Simulation Specialisms


Thermodynamics involves the generation of heat and its transport between different parts of physical or engineering systems. Over a large range of application areas, Xi has worked with clients to understand what heat sources and sinks are in their device, and the impact they have on how the device functions.

All kinds of physical and engineering systems– motors, refrigerators, computer chips– involve the generation and transport of heat– from chemical reactions, friction, sunshine and the wind. Sometimes heat must be removed as quickly as possible, such as in high-performance graphics cards. Other times, heat flow should be reduced as much as possible, such as in building insulation design.

Temperature can change material properties, structural geometries, electronic performance, or the rate of chemical reactions. Thermodynamic simulation lets you understand what effects these will have on your system before spending time and money on large numbers of design variants.

At Xi, we use COMSOL Multiphysics to visualize and make sense of complex heat flow patterns. By coupling COMSOL’s Heat Transfer Module with the Structural Mechanics, Computational Fluid Dynamics and AC/DC Modules, we can analyse a huge range of effects: the thermal expansion of building structures to determine if they might crack; the transport of heat in microfluidic chemical reactors and its impact product yield; the change of iron core magnetic properties in motors.

Recent improvements to radiative heat transfer calculations allow for much faster simulation of heat flux between complex-shaped objects. This may be negligible at low temperatures but, at high powers and elevated temperatures, they may become very significant. Many heat transfer problems involve all three heat transfer modes simultaneously – conduction, convection, radiation. At Xi, we understand the complex design considerations involved with such cases.

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