The following is a summary of current ASCEND capabilities. It is intended to be a complete list. If you want a more general/introductory overview, see the ASCEND overview. The main page for accessing greater detail on these topics is our documentation index. This page emphasises the newer PyGTK-based GUI for ASCEND. An overview of the features of the older Tcl/Tk GUI is can be obtained from the TclTk screenshots.
- Equation-based language, see Equation-based Process Modeling for an overview.
- Full support for units of measurement; user never needs to worry about conversion factors.
- Hierarchical MODELs allowing modular system models built from reused components
- Procedural initialisation of models and solver parameters using METHODs
- WHEN syntax for conditional modelling also known as 'variable-structure modelling'.
- Differential as well as algebraic equations can be expressed
- Constants are declared separately from variables
- Multi-modal models with SWITCH statement (switching based on values assigned to constants).
- Externally-defined equations ('external relations') can be added to models via shared libries and the IMPORT statement
- Can run arbitrary Python code in METHODs via ExtPy linkage, useful for custom plotting, reporting, and model initialisation.
- Detection of singular and non-square equation systems; user is advised on what modifications would help to make system square.
- Steady-state QRSlv solver with block decomposition
- Optimisation solver IPOPT as well as linking to commercial CONOPT solver
- ODE and DAE solver for dynamic modelling: IDA, RADAU5, LSODE
- Some preliminary support for dynamic switching models with boundaries, see integration of conditional models.
- Solver parameters can be set from within the model code (see SOLVER and OPTION statements)
- New solvers can easily be added, implemented as external libraries that access our Solver API.
- View all aspects of a model in a hierarchical tree view
- FIX and FREE variables interactively, set their values, and quickly re-solve the model.
- Interactive exploration of the numerical/convergence behaviour of the model
- Capture the state of selected variables for export/plotting via Observer functionality
- View incidence matrix showing block-decomposed structure of steady-state systems
- Diagnose blocks in the model which have been giving numerical problems
- View incidence graph (aka dependency graph) for solution process
- Plot the time-varying values from the solution of dynamic problems
- Alpha-quality canvas-based modeller for ASCEND allows 'wiring up' of graphical 'blocks' to construct complex flowsheets
Thermodynamics and Engineering features
- models/thermodynamics.a4l code for basic-level accuracy of pure species as well as mixtures
- FPROPS code for accurate calculation of pure species properties
- linkage to freesteam library for calculation of steam properties by official IAPWS-IF97 correlations.
- A range of models for [[Energy system modelling with ASCEND|energy system modelling], including Brayton cycle, Rankine cycle and several solar thermal energy component models.
- Models of mixers, separators and reactors for chemical process modelling (eg models/flash.a4l)
- A growing model library with a wide range of examples and reusable models.