Modelica is an object oriented programming language that has been developed to conveniently model complex physical systems containing mechanical, electrical, electronic, hydraulic, thermal, control, electric power or process-oriented subcomponents. Modelica is open source and non-proprietary and the standards are developed and controlled by the Modelica association. The Modelica association also releases a number of free standard libraries.
A Modelica simulation environment is required to run Modelica models, there are a number of free and commercially available environments to run these models. The commercial environments such as SimulationX or Dymola contain their own proprietary libraries as well as the free standard libraries provided by the Modelica association. The support and proprietary libraries of the commercial environments usually make it an easier route to build a model and for the beginner to learn how to use the tools. However, the commercial products can be quite expensive, 10,000 Euros or more depending on the library options chosen. There are free of charge environments such as Open Modelica which is supported by a growing group of universities, companies and individuals. With the free of charge environment, the same modelling potential is there but it may take longer to get to the results.
SimulationX is the Modelica modelling environment we use at Fluid Mechanics. The main libraries we use allow us to do hydraulics and systems design including mechanics which is where are main capabilities lie. There are libraries to model electrical, electronic and magnetic systems but this is not something we use regularly.
SimulationX can be used to model very simple to very complex systems. In the video we demonstrate how quick it is to build and run a very simple hydraulic model. At the more complex end of the spectrum we have used SimulationX to model Aquamarine Power's WEC (wave energy converter). For Aquamarine Power we developed a wave to wire model of their WEC and this model was used to design their hydraulics and control systems.