How to Set Up 3D Transformer Simulations in 15 Minutes

Set up your transformer simulations in about 15 minutes.

Set up your transformer simulations in about 15 minutes.

The last thing consumers want is to plug in a new electronic device and smell burning circuitry. Therefore, engineers must carefully design the transformers which power small electronics using the proper voltages and currents.

Simulation helps engineers test their transformer models in various setups, geometries and scenarios. When engineers bring this testing into a digital space — instead of using physical prototypes — they can certify, optimize and get their transformers to market faster and on budget.

“People can create electronic transformer simulations manually but it’s very time-consuming. Just one setup could require a whole day,” says Mark Christini, lead application engineer at ANSYS. “To address this, we released the Electronic Transformer app for ANSYS ACT. The app provides a way to set up a transformer or inductor simulation in about 15 minutes and then solve it.”

How the Electronic Transformer App Works

Finite element analysis (FEA) of a transformer that was set up by the Electric Transformer app.

Finite element analysis (FEA) of a transformer that was set up by the Electric Transformer app.

The Electronic Transformer app helps engineers set up Maxwell 3D eddy current simulations within the ACT platform. With this tool engineers can:

  • Choose a core geometry from a library of (15) Philips and Ferroxcube shapes.
  • Define winding strategies:
    • Planar or wound.
    • Rectangular or circular cross section conductors.
  • Select materials from a library.
  • Add new materials to the library.
  • Completely set up the 3D finite element analysis (FEA).

“A wizard is used to input parameters in three steps: core definition, winding definition and analysis setup,” says Christini. “From there you can either create the Maxwell model and stop — or solve it completely. Once solved, users will get a characterized frequency-dependent model of the transformer that is compatible with Maxwell’s integrated multidomain circuit simulator, Simplorer, so they can then test the design within a circuit simulation.”

Optionally, the engineer can manually set up an electrostatic simulation if they wish to assess how capacitance impacts the design.

The Electronic Transformer app is designed to set up the simulations of transformers:

  • In the 10kHz-1MHz range.
  • With linear, frequency-dependent permeability.
  • With Steinmetz core loss coefficients which consider frequency effects.

Thanks to the Electronic Transformer app, consumers can be spared the dread of smelling burning electronics. To get a copy of the Electronic Transformer app, visit the ANSYS app store.

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