in SHED chamber with demonstrated leakage and increase in concentration at different times.

The system is designed for measuring components. In the future, it will also be possible to measure the leakage rate of entire systems. Please feel free to contact us.

In addition, we offer a wide range of other measurements. Recent additions are the examination possibilities of the following components and complete systems:

  • Thermal conduction and insulation layers
  • Filling curves, overall performance, start-up behavior, oil distribution on our test bench for the investigation of switchable heat pumps for mobile applications (also R-744, incl. battery conditioning)
  • Compact units for mobile use

If desired, we supplement the measurements performed with comprehensive and thermodynamically founded processing of the measurement data using our in-house software tools.

It is a special concern of ours to implement the wishes of our customers quickly and flexibly. According to your ideas, we realize new test stands in our test laboratory, with which we investigate your questions and collect the measurement data you require. Please contact us.

For further information please contact Dipl.-Ing Norbert Stulgies and Dr.-Ing. Nicholas Lemke


Expanding our competence on oil in refrigerant circuits

TLK is continuing its R&D activities on the subject of oil in refrigerant circuits. After completion of the research project KÖVER, we start another research project in this field with ERNI.

About three billion refrigeration, air-conditioning and heat pump systems are operated worldwide that contain oil to lubricate the refrigerant compressor. The energy efficiency, performance and system behavior of these systems are strongly influenced by the refrigerant charge, which itself depends significantly on the amount of lubricant oil. In the recently completed KÖVER project, TLK researched refrigerant oil distribution in refrigeration circuits together with Technische Universität Braunschweig. Methods for measuring oil distribution were successfully developed and used in first follow-up projects.

Within the framework of KÖVER, new measurement methods for balancing the refrigerant-oil distribution were developed inter alia. For example, the developed method for gravimetric determination of the mass distribution of refrigerant and oil in the system shows good reproducibility and high quality of the measurement results.

Oil flow with strongly inhomogeneous R744 concentration, resulting in streaks and even areas with gaseous R744 (dark area).

Furthermore, new calculation models were created in KÖVER. Among other things, we implemented new methods for calculating mixture behavior in the TILMedia library. An extensive interface to the external fluid property data library Multiflash was also created here.

Using real-time computational methods, we can now determine oil circulation rates (OCR) based on models using sensor signals.

Regarding the effects of oil filling levels on cooling, air-conditioning and heat pump systems, further questions arose in the process of KÖVER, which TLK and TU Braunschweig will examine more closely in the research project ERNI (Erfassung der Nichtgleichgewichtszustände von Kältemittel-Öl-Gemischen zur energetischen Optimierung und Emissionsreduktion von Kompakt-Kaltdampfsystemen = detection of non-equilibrium states of refrigerant-oil mixtures for energetic optimization and emission reduction of compact vapor compression systems). The objective of the new project is the research and development of an innovative model library, which enables the dynamic simulation of compact refrigeration systems under consideration of the non-equilibrium states of the refrigerant-oil mixture. Furthermore, a simulation-based oil filling quantity reduction method is to be made available. Finally, the prototypical model library will be tested on different heat pump systems.

For further questions on the KÖVER and ERNI projects and on the subject of oil in refrigerant circuits, please contact Dipl.-Ing Norbert Stulgies and M.Sc. Andreas Mecklenfeld


Training courses for Modelica and TIL

Together with our partner TLK-Energy, we will be offering online and on-site training courses for Modelica and TIL starting in September 2021. You can find the dates here.



Newsletter Archive

Content

Information security and TISAX
Focus on climate goals: simulation of hydrogen systems
A hydrogen technology center near Braunschweig?
Everything automated with MoBA Automation
New control technology in our test rigs
Development support to series production
Calculation of multiphase flow in innovative cooling systems
Education in the home office: online training courses


Information security and TISAX

To protect the information and data entrusted to us, we are using an information security management system. The TISAX results are now available for this system.
Further information on ISO 9001 and TISAX.


Focus on climate goals: simulation of hydrogen systems

In our TIL add-on library Hydrogen Energy Systems, further fluid data, component and system models are created, which enable the design and evaluation of future hydrogen energy systems.

We at TLK can rely on many years of experience from various consulting and research projects in the field of modeling and simulation of hydrogen systems. With our multifunctional software tools, we offer suitable solutions for the diverse challenges in this field.

Together with our customers, we applied this knowledge and the respective tools for the model-based analysis of various hydrogen filling station concepts. Figure 1 shows a simplified illustration of these concepts. Based on the implemtation of models for

  • liquid (LH2) and gaseous (CGH2) filling station-side hydrogen storage
  • cascading buffer storage
  • direct compression as an operating strategy

and different on-board pressurized gas tank systems (Type III/ Type IV), we simulated and analyzed a variety of concepts already.

Simplified P&I flowchart of a hydrogen refueling station concept in DaVE.
Figure 1: Simplified P&I flowchart of a hydrogen refueling station concept in DaVE.

