Ansys ACT Extension for a PID Thermostat Controller – Updated, February 2023

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Editors Note: PADT’s team has improved on this tool with two new extensions; one is an updated PID controller with additional features and the other is a new thermostat extension. You can still learn from this article but make sure you use the new version found in: “Thermal PID Controller and Thermostat: Control Your Models with 2 New Ansys Mechanical Extensions


In 2014 PADT’s Matt Sutton published an Ansys Mechanical ACT Extension that allowed users of Ansys Mechanical APDL’s PID Thermostat Controler in Ansys Mechanical. He uploaded it to the Ansys store and never heard much back.

It was well-received and had many happy downloads and was used in many successful models. Then, at some point. the ACT interface to mechanical changed and the ACT Extension broke. Then, Matt opted to try something different and took a job writing software for an engineering application, but not simulation. So we took the extension off the Ansys store because we really didn’t think anyone would care.

It turns out people want PID capability in Ansys Mechanical

The Combin37 element in Ansys Mechanical APDL is pretty slick, and once we took down the ACT extension we learned that far more people than we thought wanted to access that functionality through Ansys Mechanical’s Graphical User Interface (GUI) instead of writing APDL scripts.

Ansys Combin37 PID Controller

So, PADT’s Alex Grishin volunteered to update a slightly older version of the ACT Extension for people that asked for it. It doesn’t expose everything that the PID controller can do, but it seems to handle most of what people want.

So here it is (Tested for Ansys 2022R2):

Note, this is provided for free with no warranty and no support.

Please read Matt’s original articles to learn how to use it and install it: Part 1 | Part 2

We will work to upgrade it with new version of Ansys Mechanical if it breaks and if we add functionality to our version, we will add it here.

ansys mechanical PID Thermostat ACT Extension, Figure 3

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