Electrical

Fanny Littmarck | January 29, 2013

One of the classic multiphysics couplings in engineering and science is Joule heating, also called resistive heating or ohmic heating. Some Joule heating examples include heating of conductors in electronics, fuses, electric heaters, and power lines. When a structure is heated by electric currents, the device can reach high temperatures and either structurally degenerate or even melt. The design challenge is to remove this heat as effectively as possible. COMSOL eases these challenges by providing a specialized multiphysics interface for […]

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Fanny Littmarck | December 12, 2012

A while back, I wrote about permanent magnet generators and how they generate electricity upon being set in motion. When browsing the papers from our conference in Bangalore, one on the topic of ultrasonic micro motors caught my eye. These motors are electromechanical in nature and instead initiate motion with the application of an electric voltage. Furthermore, these motors are miniaturized to fit a micro-scale environment.

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Andrew Griesmer | December 4, 2012

Here’s a story we’ve all heard before: due to the inefficient nature and inevitable decline of fossil fuels, alternative energy resources are becoming increasingly popular. Wind energy is a popular source of alternative energy, with wind farms sprouting up all over the world. Here’s something you may not have thought about: lightning strikes are a major problem for these wind turbines. Intuitively, places with high wind speeds also have stormy weather, and a 150 meter tall metal pole makes an […]

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Andrew Griesmer | November 29, 2012

Growing older is an inevitable part of life, and with it, our body slowly begins to show that. I recently started wearing eye glasses because my eyesight is weakening. It’s a little unnerving, but I am comforted by the ever-improving technology being produced. My hearing is still fully intact, but the same cannot be said for 17% (36 million) of American adults who report some degree of hearing loss. In most cases, regular hearing aids are sufficient in treating hearing […]

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Andrew Griesmer | November 26, 2012

While alternative energy is the energy of the future, fossil fuels are the energy of right now. Coal, especially, is still heavily relied on for energy production and is a primary source of electricity generation in many countries including the US and China. In fact, world coal consumption is actually increasing year-to-year. Scientists need to be concentrating on how to make alternative energies more widespread, but they also need to make coal a better, more efficient fuel source. Designing systems […]

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Fanny Littmarck | November 15, 2012

Last month was Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM). In many parts of the world walks were coordinated to fundraise for breast cancer research, and here in the U.S. it also meant NFL football players donned pink gear throughout the month. It was only fitting then, that a poster was presented on the topic at our conference in Boston. The research presented there explores a new method for detecting breast tumors.

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Fanny Littmarck | November 6, 2012

Permanent magnet generators, or PM generators as they are also called, generate power without batteries. PM generators consist of a magnetic stator coiled with wire and a wheel with permanent magnets rotating inside the stator. From motorcycles to wind farms, PM generators can be used in many electrical machinery applications. Let’s take a look at how these types of generators work and how they can be simulated.

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Fanny Littmarck | October 31, 2012

When you need to mix something at a very small scale you don’t reach for a teeny-tiny whisk. If you’re working with microscale biochemical applications you’d be more likely to rely on diffusion to mix fluids. With highly ordered laminar flow there is no turbulence involved, thus making diffusion a prime candidate for “getting the job done”. But what if you need to mix larger molecules? Larger molecules mean higher molecular weight, which in turn leads to very long equilibration […]

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Fanny Littmarck | October 30, 2012

What if this Halloween you could take your costume to the next level and turn yourself invisible? There are bounds of references to invisibility throughout fairy tales, folk lore, and pop culture. From capes and hats to cloaking devices, many fictional characters have been provided with a means for rendering themselves invisible. In the spirit of Halloween, let’s have a closer look at cloaking from a fictional and scientific stand-point.

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Fanny Littmarck | October 24, 2012

It’s no secret that there’s a lot of guesswork involved in oil production. Oil companies make “Big Money” decisions based on estimates – estimates with huge margins of error. What’s more, there is an incredible amount of risk involved, but with the potential for a large pay-off if all goes according to plan. The plan is based on “best guesses” and less than perfect data. Still, there are many big players in the oil industry that are doing very well […]

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Phil Kinnane | October 18, 2012

As much as we would like to think that finite element analysis (FEA) is the be-all and end-all of simulations, it’s not true. There is also a camp of engineers out there that model integrated circuits and similar systems. These are based on different physics and equations than what FEA typically solves for. Yet, as is happening more and more in the world of virtual prototyping, the two types of simulations are converging. Now they need to integrate with each […]

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