November 25, 2021 10:00–16:00 CET

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COMSOL Day: Electrical Power Systems

See what is possible with multiphysics simulation

Power distribution infrastructure and the grid have been brought into focus lately due to recent catastrophic climate events. COMSOL Day: Electrical Power Systems is an online event focused on these issues, where invited speakers and COMSOL staff will introduce you to and delve into the aspects of simulating such.

Apart from looking at the challenges facing us as we deal with a world with increasingly hostile environmental conditions, the sessions will focus on modeling techniques for applications and components such as coils, inductive heating, electric motors and generators, transformers, and cables.


Welcoming Remarks

The production and use of electrical power energy from renewable sources, whether replacing existing or through new, decentralized networks and infrastructures, pose major challenges for the electrical power industry. New concepts and designs have been identified and are being developed.

Helping in this highly charged and competitive race is the application of multiphysics simulations, which provide cost-effective development of new networks and component designs as well as insight into the retrofitting and optimizing of existing ones. Further, simulation is being applied on an increasing scale.

Despite faster, more powerful, and highly accurate computers and simulation software, there is a development bottleneck — typically not in the modeling capabilities of the engineers applying such but in outdated staffing structure and role deployment of the remaining engineers in this industry. Simulation could help much more if model development and use did not have to be managed and run entirely by a small group of simulation experts in an organization participating in this industry.

Therefore, the trend is increasing to actively involve colleagues and customers in the simulation process by providing them with specialized, ready-made simulation apps specific to a certain development task or application area. Learn more about this new trend in this session.

Parallel Session
Transformer Design: A Multiphysics Approach

The quality of transformers is characterized by effects covering a wide range of physics: electromagnetic efficiency, electric and magnetic losses, stray fields, heating, and even noise emission. Discover how multiphysics simulation can help you predict the performance of transformers.

Tech Café: Meshing in Low-Frequency Electromagnetics

Generating a mesh that is both fine enough to capture the physical phenomenon and give accurate results and computationally efficient is a compromise and requires different meshing techniques. During this Tech Café, we will discuss how best to generate meshes for typical situations encountered in low-frequency EM models, including boundary layer meshes, infinite elements, rotating domains, and thin layers.


Cristina Pais, Siemens Energy, Germany

With the increase in the complexity of distributions transformers, FEM simulations became a requirement in the prototyping phase. During this talk, we will show how the design of distribution transformers can be improved to meet customer needs and avoid design failures. Magnetic and thermal simulations are very important to evaluate the temperature distribution in the windings, as well as to calculate the increase of losses and short-circuit impedance due to the external busbars connected to the transformer.

Break for Lunch
Introduction to COMSOL Multiphysics®

Learn the fundamental workflow of COMSOL Multiphysics®. This introductory demonstration will show you all of the key modeling steps, including geometry creation, setting up physics, meshing, solving, and postprocessing.

Parallel Session
Generators, Switches, and Magnetic Devices

In this session, we will discuss the details of modeling electrical machines and different multiphysics aspects using COMSOL Multiphysics®. We will show you how to model different types of electric motors, such as induction motors, permanent magnet motors, LVDT, generators, electromagnetic switches, magnetic pumps, and magnetic valves. We will discuss how to compute winding and core losses for thermal analysis in order to address the multiphysics aspects of these machines. You will also see how electromagnetic forces can be coupled with different physics, such as structural mechanics and acoustics.

Tech Café: Power Line Components

Power lines form a major part of the power grid. Modeling these assets and associated components can be used for corona discharge prevention, optimization, and more. In this Tech Café, we will discuss simulation techniques, such as the hybrid FEM–BEM approach, to make the electrical analysis of power transmission lines more efficient.


