Early evaluation of two-phase flow cycle performances with Simcenter Amesim

Siemens Experimenter Siemens Experimenter
Siemens Experimenter


When speaking about the performances of a two-phase flow system like a heat pump, dynamic system simulation is a great tool. Simcenter Amesim has a set of built-in demonstrators about refrigerant Rankine cycles and heat pumps.  A first step to create such a simulation model is to predesign the desired cycle and check its performances.


New features of Simcenter Amesim 2019.1 ease this process by taking advantage of the refrigerant fluid properties built-in database. A clear workflow and a direct visualization of the fluid properties are available in a dedicated user interface that displays the cycle and its characteristics in the steady state.


Let us go through a use case of a heat pump with the following key characteristics:

  • R410A
  • Condensing temperature: -10°C
  • Subcooling at condenser outlet: -5°C
  • Evaporating temperature: 45°C
  • Superheat at evaporator outlet: 10°C

With this information, the cycle is fully defined (given the compression is isentropic), and we can calculate the coefficient of performance (COP) of the system.


Simcenter-Amesim-heat-pump-definition.pngHeat pump definition

As a first step, it is important to know what the condensing and evaporating pressures are. Using the two-phase fluid properties app of Simcenter Amesim, these are very easily obtained:

  • Condensing pressure: P=27.27barA
  • Evaporating pressure: P=5.73barA

Simcenter-Amesim-TPF-fluid-properties-app-to-assess-condensing-pressure.pngAssessing the condensing pressure using the two-phase fluid properties app of Simcenter Amesim

Let us open the thermodynamic cycle analysis app from the app space directly and create the cycle. The thing I like about using the app space is that you do not even need to search for a component in the libraries.


The workflow is derived in 3 steps:


#1 Context: selection of the fluid to be used and display of its characteristics. The full database of Simcenter Amesim Two-phase Flow library is available and the equation of state can be chosen.


Simcenter-Amesim-thermodynamic-cycle-analysis-app-fluid-choice.pngFluid selection

#2 Settings: Definition of the thermodynamic transformations and visualization of the cycle on the P-h and the T-s diagrams. For each transformation inlet and outlet points, you can reuse an existing point or define it. In the screenshot below, the evaporation is linked to the previous expansion and the outlet state is defined with a zero pressure drop and a target superheat of 5°C.


Simcenter-Amesim-thermodynamic-cycle-analysis-app-cycle-definition.pngCycle definition

#3 Post processing: Key characteristics of the transformations are shown. By specifying which transformation brings the required work (compression) and the useful heat transfer (evaporator), the COP is automatically calculated at 3.4825.


Simcenter-Amesim-thermodynamic-cycle-analysis-app-performance.pngPerformance evaluation

Now, this COP corresponds to an ideal cycle as several assumptions were taken along the way:

  • zero pressure drop in both the condenser and the evaporator,
  • isenthalpic expansion with no heat exchange along the way,
  • a compression stage with an efficiency of 1 (isentropic).

Let us challenge this last assumption as it most impacts the COP value. Here is the COP value for various isentropic efficiencies of the compression:


Simcenter-Amesim-COP-values-for-different-isentropic-efficiencies-of-the-compression.pngCOP values for different isentropic efficiencies of the compression

Watch this video to see how it works:

(view in My Videos)


For more information, feel free to contact me and my colleague Guillaume Jobert.


Want to learn more about vehicle thermal management capabilities of Simcenter Amesim? Watch this 30-minute on-demand webinar.