Thermodynamic Modelling Software Packages

For complex power and process plant, questions relating to design and the effect of changes in plant component items, or operation, on the overall performance of the plant cannot be answered confidently without taking account of component interactions.

PROATES® – PROcess Analysis for Thermal Energy Systems

PROATES is a physics based modelling package to simulate the thermodynamic processes within thermal power plants and is used for designing, engineering, and optimizing plants.

PROATES has been continuously developed for over 30 years and provides OEM levels of detail within conventional boiler plants, and is licensed to utility companies world-wide.

Within a power plant, impacts of plant upgrades or changes in plant operation cannot be assessed confidently without taking account of component interactions.  

PROATES is a whole plant modelling software package for analysing, predicting and improving power plant steady state thermal performance.  It is highly modular in nature, allowing extensive flexibility in the type, extent and detail of plant modelled and in the questions which it may be used to solve.  

A brief introduction to PROATES is given here.

A comprehensive library of modules is included, allowing the user to readily construct models of any individual power or process plant, to whatever level of detail required. Each module consists of a set of formulations which represent the physics of mass momentum and energy transfers between the inputs and outputs and extensive online help is provided from within PROATES. Extensive documentation is provided with PROATES; this example being for the Bi-Sector Air Heater module.

PROATES has an interactive graphical interface which enables users to easily construct, update and analyse a model, in terms of the model structure, physical data and problem specification.

PROATES has a link to MS Excel, so once a PROATES model is validated it can be run entirely from Excel. This powerful link allows both data values and problem specification to be exchanged, allowing the user to easily create user defined data tables. 


  • Quantifying the impact of operational changes on efficiency and emissions
  • Analysing boiler, turbine and cooling water changes for improved efficiency and output
  • Assessing the effect of differing fuels on thermodynamic performance, e.g. bio-fuels
  • Tracking long-term thermal efficiency trends through on-line data
  • Impact of reducing minimum load and increased CCGT flexibility
  • Optimising the design of new plants
  • Assessing environmental options, e.g.  Carbon Capture or SCR integration
  • Assisting feasibility studies for project business planning and academic study
  • Includes a proven radiation model to accurately represent heat transfer in conventional furnaces and tube banks.

Key potential users

  • Plant performance specialists and engineers
  • Design engineers and consultants
  • Asset managers
  • Power plant operators and engineers
  • University and research students.

Case Studies: PROATES: Case Studies (PDF, 633 KB)

PPMS - PROATES Performance Monitoring System

PPMS provides a framework to run an automated PROATES model of the power plant running a series of calculations. PPMS works by:

  • Connecting to a suitable plant historian to obtain plant measured data, via an OPC interface
  • Determining the status of the plant – is the unit running, is it steady state?
  • Collating the plant data, scaling and averaging the data where appropriate
  • Calling and running the appropriate PROATES model files for multiple calculation steps (typically 20 -30 calculations per unit).
  • Saving the calculated results back to the plant historian for review and trending   

The PPMS on-line system allows long term trending of performance, to spot early developing issues or problems, as well as provide the plant operators with focused short term snapshot views of performance.  


The PROATES On-Line system extracts and analyses plant data continuously. It uses a detailed PROATES thermodynamic model of the plant to provide a comprehensive breakdown of the thermal performance of each of the key components in addition to headline efficiency data.

For each plant area the model is used to determine the current underlying performance level by stripping away the disguising effects of varying ambient condition and load point. The deviations from defined target performance are presented in terms of impacts on output, efficiency and fuel costs.

Running continuously in parallel with the plant DCS, PPMS enables operators to optimise performance in real time delivering outputs which:

  • Highlight long and short-term performance variation trends
  • Identify the location and financial impact of performance shortfalls
  • Assist cost-benefit analyses on the timing of improvements and outages
  • Contribute to the reduction of carbon and other emissions

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Download Technical Summary:
PROATES: PROcess Analysis for Thermal Energy Systems (PDF, 392 KB)
PPMS - PROATES Performance Monitoring System (PDF, 439 KB)

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