Dr. Ahmed Akram Mirza, Hitachi Energy

Air core magnetic reactors play a crucial role in the performance of high-voltage direct current (HVDC) systems. These reactors are used at both distribution and transmission voltages for a variety of applications, such as fault current limiting, power flow control, reactive compensation, and as the inductive part of the tuned harmonic filters. Air core reactors produce a high degree of stray magnetic fields due to the fact that they do not contain any core to constrain them (the magnetic fields). These stray magnetic fields can induce large eddy currents in any metallic equipment around, and closed loop currents can be formed in concrete reinforcement, fences, and earthing systems. The eddy currents can give rise to severe heating problems. Hence, it is important to position the air core reactors and surrounding metallic infrastructures to avoid heating. In this talk, we will show how COMSOL Multiphysics® is used to calculate magnetic fields and resulting temperature distribution. The benefit of taking a multiphysics approach will also be discussed.

Parallel Session
Modeling Industrial Cables

As the future moves toward sustainable energy, the need for transferring electric power over long distances from areas of energy production, such as wind farms, is becoming more prevalent. High-voltage, direct current (HVDC) electric power transmission systems are becoming the solution for such within Europe and, increasingly so, in the U.S. Further, security and cost-saving requirements are also leading power grid companies and regulators to insist on HVDC investment, as opposed to overhead power lines.

HVDC uses direct current (DC) for the transmission of electrical power, which leads to about 50% of the losses per distance unit as the more common alternating current (AC) systems, but they still incur losses. Yet, due to the scales and the environments cables are run through, such as underground and oceans, losses can only be experimentally determined at great expense, which leads to huge potential for savings in virtual cable development.

This session will include an introduction to modeling capacitive, inductive, and thermal effects in industrial-scale cables, particularly HVDC. This will include techniques for efficiently analyzing 3D twisted cables and magnetic losses in the armor through examples and demonstrations.

Tech Café: Magnetic Material Models

Ferromagnetic materials are at the heart of motors, transformers, inductors, and many other electromagnetic devices. A challenge with simulating these applications and devices is to consider the variable and nonlinear properties of ferromagnetic materials, such as magnetic saturation, hysteresis, and anisotropy. Join us in this Tech Café to discuss and ask questions to COMSOL technical staff about techniques for modeling magnetic materials and phenomena, such as iron loss estimation, using Steinmetz or Bertotti loss models for fundamental frequency and harmonics, and explicit hysteresis modeling.


Robert Courant, Mechatronic Systems Lab

Magnetic problems almost always incorporate some material nonlinearities. While linear orthotropic or isotropic nonlinear material models are rather straightforward in COMSOL Multiphysics®, the combination of both phenomena is especially challenging. The most common application with both effects is grain-oriented electrical steel that shows a magnetic easy axis in the rolling direction and transverse magnetic hard axes. Based on the coenergy density, an elliptic model for the interpolation between the principal directions is derived. The extension of the model to laminated materials allows for the accurate depiction of typical core configurations in power systems without the need to geometrically model the thin sheets. The approach is numerically validated by comparing the homogenized laminated material with the geometrically modeled laminate.


COMSOL Multiphysics® version 6.0 is coming soon! This session will touch upon the highlights of the new release:

  • Model Manager: Major new functionality that allows colleagues to collaborate and centrally organize models and apps, including access and version control as well as advanced search
  • Uncertainty Quantification Module: A new product that includes tools for uncertainty quantification, including design of experiments
  • Improved printed circuit board (PCB) import and computation of parasitic inductances of PCBs in the frequency domain
  • Frequency domain support for the Magnetic Fields, Currents Only interface
  • New Magnetomechanics interface
Closing Remarks

