SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation tool is an integrated CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) package available in a CAD environment that helps to analyze aerodynamic and hydrodynamic problems (Pump, propeller design, etc.), thermal problems, Cd (Coeff. of drag) in the valve design, electronic enclosures and so on. Thermal analysis is one of the common applications used to predict cooling performances, heating transfer effects due to different modes of heat transfer and temperature distribution and control, etc.
Let’s imagine a few examples of electronic/electrical enclosures or appliances that consist of multiple electronic components. Now, let’s consider a phenomenon where the temperature of a device or component is maintained at a certain value. For example, an electric iron, where the temperature is maintained at a certain value over a particular period. This phenomenon can be achieved by either cutting off the electric supply or providing forced convection by using a fan to keep the temperature constant.
Here, we have a sample model for you to discuss this phenomenon in detail. The model consists of two plates, the bottom plate made up of copper is acting as a heat source that will supply heat to the top plate made up of stainless steel and the goal is to maintain junction temperature at 400C approx.
The flow simulation project consists of two plates that are bonded together. The dependency options are available only for a transient analysis hence, external transient analysis and other related options are selected. The analysis will be performed for 30 seconds, and the results are monitored. The gravity effects are also considered for the “Y” direction so the convection mode of heat transfer will be considered.
The volumetric heat source at the rate of 400 Watts is applied at the bottom plate. The thermodynamic parameters like pressure and temperature are at their default values of environmental conditions.
“How to create goal dependency?” Click on the heat source, it can be source or volume heat source, and click on fx icon. The goal dependency allows us to specify data as a constant, as a tabular or formula dependency on Goals, Parameters, including iterations and travels. The next step is to select the type of dependency and specify switch OFF and switch ON conditions.
The SOLIDWORKS flow simulation contains built-in functionality called ‘GOALS’. We need to specify any physical parameters of our interest in our project as a goal that will be used for convergence. This goal is then selected in the dependency so that software will closely observe the output at every time step. We also need to define control methods to control the temperature.
And the results are ready!! Though the input heat rate is 400 Watts still the bottom plate is maintained at 400C. This will only happen when the heater will be shut off as soon as the temperature will tend to cross the control value limit. The graph shows us the ON-OFF of the heater occurred for regular intervals within the control value and given dead band value.
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