Software for Computational Electromagnetics Modeling
Modeling Capacitors, Inductors, Insulators, Coils, Motors, and Sensors
The AC/DC Module is used for simulating electric, magnetic, and electromagnetic fields in static and low-frequency applications. Typical applications include capacitors, inductors, insulators, coils, motors, actuators, and sensors, with dedicated tools for extracting parameters such as resistance, capacitance, inductance, impedance, force, and torque.
Materials and constitutive relations are defined in terms of permittivity, permeability, conductivity, and remanent fields. Material properties are allowed to be spatially varying, time-dependent, anisotropic, and have losses. Both electric and magnetic media can include nonlinearities, such as B-H curves, or even be described by implicitly given equations.
Boundary Conditions and Infinite Elements
The AC/DC Module grants you access to a set of essential boundary conditions such as electric and magnetic potential, electric and magnetic insulation, zero charge, and field and current values as well. In addition, a range of advanced boundary conditions are included, such as terminal conditions for connection with SPICE circuits, floating potentials, conditions for symmetry and periodicity, surface impedance, surface currents, distributed resistance, capacitance, impedance, and contact resistance. For modeling unbounded or large modeling domains, infinite elements are available for both electric and magnetic fields. When an infinite element layer is added to the outside of a finite-sized modeling domain, the field equations are automatically scaled. This makes it possible to represent an infinite domain with a finite-sized model and avoids artificial truncation effects from the model boundaries.
- MOTOR/GENERATOR: These results show a 3D static analysis of the magnetic fields around a rotor and stator. Permanent magnets and nonlinear magnetic materials are included, and material nonlinearity is modeled via an interpolation function.
- POWER INDUCTOR: The single-turn coil feature is used to capture the skin effect in the wire, since the skin depth in this coil is comparable to the thickness of the current-carrying wires at the operating frequency. This model shows how to compute both the DC and AC properties of an inductor as well as the admittance and inductance.
- PERMANENT MAGNET: This introductory example for magnetic field modeling describes a typical horseshoe magnet and iron bar, where the Symmetry condition is used to reduce the problem size. The magnetic fields and forces are computed.
- MAGNETIC DAMPING: This model simulates structural damping on a conducting solid that is vibrating in a static magnetic field. It computes the effect when a cantilever beam is harmonically excited and placed in a strong magnetic field.
- MAGNETIC PROSPECTING: Underground iron ore deposits result in magnetic anomalies. This model computes the disturbances in the background magnetic field of the earth due to the presence of an ore deposit. The Reduced Field formulation solves for small perturbations in the background field.
Combine Circuits and Layouts with 2D and 3D Simulations
When considering your electrical components as part of a larger system, the AC/DC Module provides an interface with SPICE circuit lists where you choose circuit elements for further modeling. More complex system models can be exploited using circuit-based modeling while maintaining links to full field models for key devices in the circuit, allowing for design innovation and optimization on both levels. Electronic layouts can be brought in for analysis with the AC/DC Module via the ECAD Import Module. Simulation of such layouts is not limited to electromagnetics.
Connect with CAD, MATLAB®, and Excel®
In order to make it easy for you to analyze electromagnetic properties of mechanical CAD models, COMSOL offers the ECAD Import Module, the CAD Import Module, and LiveLink™ products for leading CAD systems as part of our product suite. The LiveLink products make it possible to keep the parametric CAD model intact in its native environment but still control the geometric dimensions from within COMSOL Multiphysics®, as well as produce simultaneous parametric sweeps over several model parameters. For repetitive modeling tasks, LiveLink™ for MATLAB® for allow you to drive COMSOL® simulations with MATLAB® scripts or functions. Any operation available in the COMSOL Desktop® can alternatively be accessed through MATLAB commands. You can also blend COMSOL commands in the MATLAB environment with your existing MATLAB code. For electromagnetic simulations operated from spreadsheets, LiveLink™ for Excel® offers a convenient alternative to modeling from the COMSOL Desktop with synchronization of spreadsheet data with parameters defined in the COMSOL environment.
