A dramatic change in how we interact with the environment demands an equally dramatic change in how we develop technology. The evolution of predictive technology – in other words, software - has been a precursor to the development of environmentally progressive technologies like clean coal power stations and hybrid energy vehicles.
In software’s infancy, engineers wrote code to describe processes with which they were familiar. One engineer might have written software that predicted fluid flow through pipe networks, while another simulated vibration modes in buildings. Typically these tools modeled either fluid, thermal, electrical or mechanical phenomena.
No physical domain, however, exists alone. The natural, almost inevitable, coupling of physical domains has driven the evolution of new software that models how physical domains interact. The electrical components in a DC motor, for example, drive a rotor, while a microwave uses high frequency microwaves to heat food.
This new software has been a critical factor in the development of modern consumer products. Everything from refrigerators to air conditioning units owe a debt to multi-domain software.
New technology developed with multi-domain software often has better green credentials. For example,
- hybrid vehicles deliver a lower carbon footprint than their traditional counterparts
- modern cyclone vacuum cleaners do not need separate bags,
- waves rotate the turbines in tidal power buoys to generate electricity,
- and microwave ovens are more efficient for heating small amounts of food than conventional ovens
These would not exist on a commercial scale without this new software.
Maplesoft already has a track record of helping engineers make better use of their resources. Take Alan Elbanhawy - a power systems industry expert. He used Maple to optimize battery life in notebook computers. Another success is Ed Melcarek who used MapleSim in designing mining equipment that minimizes the amount of chemicals used to leach silver from ore.
Multi-domain software technology has driven green design. The next generation of software, like MapleSim, will place unparalleled multi-domain predictive technology in the hands of many more engineers.