As you can imagine, there are many conversations at ANSYS centered around the simulation industry and current engineering trends. Sometimes during the conversations with my colleagues that handle the microwave and RF communication and signal and power integrity sectors of our business, I get the feeling that electromechanical design and power electronics is boring. Why do we want to talk about simulation of devices that have been around for a century like electric motors and transformers?
Sure, there’s a lot of excitement around 5G, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), the Internet of Things (IoT) or the latest mobile device, but there is just as much excitement and passion for simulating those motors, transformers, sensors and actuators. These devices are essential components to delivering hybrid electric vehicle/electric vehicle (HEV/EV) propulsion systems, more energy efficient industrial equipment and are crucial to initiatives such as the more-electric airplane and more-electric ship.
The challenges are equally as daunting and as fun to work on because these designs are experiencing greater demands for more power, smaller footprints, less noise and greater efficiency. And they’re being applied in new and novel applications. That’s why it’s exciting to deliver spectacular new simulation technology in ANSYS Maxwell 18 that meets these challenges.
Last year, ANSYS introduced a new time decomposition method (TDM) for ANSYS Maxwell, delivering game-changing computational capacity and speed for full transient electromagnetic field simulation. This significant high-performance computing technology speeds the computational times of electric machines and simulations that can literally take several days, reducing them to hours or even minutes. This patent pending technology enables engineers to solve all time steps simultaneously instead of sequentially, and to distribute the time steps across multiple cores, networked computers and compute clusters.
The result is a phenomenal increase in simulation capacity and unprecedented simulation speed. TDM is not limited to electric machine simulation — it applies to any transient electromagnetic field simulation, including power transformers, actuators and planar magnetic components. It delivers near linear speed up per core applied! Imagine taking that productivity increase to explore more parameters with this type of computational power. There is no competitive code that can match the TDM technology in Maxwell.
In ANSYS 18, we have improved and extended the Maxwell TDM technology. The new TDM auto-setup enables engineers to automatically launch Maxwell TDM jobs on an HPC cluster while maximizing performance and providing the most efficient use of that cluster. No longer do you need to select the number of cores to employ or machines to use.
The software efficiently sets up the computational environment for optimal solving based on the resources available. Additionally, the TDM algorithms have been optimized to enhance scalability as problem size gets larger.
Another challenge designers of electromechanical devices face is the noise and vibration of the design, especially from power transformers and electric motors. These devices have to perform well in terms of electromagnetic behavior, efficiency, and mechanical stress and noise. Engineers need to understand how their designs operate electrically and mechanically.
With ANSYS 18, we deliver a new multiphysics capability that allows engineers to link the electromagnetic and mechanical performances of an electromechanical device to study related magnetostrictive effects. Based on sequential load transfer couplings between ANSYS Maxwell and ANSYS Mechanical solvers, designers can model materials whose magnetic characteristics are strongly dependent on mechanical stress and strain. These effects cause energy loss due to frictional heating in ferromagnetic cores. The effect is also responsible for the low-pitched humming sound that can be heard coming from transformers, caused by oscillating AC currents, which produce a changing magnetic field. Similarly, for rotating electric machines, the reluctance forces and forces due to magnetostriction acting on the stator teeth are major cause of noise emission. With magnetostrictive coupling, engineers are empowered to deliver high performance and reliable motors that are quiet and efficient.
Another development that I want to call your attention to is that Maxwell now includes two powerful design and synthesis tools, RMxprt and PExprt, as well as Simplorer Entry, our system simulation software. RMxprt can calculate machine performance, make initial sizing decisions and perform hundreds of “what if” analyses in a matter of seconds, and automatically create the complete Maxwell project. PExprt is used for design, modeling, analysis and optimization of multi-winding transformers coupled inductors and flyback components. Using a combination of classical and finite element analysis (FEA) techniques, PExprt determines the core size and shape, air gaps and winding strategy for a given power converter topology.
Finally, Simplorer models are employed to simulate multi-domain systems in the automotive, aerospace, electronics, energy and industrial machinery segments. With a unique ability to integrate power electronics, multi-domain dynamics and embedded software, Simplorer is used for electric drives and electromechanical system design, power generation, conversion, storage and distribution systems, EMI/EMC studies, and general multi-domain system optimization and verification.
ANSYS 18 truly delivers the features needed to succeed in the quest for electrification. Learn more about these and other new features in Maxwell 18, please register for my webinar, ANSYS 18 Innovations – Low Frequency Electromagnetics on March 14. I look forward to presenting the many powerful new features of ANSYS Maxwell to you.