The equation section of a Simscape™ file is executed throughout the simulation. The purpose of the equation section is to establish the mathematical relationships among a component's variables, parameters, inputs, outputs, time and the time derivatives of each of these entities.
A Simscape language equation consists of two expressions
connected with the == operator. Unlike the regular assignment operator
(=), the == operator specifies continuous mathematical equality between
the two expressions (for more information, see Specifying Mathematical Equality). The equation expressions
may be constructed from any of the identifiers defined in the model
declaration. You can also access global simulation time from the equation
section using the
function.time
Simscape language stipulates semantically that all the equation expressions returned by the equation section of a Simscape file specify continuous mathematical equality between two expressions. Consider a simple example:
equations Expression1 == Expression2; end
Here we have declared an equality between Expression1
and Expression2
.
The left- and right-hand side expressions are any valid MATLAB^{®} expressions
(see the next section for
restrictions on using the relational operators: ==
, <
, >
, <=
, >=
,
~=
, &&
, ||
).
The equation expressions may be constructed from any of the identifiers
defined in the model declaration.
The equation is defined with the == operator. This means that the equation does not represent assignment but rather a symmetric mathematical relationship between the left- and right-hand operands. Because == is symmetric, the left-hand operand is not restricted to just a variable. For example:
component MyComponent [...] variables a = 1; b = 1; c = 1; end equations a + b == c; end end
The following example is mathematically equivalent to the previous example:
component MyComponent [...] variables a = 1; b = 1; c = 1; end equations 0 == c - a - b; end end
Note Equation expressions must be terminated with a semicolon or a newline. Unlike MATLAB, the absence of a semicolon makes no difference. In any case, Simscape language does not display the result as it evaluates the equation. |
In the previous section we
discussed how ==
is used to declare mathematical
equalities. In MATLAB, however, ==
yields
an expression like any other operator. For example:
(a == b) * c;
where a
, b
, and c
represent
scalar double values, is a legal MATLAB expression. This would
mean, take the logical
value generated by testing a
's
equivalence to b
, coerce this value to a double
and
multiply by c
. If a
is the
same as b
, then this expression will return c
.
Otherwise, it will return 0.
On the other hand, in MATLAB we can use ==
twice
to build an expression:
a == b == c;
This expression is ambiguous, but MATLAB makes ==
and
other relational operators left associative, so this expression is
treated as:
(a == b) == c;
The subtle difference between (a == b) == c
and a
== (b == c)
can be significant in MATLAB, but is even
more significant in an equation. Because the use of ==
is
significant in the Simscape language, and to avoid ambiguity,
the following syntax:
component MyComponent [...] equations a == b == c; end end
is illegal in the Simscape language. You must explicitly associate top-level occurrences of relational operators. Either
component MyComponent [...] equations (a == b) == c; end end
or
component MyComponent [...] equations a == (b == c); end end
are legal. In either case, the quantity in the parentheses is equated to the quantity on the other side of the equation.
With the exception of the top-level use of the ==
operator, ==
and
other relational operators are left associative. For example:
component MyComponent [...] parameters a = 1; b = 1; c = false; end variables d = 1; end equations (a == b == c) == d; end end
is legal and interpreted as:
component MyComponent [...] parameters a = 1; b = 1; c = false; end variables d = 1; end equations ((a == b) == c) == d; end end
The expressions on either side of the ==
operator
need not be scalar expressions. They must be either the same size
or one must be scalar. For example:
equations [...] <3x3 Expression> == <3x3 Expression>; [...] end
is legal and introduces 9 scalar equations. The equation expression:
equations [...] <1x1 Expression> == <3x3 Expression>; [...] end
is also legal. Here, the left-hand side of the equation is expanded, via scalar expansion, into the same expression replicated into a 3x3 matrix. This equation expression also introduces 9 scalar equations.
However, the equation expression:
equations [...] <2x3 Expression> == <3x2 Expression>; [...] end
is illegal because the sizes of the expressions on the left- and right-hand side are different.
The equation section is evaluated in continuous time. Some of the values that are accessible in the equation section are themselves piecewise continuous, that is, they change continuously in time. These values are:
variables
inputs
outputs
time
Piecewise continuous indicates that values are continuous over compact time intervals but may change value at certain instances. The following values are continuous, but not time-varying:
parameters
constants
Time-varying countable values, for example, integer or logical, are never continuous.
Continuity is propagated like a data type. It is propagated through continuous functions (see Supported Functions).
In Simscape language, you declare members (such as parameters, variables, inputs, and outputs) as value with unit, and the equations automatically handle all unit conversions.
However, empirical formulae often employ noninteger exponents
where the base is either unitless or in known units. When working
with these types of formulae, convert the base to a unitless value
using the value
function and then reapply units
if needed.
For example, the following formula gives the pressure drop, in Pa, in terms of flow rate, in m^3/s:
p == k * q^1.023
where p is pressure, q is
flow rate and k
is some unitless constant. To
write this formula in Simscape language, use:
p == { k * value(q, 'm^3/s')^1.023, 'Pa' }
This approach works regardless of the actual units of p or q, as long as they are commensurate with pressure and volumetric flow rate, respectively. For example, the actual flow rate can be in gallons per minute, the equation will still work and handle the unit conversion automatically.