Opera-3d Motional Analysis Module

Opera-3d is a finite element (FE) software suite for electromagnetic (EM), thermal and structural simulations. Opera users can calculate time varying electromagnetic fields and eddy current flow in moving systems, through a range of solver modules, including the 3d Motional Analysis Module (Motional Module). Two options are available, one for rotation and one for linear movement.

About the module

The 3d Motional Module computes time varying fields and eddy currents in electric machines and similar devices with either rotating or linear movement. This module provides dynamic modelling of all types of electrical machines, including permanent magnet (PM), induction, switched reluctance, synchronous. Users are able to investigate commutation effects, transient responses as well as steady state performance, and unbalanced local effects, and they can also calculate eddy current losses in all materials, including permanent magnets. These calculations include the electrical drive under normal and fault conditions and a dynamic mechanical load.

The Motional Module uses a timestepping FE analysis to solve Maxwell’s equations for the time varying case. At each time-step, the module calculates the electromagnetic force on the moving parts (rotation or translation) and applies an incremental movement followed by recalculation of the electromagnetic fields. Opera’s solver uses an advanced formulation, both computationally fast and which corrects cancellation errors associated with other formulations.

Opera users can specify material properties as linear or non-linear, isotropic, anisotropic, laminated or permanent magnet. By deploying the optional Magnetization/Demagnetization module users can investigate hysteretic effects and demagnetization under fault conditions.

Coil simulations benefit from extreme accuracy through Opera’s proprietary method which uses the Biot-Savart integral to calculate magnetic fields from coils. Opera-3d provides users with a handy library for easy definition of standard shapes, such as solenoids and racetracks, as well as offering the flexibility to create coils of any topology. Coils can also be connected to external circuits, which users can easily define through the built-in GUI for circuit design.

Opera facilitates coupled simulations between its modules. By coupling a Motional Module simulation with a thermal simulation or a stress simulation for example, users can calculate the temperature rise due to eddy current losses, or the stress due to electromagnetic forces. Users also have the option of Co-simulation with Simulink ™

Modeller and Post Processor

Opera-3d includes a geometric modeller providing model data definition, and a geometric post-processor for analysing results. The Graphical User Interface (GUI) gives access to features specifically tailored for electromagnetics and multi-physics design. Users can program regularly performed actions into parameterized macro-files.

The Modeller allows users to create models, define material properties, set boundary conditions and excitations, create the mesh and launch the calculation. It allows the user to build models from primitive shapes using Boolean operations, or to import geometry from other CAD programs for which a range of I/O filters is available. Users select material data from a library of characteristics or input from their own data.

The Opera-3d mesh generator offers facilities for creating hexahedral, prism and tetrahedral meshes (the mesh can be a mixtures of types). The automated meshing function saves users time by, requiring little or no user setting in many cases. The option to finely control the mesh when required is also available.

The Post Processor can interrogate solutions, which are usefully stored in a database.


Opera-3d will run on Windows and Linux platforms A parallel option is available for shared memory computers.