CAPE-OPEN 2021 Annual Meeting

Computer-aided process engineering standard body hears from IFPen on pipeline modeling and design in Python. Designing the Co-Lan test suite. Methods & Tools SIG report from US EPA. How SINTEF came around to Cape-Open.

Co-Lan, the Cape-Open Laboratories Network is home to CAPE, the computer-aided process engineering standard. CAPE provides models of the physico-chemical processes involved in industrial equipment such as heat exchangers, pumps, pipelines, hydrocarbon crackers and more. Co-Lan manages the standard and facilitate implementation of interfaces to commercial and other process tools. Members include Shell, BP, Linde, BASF, Dow and Air Liquide.

Speaking at the 2021 Cape-Open Annual Meeting, Martin Gainville (IFPen) presented on the use of Python code to calculate pipeline unit operations and wax crystallization. Python Unit Operation (PUO) is a scripting environment that can plug into process modeling tools such as those developed by IFPen, AmsterChem and Aveva. These include hydrodynamic models of multiphase flow in pipelines carrying gas/oil/water mixtures. PUO facilitates experimentation with models that simulate an oil and gas production network. Gainville concluded that using Python provides integration with other packages (matplotlib, numpy, scipy, pandas, …). PUO enables custom development of pipeline components for gas production networks, integrating commercial packages such AmsterChem’s Python thermo import tool and KBC’s Multiflash thermodynamic server.

Bill Barrett (US Environmental Protection Agency) presented the activity of the Methods & Tools Special Interest Group (SIG) with notably a work plan for COBIA Phase III. Cobia is the Cape-Open binary interoperability architecture. Earlier Cape-Open development was Windows-specific and C++ native. Phase III introduces platform-independence, with components developed on different platforms talking to each other via ‘marshaling’. A presentation from AmsterChem demonstrated that ‘generic marshalling works’.

Olaf Trygve Berglihn explained why Norwegian R&D institute Sintef is now adopting Cape-Open. Earlier Cape versions were COM and CORBA-based and as such were ‘complicated and code-intrusive’. The Microsoft ecosystem and active template library were viewed unfavorably at Sintef as was the ‘overly object-oriented focus’ and platform-dependance of the standard. All of which contrasted with the simpler application binary interface of Sintef’s own simulators. Sintef now appreciates Cape’s push to platform independence. Cobia removes the need to deal with COM/CORBA. When required, Windows-based simulators can be run on Linux under the Wine emulator. Sintef is now converting several of its own models into Cobia process modelling components. Sintef’s Cobia work was funded under the EU Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation program.

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