Knowledge Base /
Industry Applications, Oil & Gas
Mimic Dynamic Simulation for SAGD Steam Plants
By Martin Berutti
Product: Mimic Simulation

Mimic dynamic simulation application package for SAGD Steam Plants provides a high performance solution for operator training and control system optimization.

The virtual SAGD Steam plant package provides the complete environment for control system optimization and is an effective tool for teaching process and control engineers the use and design of process controls of Once Through Steam Generators (OTSG) in SAGD plants.

Once Through Steam Generators provide high pressure steam to Oil Sands SAGD Facility.

The Mimic Dynamic Simulation allows SAGD Steam Plants to:

  • Train operators on infrequent and dangerous process occurrences
  • Properly prepare an inexperienced operator workforce and create a smooth knowledge transfer process
  • Optimize fuel gas usage by creating smoother operations
  • Test control system enhancements
  • Reduce time to first steam
  • Increase overall plant safety

This package uses Mimic Advanced Modeling Objects for dynamic, real-time, first principles modeling. The Mimic Advanced Modeling Objects are part of the Mimic Advanced Modeling Objects License that adds sophisticated modeling objects into the Mimic Simulation Studio modeling palette. These Objects can be used on Mimic systems for application software testing or operator training. The Mimic Advanced Modeling Objects License provides:

  • Medium-High to High Fidelity Simulation Performance
  • Rigorous First Principles process modeling using proven dynamic, real-time modeling methods
  • Unit Operation modeling objects
  • Easy handling of individual stream component physical properties using Mimic Component Sets
  • Block to block communications of all parameters with one connection using Mimic Streams
  • Mimic OTM Process Snapshot support
  • Mimic OPC Server Access to all model parameters

In Mimic Simulation Studio, process models using these objects can be integrated with any other models or Mimic dynamic modeling blocks. All modeling objects in Mimic are IEC1131 function blocks. Models can be built off-line and then viewed executing on-line with real-time values from the Mimic Simulation engine. The process of going from off-line model building to on-line model tuning is fast and intuitive.

SAGD Steam Plant Dynamic Simulation

Steam Plant Dynamic Simulation for SAGD plants provides accurate, real-time IO updates to the off-line control system. The simulation consists of a collection of real-time, dynamic first principles unit operations models configured to respond closely to the actual operations of the user's facility. The scope of the simulation can be set to meet the user's needs. In general, steam plant simulation for a SAGD facility will include:

  • Accurate, Dynamic model of the OTSG package Furnaces (or Furnace and Drum for those plants that use Boilers)
  • Exact, Dynamic model of the Steam Generator tubes supporting multiphase outlet flow and steam quality indication
  • Accurate, Dynamic model of the steam system from the Steam Generators to the injection well including high pressure, medium pressure, and low pressure lines and Separators
  • Dynamic model of Feed Water Supply including rigorous model of high pressure pumps and water storage. Water treatment areas can be implemented with full first principles models or simplified models as required.
OTSG Simulation Models as shown in Mimic Explorer

OTSG Package Furnace Models

The OTSG Package Furnace is rigorously modeled using Mimic's Furnace Advanced Modeling Object. This dynamic, first principles unit operation model can be configured to respond like the package furnace. Included in this model are the following capabilities:

  • Full stoichiometric combustion model of furnace
  • Ability to use and characterize multiple fuels (up to 8, ie natural gas, fuel gas) for composition and fuel heat capacity
  • Dynamic flue gas analysis (excess O2, CO, CO2, NOx, SOx …)
  • Dynamic furnace draft calculated
  • Complete combustion, operation, and control model of the furnace
OTSG Package Furnace Model running in Simulation Studio

Steam Generator Models

The Steam Generator is rigorously modeled using Mimic's Heat Exchanger Advanced Modeling Object. This dynamic, first principles unit operation model can be configured to respond like the vendor package steam generator. Included in this model are the following capabilities:

  • Dynamic, Real-Time Model of Heat Exchanger with Vapor Liquid Equilibrium for liquid flash
  • Completely configurable Tube Bundle section to match any vendor package design
  • Multiphase steam outlet based upon runtime conditions
  • Real-time steam quality and VLE calculations

Steam Generator modeled in Mimic showing Multiphase steam flow and real-time quality indication

