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Opera-3d Thermal Analysis Module

Opera-3d is a finite element (FE) software suite with capabilities for electromagnetic (EM), thermal and structural simulations. The suite includes a range of solver modules, including the 3d Thermal Analysis Module in which users can calculate temperature, heat-flux, and thermal-gradient fields due to electromagnetic heating or external heat sources. This solver was formerly called TEMPO.

About the module

With the 3d Thermal Analysis Module (thermal module), users can compute the steady state or transient temperature, heat-flux, and thermal-gradient fields due to electromagnetic heating or external heat sources. Users can specify thermal properties, such as the conductivity tensor or specific heat, and heat source density as a function of position, and can be temperature dependant (leading to a non-linear analysis). While primarily used to specify the coupling of the thermal system to its surroundings, boundary conditions can also be used to setup symmetry planes to reduce the size of a calculation for appropriate models. The boundary conditions implemented in the thermal module are:

  • perfect insulator
  • fixed temperature
  • heat flux
  • heat transfer
  • radiation
  • combination of the above

Users can choose to deploy the thermal module in stand-alone mode, with the user defining the distribution of heat input, or in a multi-physics simulation with other OPERA-3d modules providing the distribution of heat. It is possible to include multiple heat sources (for example eddy current heating and iron losses in a motor) in a single calculation, and the thermal module will calculate the temperature distribution in the model, which may modify the electromagnetic solution (if material properties are temperature dependent). By using the 3d Stress Analysis Module, users can analyse the stress induced by thermal expansion. The deformation caused can be used in subsequent thermal and electromagnetic simulations.

Modeller and Post Processor

Opera-3d includes a geometric modeller used for model data definition, and a geometric post-processor offering results analysis. 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, define emitters, create the mesh and launch the calculation. Users can build models from primitive shapes using Boolean operations, or import geometry from other CAD programs for which a range of I/O filters is available. A library of characteristics offers the user the opportunity to select from material data or input from user data.

The Opera-3d mesh generator can create hexahedral, prism and tetrahedral meshes (with the mesh existing as a mixtures of types). Users can save themselves time and inconvenience by implementing automatic meshing, which requiring little or no user setting in many cases. The generator offers sophisticated facilities to finely control the mesh where required.

The Post Processor can be used to interrogate solutions, which are conveniently stored in a database.

Hardware

Opera-3d will run on Windows and Linux platforms A parallel option is available for shared memory computers.
Pole face temperature distribution in a 6-pole synchronous generator rotor
MRI Temp during quench

Applications

  • Motors
  • Generators
  • Charged particle devices
  • Electromagnetic brakes
  • Actuators
  • Transducers
  • Induction heating
  • Induction welding
  • Cool down of superconducting magnets

Tools

  • Full 3d modeling
  • Transient and steady state thermal analysis
  • Linear and non-linear materials
  • Isotropic and anisotropic materials
  • Interfaces to CAD/CAM
  • Extendible Post-Processing

Results processing

  • 3D model views from any angle
  • Graphs, histograms and contour maps of the solution
  • Contours of the results on any surface
  • Temperature
  • Thermal gradients
  • Heat flux
  • User defined functions
  • Surface and volume integrals