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Thermal Mass

Mass in thermal systems

  • Library:
  • Simscape / Foundation Library / Thermal / Thermal Elements

  • Thermal Mass block

Description

The Thermal Mass block represents a thermal mass that reflects the ability of a material, or a combination of materials, to store internal energy. The mass of the material and its specific heat characterize this property. The thermal mass is described by

Q=cmdTdt,

where:

  • Q is the heat flow.

  • c is the specific heat of the mass material.

  • m is the mass.

  • T is the temperature.

  • t is time.

By default, the block has one thermal conserving port. Because the block positive direction is from the port towards the block, the heat flow is positive if it flows into the block.

In some applications, it is customary to display mass in series with other elements in the block diagram layout. To support this use case, the Number of graphical ports parameter lets you display a second port on the opposite side of the block icon. The two-port variant is purely graphical: the two ports have the same temperature, so the block functions the same whether it has one or two ports. The block icon changes depending on the value of the Number of graphical ports parameter.

Number of graphical portsBlock Icon

1

Thermal Mass block with one port

2

Thermal Mass block with two ports

Variables

To set the priority and initial target values for the block variables prior to simulation, use the Initial Targets section in the block dialog box or Property Inspector. For more information, see Set Priority and Initial Target for Block Variables.

Nominal values provide a way to specify the expected magnitude of a variable in a model. Using system scaling based on nominal values increases the simulation robustness. Nominal values can come from different sources, one of which is the Nominal Values section in the block dialog box or Property Inspector. For more information, see Modify Nominal Values for a Block Variable.

Ports

Conserving

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Thermal conserving port that connects the mass to the physical network.

The port name is not visible in the block icon, but you can see this name in the underlying source file by clicking the Source code link in the Description tab of the block dialog box.

Second thermal conserving port that lets you connect the mass in series with other elements in the block diagram. This port has the same temperature as port M, therefore the difference between the one-port and two-port block representations is purely graphical.

The port name is not visible in the block icon, but you can see this name in the underlying source file by clicking the Source code link in the Description tab of the block dialog box.

Dependencies

To enable this port, set the Number of graphical ports parameter to 2.

Parameters

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Mass value. The mass is constant during simulation.

Specific heat of the material.

How to connect the block to the rest of the circuit:

  • 1 — The block has one conserving port that connects it to the thermal circuit. When the block has one port, attach it to a connection line between two other blocks.

  • 2 — Selecting this option exposes the second port, which lets you connect the block in series with other blocks in the circuit. Because the two ports have the same temperature, the block functions the same as if it had one port.

Extended Capabilities

C/C++ Code Generation
Generate C and C++ code using Simulink® Coder™.

Version History

Introduced in R2007b

See Also