Steam System Models

The plant Steam System is rigorously modeled using Mimic's Advanced Modeling Objects for Separators, Streams, and Valves. These dynamic, first principles objects are configured to match the unique physical design of the SAGD facility. Included in this model are the following capabilities:

  • Multiphase Flow Line Dynamic Simulation & Control System Interaction
  • Scalable to handle multiple steam generator trains feeding common steam lines and separators
  • First-Principle, Dynamic High, Medium, Low Pressure Separator Models with Vapor Liquid Equilibrium
  • Low Pressure Steam feed water pre-heater model integrated (if present in plant design)
  • Ability to configurable steam system models for any plant design

Feed Water Supply System

The feed water supply system is modeled to meet the requirements of the customer and to reflect the design of the plant using a combination of First Principles, Dynamic Mimic Advanced Modeling Objects and simplified, dynamic models using Mimic base modeling functions. This provides the ability to have rigorous models for critical operations while keeping the simulation development cost-effective and easy to maintain. Included in this section of the simulation are the following models:

  • Water treatment systems, including rigorous models of ion exchange, reverse osmosis and filtration systems (if required), using Mimic Vessel, Stream, Pump, and Valve Advanced Modeling Objects
  • Water supply and storage using Mimic Vessel Objects with complete instructor override controls and boundary condition manipulation
  • High Pressure Water Pumps simulated with first principles rigorous models using the Mimic Pump Advanced Modeling Object
  • Simplified, dynamic models for balance of plant equipment and other areas to accommodate any feed water system design

Instructor Station Environment

The Mimic Component Studio instructor station graphic allows full control of the dynamic OTSG simulation with a dynamic Process Flow Diagram view of the entire steam plant and easy-to-use instructor controls. The following instructor controls are included:

  • Steam plant feed conditions including fuel quality and composition, feed water conditions, and other boundary condition controls.
  • Individual pump and valve failure switches for ad-hoc instructor driven scenarios.
  • Process Snapshot controls for full steady-state and other critical steam plant conditions.
  • Operator training session scenarios with dynamic representation of current session student scores.
OTSG Instructor Station Graphic in Mimic Component Studio

Mimic Dynamic Simulation Application Packages

Mimic Dynamic Simulation Application Packages provide an excellent return on investment for plants training and operation budgets. Unlike other dynamic simulation technologies, they are:

  • Built for Operator Training and Control System Optimization. Because the dynamic simulation is built using Mimic Simulation Software, it fully supports operator training and configuration testing with any process control system environment. Mimic Simulated IO Drivers are non-intrusive and high performance, allowing IO simulation of any open process control system.
  • Easy to Customize and Modify. Mimic Operator Training Packages use Mimic Simulation Software Advanced Modeling Objects to deliver high-fidelity, dynamic process models. There is no hidden configuration in the solution. The user can easily modify the model to make it reflect the design of their plant design. The user can also add training scenarios and process snapshots as needed without limit.
  • Able to Work With Any Process Control System. Mimic models work directly with Mimic base level models and the Mimic Simulated IO System. This allows easy-to-maintain, accurate simulation of IO and control modules and provides real-time updates to the off-line control system.
  • Flexible, Powerful and Dynamic. The package is based upon Mimic Simulation Software; It is scalable from very small simulations to very large ones in the same software license. Mimic's multi-threaded simulation engine allows the fastest real-time performance of any simulation offering while still delivering accurate, dynamic simulations for a realistic operator experience at the control system operator station.
  • Scalable to Cloud Base Architecture. MYNAH Technologies is the industry leader in delivering cloud based dynamic simulation systems based upon VMWare Virtualization Technology. MYNAH's Virtual Dynamic Simulators offer breakthrough flexibility and performance unavailable in legacy simulation architectures.


Virtual Dynamic Simulator brings the benefits of Cloud Based Computing to operator training systems.

The Virtual SAGD Plant is an excellent platform for operators of Oil Sands production facilities to optimize their automation platform and address their operator training needs. Mimic Simulation Software is an enabling technology that addresses the needs of the energy industry process operators (see the Business Case for the Virtual Plant).

Ordering Information:

For a quotation or more information on Mimic Dynamic Simulation for SAGD plants, contact MYNAH Technologies at +1.636.728.2000 or support@mynah.com.