Many of our software tools are put to good use in the simulation of hydrogen systems. For the model-based design of these systems, the exact calculation of fluid data is essential. For example, when considering hydrogen in a cryogenic state, it must be taken into account that it occurs with two different nuclear spin configurations - as ortho-hydrogen and as para-hydrogen. The differences can be seen, for example, in the specific isobaric heat capacity (see Figure 2 a). The necessary exact fluid data calculation is accomblished with our fluid property data library TILMedia 3.9.1, which is included in TIL Suite 3.9.1. Not only for hydrogen but also for a huge variety of pure fluids and fluid mixtures, TILMedia provides the efficient and robust calculation of the required thermophysical properties.

Figure 2 a) Temperature dependent specific isobaric heat capacity of para-, ortho- and normal hydrogen. b) Temperature dependent composition of equilibrium para- and ortho-hydrogen.
Figure 2 a) Temperature dependent specific isobaric heat capacity of para-, ortho- and normal hydrogen. b) Temperature dependent composition of equilibrium para- and ortho-hydrogen.

The TIL Suite and its add-ons are continuously improved and expanded. We determine the need for new functionalities and specifications with regard to industrial applicability in the course of daily use in our research and service projects. This concerns also customer-specific developments of model libraries for the design and optimization of PEMFC and SOFC systems.

Our software DaVE is used for the comfortable evaluation and visualization of stationary and dynamic effects in complex systems. MoBA Automation allows the flexible creation and processing of extensive simulation studies and workflows. In combination with the Optimization Suite, an efficient system and component design is achieved.

Based on our expertise, we support you in the modeling and design of your hydrogen systems. Do you have specific requirements and wishes - e.g. for the development of a component and system model library, or a workflow we can realize in MoBA Automation? We will be happy to support you in this matter as well.

For further information please contact Ingo Frohböse (i.frohboese@tlk-thermo.com) or visit our product pages.


A hydrogen technology center near Braunschweig?

Together with the Technical University of Braunschweig we are engaged in the Technology- and Innovation Center Hydrogen Technology in Braunschweig-Salzgitter.
Further information can be found in the press release (german) from Allianz für die Region.


Everything automated with MoBA Automation

MoBA Automation 2.1 simplifies the parameterization of complex workflows, results are accessible more quickly. The new version offers additional use cases for test bench automation, measurement data evaluation and model regression testing.

Software for automated workflows

Our software MoBA Automation enables the automation of individual workflows for model or measurement data based development, analysis and optimization of technical systems. For example, users can automatically evaluate complex simulations or measurements, create individual automated reports and documentation (PowerPoint, PDF, etc.), or run simulations in a network. Further examples can be found on our homepage. More about MoBA Automation.

Release of version 2.1

MoBA Automation version 2.1 is available for download since December 2020. The most important new features are summarized below.
We continue to work with great passion and enthusiasm on new features to improve the ergonomics of our MoBA Automation. If you have any feature requests, please contact us: E-mail to Philipp Ebeling (p.ebeling@tlk-thermo.com).

Simplified handling of complex workflows with new interface tasks

In complex workflows, many tasks typically use the same input values (for instance parameter file paths or target directories). The adjustment of parameters due to workflow changes in all individual tasks, which was necessary in the previous version, proved to be inconvenient. In addition, the output values of the workflow were only accessible via the respective tasks, which made it difficult to quickly access important results.

ew Input and Output Interface Tasks
New Input and Output Interface Tasks (far left and far right) in our Dymola Simulation and Check Steady State Results workflow. Connections to and from the tasks are hidden.

Via new interface tasks, input and output values can be defined globally and linked to individual tasks via connections. The connections are marked by a colored accent but remain hidden. Thus, the clarity of the graphic representations is ensured. Furthermore, the values of the interface tasks provide a filter for the inputs and outputs of the workflow. If the workflow is instantiated as part of an entire work process in a comprehensive workflow, the parameters or connectors of the interface tasks are displayed primarily.

The Dymola Simulation and Check Steady State Results workflow as part of a control-oriented system analysis process.
The Dymola Simulation and Check Steady State Results workflow as part of a control-oriented system analysis process. When parameterizing the workflow, only the input interface inputs are now displayed, which significantly simplifies the handling of extensive workflows.
Further new features
  • A new command prompt allows for instance the installation of new Python modules for a Python environment registered in MoBA Automation (see "Edit" in the toolbar)
  • Access to the output files via the context menu in the Status monitor
  • Faster reading of large Mat files in the data processing tasks
  • MDF files (MF4) can now be read by all data processing tasks in the Standard Task Library
  • Many new features for easier and more intuitive workflow development in the Configurator View

Usage of MoBA Automation in test benches

In recent months, MoBA Automation has found new applications in many fields of work, not only at TLK. Especially in tests on our test benches, it increasingly takes over the complete evaluation, analysis and PDF documentation of the measurement data of a single day and relates it to the entire measurement campaign.

In a workflow with recognition of stationary states, MoBA Automation offers the possibility to validate measurement points during operation and to trigger the initiation of the next measurement point. This can save valuable test bench time.

Automated measurement campaigns.

