RETRAN Visualization Tool
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RETRAN Visualization Tool

RETRAN Post-Processing and Plotting Tool

Zachry has developed the RETRAN Visualization Tool (RVT) to aid RETRAN users in their review and interpretation of RETRAN analysis results. The RVT provides various visualization tools for graphically presenting the results of a RETRAN simulation. It also provides for simple and quick access to essentially all parameters computed by RETRAN.

Reviewing and understanding RETRAN results has typically been done by reviewing output files and plotting a few parameters. Over the years, various improvements have occurred, and recently Excel became a popular tool for viewing RETRAN results. However, Excel can be inefficient and cumbersome when the size of the data files becomes large (> 75 to 100 parameters and more than 500 time points). With the improvements in software and computer hardware, something new and better has evolved. The RVT, a quick, intuitive, Java-based RETRAN-specific visulization tool is the result. It provides a means for a user to use an existing nodalization diagram to build a "visualization model" for their plant using simple drawing tools. For example, in the figure below, the blue, green, and red regions correspond to volumes, junctions, and conductors created with the model builder drawing tools where the RVT regions overlay regions on the original noding diagram. This process took perhaps an hour. Once set up, the solution parameters associated with each region are directly available for viewing by clicking on the region.

RETRAN-3D solution results are provided to the RVT by either a RETRAN-3D auxiliary data file (TAPE60) or a RETRAN-3D plot file. The content of the auxiliary file is limited to the list of minor edit variables requested during a RETRAN-3D run (currently used by the RETRAN User Interface). Consequently, a limited set of information is available to the RVT when an auxiliary file is used. The RETRAN-3D plot file is the better choice for providing information to the RVT since it contains nearly all RETRAN-3D minor edit parameters for all volumes, junctions, conductors, etc. The RVT can quickly access the required information, even for very large plot files.

In the figure illustrated below, a RETRAN-3D plot file was imported and the plot was created within a few seconds of clicking the pressurizer and selecting pressure from a pop-up list of variables. The automatically formatted plot of pressurizer pressure appeared. Then the steam generator pressure was added by clicking the steam generator volume and dragging onto the plot. Instantly, the y-axis was rescaled to cover the range for both pressures.

RVT Plot (Click to Enlarge)

Multiple plots can also be created in just a few seconds. They may include positional plots such as the fluid temperature (or other spatially dependent parameter) up through the core region. A time slider is used to show the results evolving through time, to back up or to advance to a new time.

In addition to quick and easy plotting, RVT also includes a "Plant View" option that displays various regions as different colors and shades along with dials, gauges, recorders, digital channels, and other indicators for displaying data. This feature provides a compact way to visualize the RETRAN results through time, using color-coded nodes, junctions, and conductors, and with gauges and indicators of various types that you define. The figure below shows a snapshot at the beginning of a 50 second transient (see time slider at bottom). The pressurizer and steam generator pressures have been assigned to dial gauges, and hot/cold leg temperatures to bar gauges. Other types of gauges and indicators are available, and they can be grouped, displayed, or hidden as you choose.

In this particular snapshot, the temperature is displayed in the RCS volumes, with red being hot and light orange being cool. In this case, the RCS volumes have been grouped and tied to a common temperature range so their relative color coding will be meaningful. Because colors are relative, and the human eye may not be able to distinguish reddish-orange from orangish-red, you can click a volume for exact conditions in the volume. For example, clicking the hot leg caused the popup outlined in purple. The popup gives the exact numerical value of temperature, along with a pointer into the color range of yellow to red.

RVT Snapshot (Click to Enlarge)

Similarly, the steam generator secondary-side volumes have been grouped. In this snapshot, void fraction is displayed, with dark blue being zero void, and light blue (cyan) being high void. To view a parameter other than void fraction, simply click the group, select from a popup list, and the new parameter is displayed/color-coded for the entire group. This process takes only a few seconds.

In summary, RVT lets your work flow and helps you visualize all of the important events that occur during a transient. Best of all, you can be up and running in less than an hour with your plant-specific nodalization diagram. Once a model is created, it can be quickly driven with new data files.


The RVT can be purchased directly from the Analysis Division. For more information on the RVT and how it can be obtained, please contact Mike Howard or Pam Richardson. The Analysis Division contact list is here, including phone numbers.