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Thermal design of mechatronic devices by electro-thermal analysis coupled to CFD analysis

Electronic controls are already indispensable in many mechatronic devices of vehicles or machines. Beside the mere control function, design of electronic control cards has to take into account energy consumption and durability. To this end, the layout of circuit paths, the formation of temperature in controller components, and the heat dissipation have to be considered. The virtual determination of these factors leads to a multiply coupled analysis for electric current distribution, detection of heat sources, and temperature field on the control card.

In the engine cooling module, the thermal design of the electronic power module which controls the fan rotation speed by a prescribed voltage needs the induced heat sources from electrical current and also the dissipation effects from heat convection to surrounding fluid flow. So, to achieve an accurate thermal analysis, a multi-physics simulation is required with the consideration of the electrical current distribution and the temperature field by a Finite Element (FE) solution using PERMAS and the surrounding fluid behaviour by a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis using OpenFOAM (see www.openfoam.org).

A summary of a paper about this topic can be found here.

A flyer about this topic can be found here.

Modeling, analysis, and results of coupled analysis