Nonlinear Magnetic Materials Database
A database of 165 ferromagnetic and ferrimagnetic materials is included in the AC/DC Module. The database contains BH-curves and HB-curves enabling the material properties to be used in the magnetic fields formulations. The curve data is densely sampled, and has been processed to eliminate hysteresis effects. Outside of the range of experimental data, linear extrapolation is used for maximal numerical stability.
Take Multiphysics into Consideration in Your Designs
Although devices may be principally characterized by electromagnetics, they are also influenced by other types of physics. Thermal effects, for instance, can change a material’s electrical properties, while electromechanical deflections and vibrations in generators need to be fully understood during any design process. The AC/DC Module, being comprehensively integrated in the COMSOL environment, allows for a wide range of physical effects to influence the virtual model.
For very thin structures, the AC/DC Module provides a range of specialized formulations for efficient electromagnetic simulations where the thickness of the structures does not need to be represented as a physical thickness in the geometry model but can instead be represented with a shell. Such thin shell formulations are available for direct currents, electrostatics, magnetostatics, and induction simulations, and is particularly important for electromagnetic shielding within electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and interference (EMI) applications.
Consistent Workflow for Electromagnetics Modeling
The module's straightforward workflow is described by the following steps: define the geometry, select materials, select a suitable AC/DC interface, define boundary and initial conditions, automatically create the finite element mesh, solve, and visualize the results. All these steps are accessed from the COMSOL Desktop®. AC/DC Module simulations can be connected with every COMSOL product in just about any way imaginable by a suite of preset multiphysics couplings or via user-defined couplings. A typical preset coupling is one between the AC/DC Module and the Particle Tracing Module where electric or magnetic fields affect charged particles that can be assigned to either have mass or be massless. The Optimization Module can be combined with the AC/DC Module for optimization with respect to voltage and current excitation, material properties, geometric dimensions, and more.
Flexible and Robust
The AC/DC Module includes stationary and dynamic electric and magnetic fields, both in 2D and 3D. Under the hood, the AC/DC Module formulates and solves Maxwell’s equations together with material properties and boundary conditions. The equations are solved using the finite element method with numerically stable edge element discretization in concert with state-of-the-art solvers. The different formulations admit static, frequency-domain, and time-domain simulations. Results are presented in the graphics window through preset plots of electric and magnetic fields, currents and voltages, or as expressions of the physical quantities that you can define freely, as well as derived tabulated quantities.
Magnets Improve Quality of High-Power Laser Beam Welding
M. Bachmann, V. Avilov, A. Gumenyuk, and M. Rethmeier BAM Federal Institute For Materials Research and Testing Germany
High-power laser beam welding uses a localized heat source to achieve narrow deep welds and high welding rates. Engineers run into some difficulties because the use of a localized heat source often results in the distortion of metal components; spattering and the ejection of droplets from the weld pool results in underfills, undercuts, craters, ...
MRI Tumor-Tracked Cancer Treatment
Gino Fallone and colleagues Cross Cancer Institute Edmonton, AB, Canada
Radiation therapy targeting in cancer treatment involves many uncertainties, including the movement of targeted sites due to breathing and the like. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can accurately identify the location of a tumor in soft tissue, but unfortunately its magnetic field can interfere with radiation treatment delivered by a linear ...
Switching Made Easy
Matthias Richwin, Leopold Kostal GmbH, Dortmund, Germany
Modern cars offer a wide range of complex functionality that comes with several design challenges. This story discusses some of the necessary updates to a roof module in a premium car and the charging system of an electric car. The roof module of a particular model houses several components. 90% of the generated heat goes into its printed ...
Modeling Scar Effects in Electrical Spinal Cord Stimulation
Kris Carlson, Dr. Jay Shils & Dr. Jeffrey Arle Lahey Clinic Burlington, MA
The Neuromodulation Group at Lahey Clinic conducted a study based upon spinal cord stimulation (SCS). SCS involves implanting a series of electrodes that apply electric potential to the spine, interfering with pain signaling circuitry. It’s used to alleviate chronic back and leg pain. Although the treatment remains effective for years, the ...
