Flux & System Simulation Coupling

Vincent Leconte, Director of Program Management & Business Development – EM Solutions



Flux electromagnetic simulation software embeds its own electric circuit editor, but when it comes to more advanced analysis, from the design of complex drives to the study of load impact, the co-simulation with solidThinking Activate system simulator can be a great help. Co-simulation works for both Flux 2D and 3D and there is virtually no limitation to the parameters that can be shared between the two software tools.

Benefits are unlimited and range from the study of load impact (mechanical or electrical loads, thermal effects, etc…) to the design of complex drives (vector control…).

Co-simulation capabilities take into account the drive and control with solidThinking Activate and the electromagnetic device with Flux (2D/3D and skew) such as rotating machines, sensors, transformers, linear actuators….

The coupling takes into consideration  phenomena such as:

  • Saturation
  • Eddy current
  • Motion
  • Control loops
  • Thermal effect

An easy implementation

Improving the simulation time, while taking into account  the accuracy required, as well as the nature of the system, is made possible thanks to direct access to several co-simulation options according to the actual needs:

  • Step time management directly from solidThinking Activate
  • Software synchronization
  • Control system by inserting a delay

The main steps to implement the co-simulation are:

  1. Set-up the Flux model:
  • Model description: geometry, mesh and physics
  • Specific description: creation of the input/output parameters required for the coupling
  • Generate the coupling component for solidThinking Activate

2.  Edit and solve the solidThinking Activate circuit model:

The user prepares the solidThinking Activate model by:

  • Adding and characterizing the coupling block
  • Building the blocks to allow the generation of the command
  • Selecting the adequate solver and imposing the step time

Inputs and outputs

To ensure the best and easiest data exchange between Flux and solidThinking Activate, Flux is represented by a block in Activate. The command of the device is represented in Activate. The user decides whether electrical or mechanical or both quantities should be controlled within Activate by selecting the inputs and outputs of the coupling component. The current and voltage of the component of the connected electrical circuit, the torque and speed of the actuator, as well as the values of any passive electrical component and switch, are some of the electrical and mechanical quantities of the device that can be controlled.

Post processing

All the useful quantities can be accessed either within solidThinking Activate or using the numerous capabilities of Flux post processing.

Application examples

  • Linear actuator
  • Interior permanent magnets synchronous machine with sin wave current
  • Regulation of synchronous machine
  • Park model of synchronous machine
  • Scalar control of induction machine

Flux capabilities

  • Advanced CAD import features for the most common formats (IGES, STEP) and native files (CATIA, Pro-E, etc.)
  • 2D sketcher and 3D modeler to create geometry from scratch, to defeature and heal CAD imported objects and/or simplify them by defining symmetries and periodicities
  • Ability to switch from 2D to 3D environments and vice versa, with extrusions and cutting planes, respectively
  • Smart automatic mesh definition and users assistance facilities to locally improve and combine different meshing strategies (e.g., tetrahedrons with mapped elements) to save computation time without losing accuracy
  • Advanced physical formulations such as surface impedance, allowing accounting for skin effect inside solid conductors and eddy currents on thin regions like armor shells
  • Circuit solver coupled with Finite Elements is able to deal with non-linear loads, representing power electronics converters or electrical machines
  • Full multi-parametric analysis (geometry, physical properties and electric components) that easily opens the door to optimization, thanks also to embedded HPC facilities
  • Coupling between magnetic/electric studies and thermal applications
  • Spectral analysis of any transient quantity
  • Automation capabilities using macros and Python command files.

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