One of VariSim’s major strengths is its ability to offer much more than just PC based simulation. VariSim can become an integral component within the VariSuite framework which includes communications components and additional ‘plug-in’ applications to allow it to be driven by measurement data.
VariSuite is the name given to VariSim and all the framework components that are used to create a Pipeline Management System with VariSim operating in real time and modules added that perform additional functions. It is sometimes referred to as a digital twin (a digital version of the pipeline or networks’ hydraulic behaviour). Copies of the state (the calculations from the real time simulator) can be made available to a desktop version of the simulator for desktop studies and training simulation. The desktop version is sometimes called the offline version or the virtual twin.
The data broker is a product provided by SSL that facilitates the rapid transfer of data between applications and third party packages (through an available API). It is a very robust, fully tested product that can reside on any networked workstation. For example, VariSim, the data broker / OPC and VariView can reside on a single workstation to provide an integrated Training simulator environment or they can each reside on separate workstations to provide a distributed Training simulator environment.
Three types of user interface are available for a real time system and any combination of these can be deployed.
The VariSim-Remote Interface is the remote user interface client GUI that is available to VariSim for engineers and pipeline operators. In online mode, the VariSim simulator operates as a service residing on any required workstation or server. The output from VariSim can be viewed using the VariSim-RI GUI which uses WCF to directly access VariSims calculations. Multiple VariSim-RI connections are permitted to a VariSim instance allowing its output to be viewed from any workstation that resides on the network. The look and feel / functionality of VariSim-RI is identical to the integrated GUI used for the desktop version.
VariView is a graphical package perfectly suited to the display of management data for pipeline operators and the replication of SCADA style displays for training simulators. It seamlessly connects to the middleware application (broker) for display of data from any connecting application in a centralised manner.
It is a self contained, robust and intuitive package that promotes customer display build using recognisable tools in a versatile development and editing environment. VariView is not just a display tool promoting clarity and realism, it has been tailored to the pipeline management world and for complete interaction with VariSim
An OPC Client / Server is available that communicates directly with the data broker. This is commonly used to communicate with third party applications such as SCADA systems and PLC’s. Any third party application can be easily incorporated into the environment via the OPC connection or directly with the data broker. Data cleansing tools that check, analyse and emulate data are an incorporated component to ensure valid data is continually used by the system.
The SSL message broker is a product developed by SSL specifically for Pipeline Management Systems and integrated simulator components. It is effectively a middleware piece of software that is dedicated to the controlled distribution of messages and data between different applications. The broker facilitates data acquisition and can transfer 10’s of thousands of datapoints per second.
Modules are added to the VariSim environment to perform additional dedicated functions. Since the are not part of the VariSim code, the ‘plug-in’ modules can not interfere with the operation of VariSim so ensuring the robustness of the VariSim simulator. To learn more about each of the modules, select the associated image below.