Dielectric Stress Simulation Advances Design of ABB Smart Grid-Ready Tap Changers
Tommi Paananen, David Geibel, Bill Teising, Mårten Almkvist, Jon Brasher, Josh Elder, Bob Elick and Chris Whitten ABB Alamo Tennessee
Consumers of power rely on fairly stable voltages. Transformers contain tap changers which vary the ratio of secondary to primary turns by switching the point at which either the input or output circuits are connected. Changing this ratio enables stepped voltage regulation of the output. As the world moves toward the modernized smart grid, the ...
Control of Joule Heating Extends Performance and Device Life
Jean-Louis Gelet and Antoine Gerlaud Mersen, France
Large electrical systems carrying high currents could pose a danger if any of their components, such as fuses and bus bars, fail. In order to increase safety and improve manufacturing, it is necessary to understand the failure mechanisms of those components. One of those components, a bus bar, is made up of a single piece of conducting metal that ...
Simulation-Based Design of New Implantable Hearing Device
Patrik Kennes Cochlear Technology Centre, Mechelen, Belgium
Cochlear Technology Centre Europe (CTCE) develops new technology for hearing implants. Their current work is with a new type of hearing implant, a Direct Acoustic Cochlear Implant called CodacsTM. This product imposes structural, pressure waves directly to the cochlea, stimulating it this way, as opposed to amplifying sound. Using COMSOL ...
Multiphysics Simulation Helps Miele to Optimize Induction Stove Designs
Christian Schröder mieletec FH Bielefeld Germany Holger Ernst Miele Germany
The induction stove was designed to meet a consumer need for better precision and speed than traditional stoves. Designers were tasked with improving the energy efficiency of the induction coils-stovepot interaction considering both the thermal and electromagnetics of the system. Miele, a world leader in domestic appliances and commercial ...
Innovative Packaging Design for Electronics in Extreme Environments
Brice McPherson APEI, AR, USA
Power electronics appear in many everyday products, including smartphones, electronic car parts, and household objects. Such devices require controlled temperature ranges, switching frequencies, and voltage levels to operate smoothly and reliably. For harsh environments, such as the depths below the earth’s surface where oil is drilled, there is ...
Optimized Induction Heating Techniques Improve Manufacturing Processes
I. Jain, Tata Steel, India
Induction heating has become a valuable tool used by the steel industry for manufacturing various metal products. The process provides more precise heating control, uses less energy, and offers better quality assurance and reliability than traditional production processes. Tata Steel, one of the top ten steel companies worldwide, is using ...
Simulation Enables the Next Generation of Power Transformers and Shunt Reactors
L. Jovelli Siemens, Brazil
From power generation to its distribution to end users, power transformers and shunt reactors are used throughout the electrical grid for voltage conversion and to absorb reactive power. At Siemens Brazil in Jundiai, São Paulo, designers are using multiphysics simulation to verify that grid-integrated transformers and shunt reactors can handle ...
Upgrading the Nuts and Bolts of the Electrical Grid for a New Generation
Göran Eriksson ABB AB Corporate Research Power Technologies Västerås, Sweden Lukas Graber, Mikael Steurer, and Tim Chiocchio Center for Advanced Power Systems Florida State University Tallahassee, ...
Migrating the electrical grid to a “smart grid” is usually discussed in terms of IT issues or embedded systems. Yet, just as important updating the “nuts and bolts” of the smart grid. At ABB AB Corporate Research Power Technologies in Sweden, scientists are working to reduce line current and the resulting resistive loss in cables caused by the ...
Reduced-Weight Reaction Sphere Makes Way for Extra Satellite Payload
Leopoldo Rossini, Emmanuel Onillon, & Olivier Chetelat CSEM SA, Neuchatel, Switzerland
CSEM is a private applied research and development center specializing in micro-technology, system engineering, micro-electronics, and communications technologies. One of their latest projects is working on minimizing the weight of satellite attitude control systems as every gram of payload matters when launching a satellite into orbit (€15,000 ...
