Multilevel Flow Modeling (MFM) is a well recognized methodology for functional modeling of complex systems which primarily focuses on the representation of their goals and functions. It has been successfully used in industrial process, e.g. nuclear power plant, chemical plants etc. to facilitate the operation on fault analysis and control. A significant improvement of the MFM methodology has been recently proposed, where the “role” concept was introduced to enable the representation of structural entities and the conveyance of important information for building up knowledge bases, with the purpose of complementing this reasoning methodology. Domestic heating systems, as the main resource to meet the thermal requirements of end-users, have different implementations in Europe in order to achieve various degrees of controllability and heating efficiencies. As all the heating systems serve the same basic needs i.e. supplying and transferring thermal energy, it is off interest to use MFM to investigate similarities and differences between different implementations. In this paper, three typical domestic European heating systems, which differ from each other in the number of temperature sensors and auxiliary components e.g. storage tanks, are modeled using the MFM methodology. Both the goals and functions of material and energy processes and the control functions of the heating systems are represented in the MFM models. It is found that varying the physical system setup results in only little differences among the MFM models. The ‘role’ concept is used to associate the relation between physical structures and functions in all MFM models. This study contributes to MFM library expansion and provides a significant test of the expressivity of MFM.
Proceedings of First International Symposium on Socially and Technically Symbiotic Systems, 2012