Model regression tests for quality control

For quality control of model libraries, regression tests are available in MoBA Automation in the form of predefined workflows in a task add-on. The repeated execution of model simulations and corresponding evaluations means that errors in modifications can be quickly detected and corrected. The regression tests provide evaluations regarding the following aspects:

  • Simulation success
  • Comparison of time series or simulation end values to a reference
  • Comparison or validation of validity ranges of the models
  • Structural analysis of Modelica models (system of equations, translation log, etc.)
  • For further information please contact Philipp Ebeling (p.ebeling@tlk-thermo.com).


New control technology in our test benches

Using innovative concepts we are able to perform highly dynamic control in our refrigerant compressor test benches. They are used, for example, for time-lapse tests in long-term operation.

Due to our many years of experience with refrigerant compressors, we are able to use our test benches in continuous operation for highly dynamic time-lapse tests or thermal cycling investigations. Degradation effects are evaluated online on the test bench and compared in real time with empirical values or as a software-in-the-loop model. This allows aging effects as well as damage to be detected at an early stage.
For further information please contact Christian Seck (c.seck@tlk-thermo.com).

Development support until series production

Many do not know: Our services also include experimental support for the development of overall thermal management systems - in the area of heating and cooling of passenger compartment and battery.

We adapt our measurement concept to your task. The measurement of the individual components of the overall system represents the basis of our cooperation. The subsequent measurement and evaluation within an overall concept as well as the support up to series production builds on this. Especially actuators and sensors that communicate in the bus system can also be evaluated by us in the overall system. Only the LIN or CAN bus configuration of the target system provided by you is necessary for an integration of the components.
For further information please contact Norbert Stulgies (n.stulgies@tlk-thermo.com).

Pressure reducer on a nitrogen gas cylinder at a test bench

In addition, we offer the following measurement options on our 820 m² test bench area. In the field of components, we perform tests on the following components, among others:

  • Refrigerant compressors for R-744, R-134a, R-1234yf, R-290 and other refrigerants (performance measurement, detailed analysis, development support etc.)
  • Heat exchangers refrigerant-air, refrigerant-miscellaneous fluids (performance, icing detection, de-icing strategies, de-heating etc.)
  • Expansion valves
  • Pumps
  • Fans and blowers
  • Refrigerant collectors (charging curves)
  • Leakage measurements
  • Humidifiers for fuel cells
  • Materials (explosive decompression of elastomers, etc. under R-744)
  • Heat pipes for heat transfer
  • Thermal properties of battery modules
  • Temperature control of battery modules / battery packs
  • Investigation of refrigerant-oil mixtures
  • Support for measurement system testing

In the field of testing complete systems, we have experience and testing capabilities for, among others:

  • Test bench for the investigation of switchable heat pumps for mobile applications (also R-744, incl. battery conditioning)
  • High temperature refrigeration cycle for butane and R-1234ze(Z)
  • Acoustic investigation of flow noise in refrigeration cycle
  • Climatic chamber for long-term tests of components or e.g. for the investigation of stationary heat pumps
  • Support for test bench design (control strategies, etc.)
  • Water extraction from ambient air (research project)

If required, we supplement the measurements carried out with detailed and thermodynamically based post processing of the measurement data using our in-house software tools.

It is our objective to implement the requests of our customers quickly and flexibly. According to your requirements, we realize new test benches in our test laboratory, with which we investigate your problems and collect the measurement data you require.

For further information about our test facilities please contact Norbert Stulgies (n.stulgies@tlk-thermo.com) or Nicholas Lemke (n.lemke@tlk-thermo.com).


Calculation of multiphase flow in innovative cooling systems

As part of the e-Tractiv research project, TLK is expanding its CFD expertise in the area of multiphase flows. STAR-CCM+ is used to model innovative cooling systems.

In the area of field calculations, we recently started to use STAR-CCM+ in-house, to model complex multiphase flows. A special focus is set on disperse multiphase flows, as they occur in heat exchangers. By modeling the fluid flow in detail, we can improve geometries and the refrigerant distribution.

Flow paths of liquid particles.
Flow paths of liquid particles when distributed on flat tubes of a heat exchanger.

Interoperability

Interoperability is a very important aspect of our 3D models. Using TISC or the FMI standard, we can solve complex thermal problems by coupling 3D component simulations with 0D/1D system models. For example, we are currently working on innovative cooling concepts as part of the publicly funded project e-Tractive with our partners Siemens, Infineon and the University of Bayreuth. Together, we are researching efficient coolers for power electronics used in the operation of regional trains and are linking detailed 3D-CFD simulations with 0D/1D system models.

Optimization

In the automotive sector, we recently successfully completed the SiCModul project, expanding our range of expertise in modeling and simulation of active cooling concepts for power electronics. Our central research topic of the project was the fully automated optimization of a pin-fin-geometry considering heat transfer and pressure loss of the cooling element. In this context, the TLK Optimization Suite was used to find an optimal size based on the results of a conjugate heat transfer simulation of the cooling device.

For further information please contact Björn Flieger (b.flieger@tlk-thermo.com).


Education in the home office: online training courses

We are organizing an online training course on Modelica and TIL from March 15 - 19, 2021.
Further information on training.