Enhancing Transmission Line Performance: Using Simulation to Optimize Design
J. Leman POWER Engineers, MA, USA
Designing power transmission lines requires accounting for many factors: mechanical stress due to environmental conditions and hardware loads, performance testing, and--of course--electrical analysis. Transmission line hardware contains both insulating and conducting assemblies. One common electrical phenomenon is called corona discharge, which ...
Making Smart Materials Smarter with Multiphysics Simulation
J. Slaughter ETREMA Products, IA, USA
Smart materials with magnetostrictive behavior are engineered and incorporated in high-precision devices by the designers and researchers at ETREMA Products, Inc. Terfenol-D, in particular, is a giant magnetostrictive material solely manufactured by ETREMA that exhibits the largest deformation of any alloy in response to an applied magnetic field ...
Current Transformer Design That Combines Finite Element Analysis and Electric Circuit Simulation
Dr. Rolf Disselnkötter ABB AG, Ladenburg, Germany
Transformers have been around for quite a while but their fundamentals are still being investigated by ABB in Ladenburgh, Germany. The ABB Corporate Research Centre is currently developing sophisticated magnetic sensors, using finite element analysis (FEA) to investigate the way in which external electrical sources and loads impact a magnetic ...
Simulation of Magnetic Flux Leakage Inspection
Oliver Nemitz Salzgitter Mannesmann Forschung, Duisburg, Germany
Salzgitter Mannesmann Forschung (SZMF) advances testing methods for the Salzgitter Group, a leading company that works with the manufacture of, among other things, pipes. In the manufacturing of heavy steel tubing, it is important maintain quality, which is done through conduct non-destructive testing (NDT) using large magnets to identify flaws ...
Lightning-Proof Wind Turbines
Soren Find Madsen Global Lightning Protection Services A/S, Lejre, Denmark
Søren Find Madsen, Global Lightning Protection Services A/S, Lejre, Denmark Global Lightning Protection Services A/S (GLPS) is an engineering consultant firm specializing in lightning protection. Their current research involves protecting wind turbines from lightning strikes, which can interfere with the electronic equipment in the housing of ...
Multiphysics Simulations Help Track Underground Fluid Movements
A. Haas, H. Mahardika, M. Karaoulis, and A. Revil Colorado School of Mines, USA
Combining acoustic and electromagnetic analyses helps scientists to more efficiently measure and survey subterranean regions. Acoustic waves can travel long distances, but have limitations when it comes to providing details about formation properties, and cannot be used to identify the liquids flowing through them. Electromagnetic waves do not ...
Multiphysics Software, a Versatile, Cost-Effective R&D Tool at Sharp
Chris Brown Sharp Laboratories of Europe, UK
There are several kinds of technology that designers at Sharp Laboratories of Europe work to create. From LED lighting, displays, and microfluidic lab-on-a-chip technology, to complex energy systems used in various devices, Sharp needed a new approach to finding the best designs. COMSOL Multiphysics and its add-on products provided the ...
How Reclosers Ensure a Steady Supply of Power: It’s All in the Magnet
O. Craciun, and colleagues ABB AG Ladenburgh, Germany
When a tree branch touches overhead cables and causes a momentary short circuit, your lights may flicker. A device called a recloser ensures that power to your home is not cut off for a longer period. ABB AG, a leading manufacturer in power technology, is working towards designing a more reliable recloser. One objective in this design process ...
Optimizing Hematology Analysis: When Physical Prototypes Fail, Simulation Provides the Answers
D. Isèbe HORIBA Medical, France
Hematology analysis, the analysis of a blood sample to determine a variety of hematological parameters, is a major factor in diagnostic and treatment decisions for blood diseases. Accurate blood analysis requires counting and sorting different cells in a sample to measure their sizes and distributions. HORIBA Medical, a company that supplies ...
Actuation Technique for Miniature Robots Developed using Multiphysics Simulation
P. Lazarou, C. Rotinat CEA LIST, France
Robotic devices for minimally invasive surgery procedures require flexible tools and careful actuation. But most robotic surgery devices are bulky, expensive, and physically draining for surgeons to operate for long periods of time. At the French Atomic and Alternative Energies Commission (CEA LIST), researchers are investigating miniature phase ...
