Opera 17R1: Multiphysics simulation in a new multilingual interface

The latest version of the Opera multiphysics simulation software suite, Opera 17R1, includes many significant new capabilities, and enhancements in both speed and ease-of-use. These are aimed at giving both new and experienced users a more efficient system for simulating new product designs and optimizing them for electromagnetic or true multiphysics performance. The individual enhancements are summarised briefly below. Please see the new-features document which is distributed with the software for more information on any of these categories.



Version 17R1 of Opera (both 2d and 3d) includes:





New Multilingual Tabbed Menu Interface

The new Tabbed Menu Interface gives a contemporary look and feel for the Opera-2d Pre and Post-Processor and the Opera-3d Modeller and Post-Processor. The commands have been grouped functionally into Tabs, Groups and Buttons Stacks to enable an efficient workflow. The Instant Access feature allows users to customize button placement. To enable even more efficient use of the interface users can now choose from a selection of languages for the buttons and tool-tips to be displayed in. The initial choice of languages in version 17 is English, French, Chinese (simplified) and Japanese.



The Reference Manuals have been updated to give details of the new commands and options within the software. The User Guide examples have been updated to show how the tabbed menu interface can be used in practice.

The Additional Support Knowledge-base (ASK) has several new articles:

  • Cancellation
  • Ramping up Frequency
  • Restart – RM Restart from AC Solution
  • Automatic Gauge Difference between #ITSOLVTOL and #ITSOLVTOLNR
  • Display Response Time Slow
  • Force Calculations on Saturated Iron
  • Visualisation of Lorentz Forces on Biot-Savart Conductors
  • Tracking Particles in 3d/Post, Beamstop
  • Rotational Symmetry in CARMEN/RM
  • Measured Hysteresis in Opera

Heat Transfer Coefficient estimator

A new facility has been added to the Opera-2d/Pre and Post-Processor and the Opera-3d/Modeller to calculate values of the heat transfer coefficient for the rotor surfaces of a rotating machine with natural or forced cooling. Other scenarios will be added in future releases.


Python programming language has been integrated into Opera and can be used during modelling, analysis and post-processing.


Pre and Post-Processor

It is now possible to define a winding which consists of multiple conductor numbers using single values and range of values in the circuit editor

Transient Analysis

In the transient analyses, expressions for materials properties can now include the analysis time. Analyses which use this facility must be run nonlinearly so that the material properties are re-evaluated at every time-step.

Machine Analysis Extension

Skewed rotating machines can now be modelled with analysis programs other than RM, i.e. AC, DM, ST and TR.


Parallel Solvers

Parallel capability has been extended to include Field Averaging in the appropriate Opera-3d solver modules.

Further improvements have been made to reduce the time taken to build the matrix and form the nodal field vector.

Quench can now run on multiple threads.

Opera-3d Space Charge (SCALA) – In addition to general-purpose solver Parallelisation already implemented (coil field calculations, matrix build and matrix solution) Opera Space Charge (SCALA) can now utilise multiple threads in;

  • Tabulating the voltage-current relationship of Langmuir-Fry emitters
  • Primary particle tracking
  • Secondary particle tracking
  • Bohm energy integration

Bulk Eddy Current Conductors


A new component type has been added in circuits in Opera-3d. A bulk eddy current conductor is modelled as a volume of conducting material with one or two boundary conditions surfaces which acts as its terminal. The option of one boundary allows a complete loop to be defined as a bulk eddy current conductor with the input and output surfaces on the same surface.


You are now able to control whether user defined functions are kept or deleted. If numeric user variables are kept then user defined functions are kept as well.


Opera-3d now has the option to fit Fourier coefficients to the data associated with a line on a graph. The coefficients are saved as system variables and the interpolation of the Fourier series can be displayed on a graph.


Opera-2d Machine Environments

Many enhancements have been made to the 2d Machines Environments, mostly targeting the brushless PM machines. The following are the new features that have been added:

  • Analysis- Exisiting generator load analysis has been extended to include the phasor representation of the evaluated quantities. An additional analysis motor_load has been added; which makes it able to evaluate all the quantities considering the machine as a motor rather than a generator.
  • Post-Processing – Additional calculations have been added to evaluate the winding losses for the brushless permanent magnet machines for ST (DC/AC excitation) and RM analyses.

Opera-3d Machine Environments


Opera-3d Machines Environment now offers the “2d slice” feature of Opera, allowing users to quickly evaluate the machines performance using a one element-thick slice (with 2d approximation) obtained from the full 3d models. Further enhancements include:

  • Inductance analysis – A new analysis is added that evaluates d and q axes inductances. The analysis will not only produce a series of Opera-3d Static Electromagnetic (TOSCA) jobs that can be further post-processed by the user, but it will perform post-processing automatically.
  • Coupled EM and Stress analysis – The existing one way static multiphysics analysis has been expanded so that it can be run iteratively based on certain user defined convergence criteria.
  • Torque vs. Angle analysis – The existing torque vs. angle analysis is now extended so that it can evaluate torque vs. angle for different user defined current excitations.
  • SRM Magnetostatic analysis – The existing analysis is now extended to evaluate series of rotor positions between aligned and unaligned positions with different current excitations

Graphing & Layout


All analyses now use the updated graphing facility available in Opera. This allows users more control over the results being displayed by the standard analyses. Information displayed in the final analysis dialog has been restructured, making it easily accessible.