COMSOL Speakers

Thorsten Koch
Managing Director, Germany
Thorsten Koch is the managing director of Comsol Multiphysics GmbH. There, he worked as an applications engineer and was a member of the development team. He holds degrees in physics and applied mathematics, completing his PhD studies on 3D contractility measurements of living cells at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg.
Phillip Oberdorfer
Technical Marketing Manager
Phillip Oberdorfer is a technical marketing manager at Comsol Multiphysics GmbH in Göttingen. He organizes, moderates, and speaks at events on the topic of multiphysics simulation and simulation apps. Phillip has experience in CFD, heat transfer, and geophysics, and received his PhD from the University of Göttingen.
Durk de Vries
Technical Product Manager, AC/DC Module
Durk de Vries is the technical product manager for the AC/DC Module at COMSOL. In addition to AC/DC, he works with the RF and Wave Optics modules. Before joining COMSOL in 2013, he did research on RF cavities and low-frequency electromagnetics at the Particle Accelerator Institute in Groningen and the University of Eindhoven.
Roman Obrist
Applications Engineer
Roman Obrist is a technical sales and applications manager at COMSOL. He received his MSc in electrical engineering from the University of Applied Sciences Rapperswil (HSR). There, he was a scientific researcher and project leader in the Computational and Applied Electromagnetics Group, dealing with customer-related research and teaching tasks.
Linus Andersson
Technical Support Manager
Linus Andersson is an applications engineer providing technical support within COMSOL and to customers worldwide, specializing in electromagnetic and acoustic simulations. Linus joined COMSOL in 2003, after receiving his MS degree in engineering physics at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, and completing his diploma thesis at CERN.
Magnus Olsson
Technology Director, Electromagnetics
Magnus Olsson joined COMSOL in 1996 and currently leads development for the electromagnetic design products. He holds an MSc in engineering physics and a PhD in plasma physics and fusion research. Prior to joining COMSOL, he worked as a consulting specialist in electromagnetic computations for the Swedish armed forces.
Rahul Bhat
Senior Applications Engineer
Rahul Bhat received his PhD from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, in 2019. His prior industry experience has been in low-voltage switchgears at Larsen & Toubro Limited and in the development of servo control systems at Bhabha Atomic Research Center. His area of interest is low-frequency electromagnetics FEM simulations.
Maria Iuga-Römer
Applications Manager
Maria Iuga-Römer is an applications manager at Comsol Multiphysics GmbH. Previously, she studied physics at the West University of Timișoara and received a PhD at the University of Würzburg. She worked at the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research, simulating microstructural properties to develop and optimize ceramic materials.
Ad van der Linden
Applications Engineer
Ad van der Linden works as an applications engineer and joined Comsol Multiphysics GmbH in 2008. Prior, he studied applied physics at the Technical University Delft in the Netherlands. He has more than 20 years of experience in electromagnetic applications combined with numerical simulations.
Julia Fricke
Marketing Manager
Julia Fricke is the marketing manager at Comsol Multiphysics GmbH in Göttingen, Germany, and has been with COMSOL since 2011. She oversees marketing in Germany and Austria.

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November 25, 2021 | 10:00 CET (UTC+01:00)
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Invited Speakers

Cristina Pais Siemens Energy Germany

Cristina Pais earned an MSc in electrical and computing engineering from Instituto Superior Técnico in Lisbon. In 2011, she joined Siemens in the Electrical department of Distribution Transformers. In 2014, she moved to Siemens Transformers Austria, where she was responsible for electrical and mechanical design of distribution transformers for renewable energy. Since February 2021, Pais has been an R&D engineer at Siemens Energy Germany. Currently, she is responsible for magnetic and thermal simulations and gives support for simulations and failure analysis to distribution transformer factories.

Ahmed Akram Mirza Hitachi Energy

Dr. Ahmed Akram Mirza is working as a senior engineer at Hitachi Energy. He has extensive experience in the thermal modeling of high-voltage equipment. In addition, his expertise involves working with electromagnetics for power systems. Ahmed is a member of the CIGRÉ and IEC national technical committees, representing Hitachi Energy in the field of power distribution systems. Ahmed received his PhD from the Department of Electrical Engineering at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, Sweden.

Robert Courant Mechatronic Systems Lab

Robert Courant is a PhD candidate at the Mechatronic Systems Lab at TU Berlin, where he received his master’s degree in mechanical engineering in 2019. His research is focused on the design and modeling of actuators based on magnetic shape memory alloys. As the group's key COMSOL® user, he is also responsible for lectures on modeling and simulation techniques.