University of Liege | Version française
Study programmes 2013-2014Last update : 13/05/2014
MECA0514-1  Introduction to dynamic modeling of thermal systems

Duration :  15h Th, 15h Pr
Number of credits :  
Master in Electro-mechanical Engineering, Teaching Focus, 2nd year2,5
Lecturer :  Pierre Dewallef, Sylvain Quoilin
Language(s) of instruction :  
French language
Organisation and examination :  
Teaching in the first semester, review in January
Course contents :  
Current energy conversion systems are submitted to a growing demand in terms of flexibility. This flexibility requires an accurate characterization of the components dynamic behavior under varying boundary conditions, which in turns allows to set up optimal control strategies.
This course is an introduction to the dynamic modeling of thermal systems. It is subdivided into three main parts.
The first part is a review of the fundamental concepts and of the basic definitions. The numerical methods required to solve dynamic problems are briefly described; initialization algorithms (Newton), integration algorithms (Euler, DASSL, etc.), index reduction (Pantelides), etc... The overal solution process is described by means of simples examples highlighting the most commong numerical issues (Chattering, stiffness, initialization, etc.).
The second part describes more advanced concepts such as object-oriented modeling (inheritance, connectors, ...) and acausal modeling. This is achieved through the open-source language Modelica, a modeling platform for complex non-linear systems. In the exercice classes, the student will experiment the theory through simple examples. More complex systems will then be developed using, among others, a model library developed at the University of Liege.
In the final part, the student will face practical problems, such as the modeling and the control of a thermal power plant or of a refrigeration cycle.
Learning outcomes of the course :  
At the end of the course, the student will be able to:
  • Structure and formalize a problem related to the dynamic modeling of thermal systems
  • Understand and use the required solution algorithms
  • Use a reference language (Modelica) as passive (use and interconnexion of already-available components) or active (develpments of new models) user.
  • Understand and describe the causal relations occuring in thermodynamic systems, and control them using linear controllers.
Prerequisites and co-requisites/ Recommended optional programme components :  
MECA0037-1 Centrales thermiques et cogénération
MECA0006-1 Systèmes de production de froid et de chaleur
PROJ0001-1 Introduction aux méthodes numériques et projet

MECA0002-1 Thermodynamique appliquée et introduction aux machines thermiques
SYST0003-1 Linear control systems
Planned learning activities and teaching methods :  
The course is based on 'ex-cathedra' lectures and on exercice classes
Mode of delivery (face-to-face ; distance-learning) :  
Face-to-face lectures.
Recommended or required readings :  
Slides used during the lectures, as well as the exercice files may be downloaded from eCampus.
Assessment methods and criteria :  
Theory is evaluated through an oral examination accounting for 50% of the final note. This includes the numerical methods as well as the understanding of the thermodynamic systems studied during the classes. The 50 remaining percents will be based on an individual project on Modelica.
Work placement(s) :  
Organizational remarks :  
To be defined
Contacts :  
Sylvain Quoilin, Labo. de Thermodynamique (B49) Phone  : +32 4 366 48 22 Fax  : +32 4 366 48 12 Mailto :
Pierre Dewallef, Labo. de Thermodynamique (B49) tél: +32 (0)4 366.99.95 fax: +32 (0)4 366.48.12 email:

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