Studying the Thermal Performance of Phase Change Materials

Bridget Paulus September 18, 2017

Maintaining an even temperature for buildings in hot climates often requires a lot of energy. One option for improving thermal performance is by including phase change materials (PCMs) in parts of the building. To study the effectiveness of PCMs in regulating temperature, researchers used the COMSOL Multiphysics® software to model a novel plaster that includes a PCM. They then analyzed the thermal performance of the PCM-enhanced plaster and compared the results with a reference plaster.

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Guest Thomas Clavet August 31, 2017

Today, guest blogger Thomas Clavet of EMC3 Consulting, a COMSOL Certified Consultant, discusses simulating phased array and geometrically focused probes. Ultrasound focusing is widely used in various industrial applications, such as nondestructive testing (NDT) and medical imaging. For clinical applications, high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) is a specific aspect of this technology where most of the power provided by the probe is carried to a targeted zone to coagulate biological tissues. This blog post discusses ultrasound focusing simulation.

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Magnus Ringh August 17, 2017

During sunny days, it’s tempting to bring food and drinks outside to enjoy the weather. However, it can be a challenge to keep wine (or any beverage) cold in the heat. Wine coolers supposedly keep chilled beverages cold for at least an hour. In this blog post, we use the COMSOL Multiphysics® software to see how a wine cooler works and whether or not it can keep drinks cool.

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Caty Fairclough August 2, 2017

When designing heat sinks, it’s important to accurately measure their cooling capacity. By modeling heat transfer in these systems, we can calculate the temperature of the electronic components. The modeling approach we use will affect the accuracy of the results and the efficiency of the simulation. In this blog post, we compare two modeling approaches for analyzing electronic chip cooling. We also discuss new features in the COMSOL Multiphysics® software that make it easier to set up heat sink geometries.

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Bridget Cunningham July 17, 2017

On the morning of March 22, 2006, NASA launched their Space Technology 5 mission. For about three months, miniaturized satellites explored Earth’s magnetic fields collecting high-quality measurements. Beyond gathering scientific data, the mission represents a turning point. Instead of large traditional satellite missions, miniaturized technology is taking precedence in space exploration. And within these systems, MEMS technology could serve as a means of active thermal control. Further improvements are already taking shape with the help of multiphysics simulation.

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Bridget Cunningham July 4, 2017

Many manufacturing processes already benefit from selective laser melting. The potential for combining this technique with high-melting materials is clear, but there are challenges to consider. For instance, these materials have a much narrower processing window. To better understand their behavior in selective laser melting, one research group built a model to analyze the thermal and fluid dynamics of laser beam-matter interaction. Their results generated further momentum in extending the use of this technique to process refractory metals.

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Claire Bost June 14, 2017

When ambient air flows through porous media, it carries moisture. In this process, temperature and moisture are coupled: The vapor saturates depending on the temperature conditions, while latent heat effects due to evaporation and condensation modify the temperature. We discussed heat and moisture transport in air in a previous blog post. Let’s address the specific transport processes we need to consider in pores and how to model heat and moisture transport in porous media with the COMSOL Multiphysics® software.

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Claire Bost June 9, 2017

Whenever ambient air is considered in an engineering context, temperature and moisture are intrinsically related. Vapor reaches a saturation point depending on the temperature and pressure conditions, while the action of latent heat modifies temperature distribution. These phenomena must be considered to optimize processes affected by phase changes, particularly when trying to prevent condensation occurring in devices. Let’s see how to model heat and moisture transport in air with the COMSOL Multiphysics® software.

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Bridget Paulus June 8, 2017

Solar-grade silicon is becoming more popular for applications such as communications and photovoltaics. While it’s important to keep up with this growing demand, the current method of producing solar-grade silicon is energy intensive and expensive. To find a more efficient process, researchers at JPM Silicon GmbH explored a novel method using a microwave furnace. By simulating the internal processes, they aim to optimize their microwave furnace design to produce low-cost solar-grade silicon.

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Bridget Cunningham May 18, 2017

When the German engineer F. H. Poetsch first developed the artificial ground freezing (AGF) method in 1883, he did so to avoid water within Belgian coal mines. The method, which first received praise in the late 1800s, remains similar to its original form and is still valuable today. To develop a more effective AGF method, we can turn to simulation analyses.

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Walter Frei April 28, 2017

Whenever we have a heated or cooled part exposed to air, there is some transfer of heat from the part to the air via convection. The movement of the air can be either forced, via a fan, or free, as a result of the natural buoyancy variations due to changes in the air temperature. Today, we will look at several different ways of modeling these types of convection in the COMSOL Multiphysics® software.

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