Keeping Cool: SRON Develops Thermal Calibration System for Deep-Space Telescope
C. de Jonge SRON, Netherlands
Deep-space telescopes require ultrasensitive detectors and calibration to pick up weak far-infrared signals. The SpicA Far-InfraRed Instrument (SAFARI), an infrared camera that will fly aboard the Space Infrared Telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA), has sensors that measure the far-infrared spectrum. The SAFARI system includes a ...
Getting Touchy-Feely with Touchscreen Design
Peter Vavaroutsos, Andy Kiernan, Cypress Semiconductor, San Jose, CA
We rely on capacitive touchscreens whenever we interact with a smartphone, MP3 device, or car video screen. Touchscreen designs vary by application, so each stack-up (a touchscreen component) is customized for the intended environment. Engineers at Cypress Semiconductor used COMSOL Multiphysics® to improve their touchscreen designs for a variety ...
As an example of a magnetostatic problem, consider how to model a horseshoe-shaped permanent magnet. One way is to treat the entire magnet as a ferromagnetic material, where the two end sections are defined as being pre-magnetized in different and opposite directions.
Induction Heating of a Steel Billet
Induction heating is a method used to heat metals for forging and other applications. Compared with more traditional heating methods, such as gas or electric furnaces, induction heating delivers heating power directly to the piece in a more controlled way and allows for a faster processing time. The Induction Heating of a Steel Billet ...
Inductor in an Amplifier Circuit
This model shows how to combine an electric circuit simulation with a finite element simulation. The finite element model is an inductor with a nonlinear magnetic core and 1000 turns, where the number of turns is modeled using a distributed current technique. The circuit is imported into COMSOL Multiphysics as a SPICE netlist, which merges the ...
This is the transient model of a single phase E-core transformer using a Multi-Turn Coil Domain. The model includes the effect of a nonlinear B-H curve in the core and shows how to connect the transformer model to the external circuits using Electric Circuit interface. The simulation is performed for two different cases; the first one with a ...
Modeling of a 3D Inductor
Inductors are used in many applications for low pass filtering or for impedance matching of predominantly capacitive loads. They are used in a wide frequency range from near static up to several MHz. An inductor usually has a magnetic core to increase the inductance, while keeping its size small. The magnetic core also reduces the electromagnetic ...
Inductive Heating of Copper Cylinder
The induced currents in a copper cylinder produce heat that in turn change the electrical conductivity. This means that the field propagation has to be solved simultaneously with the heat transfer through the cylinder and surrounding system. This model shows this coupling between eddy currents and heat transfer as a tutorial example.
Mutual Inductance and Induced Currents in a Multi-Turn Coil
The mutual inductance and induced currents between a single turn primary and twenty turn secondary coil in a concentric coplanar arrangement is computed using a frequency domain model. The secondary coil is modeled using a homogenized approach which does not explicitly consider each turn of the coil. The results are compared against analytic ...
Electron Beam Diverging Due to Self Potential
When modeling the propagation of charged particle beams at high currents, the space charge force generated by the beam significantly affects the trajectories of the charged particles. Perturbations to these trajectories, in turn, affect the space charge distribution. The Charged Particle Tracing interface can use an iterative procedure to ...
Tunable MEMS Capacitor
In an electrostatically tunable parallel plate capacitor, the distance between the two plates can be modified by a spring, as the applied voltage changes. For a given voltage difference between the plates, the distance of the two plates can be computed, if the characteristics of the spring are known. Knowledge of this means that the distance ...
Magnetic Prospecting of Iron Ore Deposits
Magnetic prospecting is a geological exploration method that is applicable to certain types of iron ore deposits, in particular those made up of magnetite and hematite. The method consists of measuring the magnetic anomalies (changes in the earth's magnetic field) due to the presence of magnetic ores. The Magnetic Prospecting app simulates the ...