April 18, 2024 10:00–16:10 CEST

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COMSOL Day: Renewable Energy

See what is possible with multiphysics modeling

The transition to renewable energy sources is essential for sustainable development. To reach this goal, the components used for solar energy, wind power, energy storage, and electric grid systems must first be optimized. Organizations working on renewable energy system components — such as electric motors, generators, batteries, fuel cells, electrolyzers, and cables — increasingly rely on modeling and simulation for analysis and optimization.

In particular, the COMSOL Multiphysics® software lends itself to renewable energy R&D, as it brings a unified and compatible simulation software environment for easily integrating thermal, electrical, mechanical, and fluid dynamics aspects in one model. Additionally, it provides capabilities for creating standalone simulation apps and centrally organizing simulation projects, promoting collaboration and accelerating innovation.

Join us for this COMSOL Day to discover how multiphysics simulation is powering the next generation of renewable energy technologies through insights from industry leaders and technical presentations.



COMSOL Multiphysics® has become widely used for modeling and simulation (M&S) in the field of renewable energy due to its multiphysics modeling capabilities.

The software is used for the research and design of electric motors, generators, battery systems, high-voltage cables, power electronics, hydrogen fuel cells, and water electrolyzers. In addition, it is widely used for understanding and optimizing heat transfer and thermal management processes and designs. Moreover, the unique features for creating standalone simulation apps based on multiphysics models and surrogate models have allowed for larger groups of engineers and scientists within an organization to benefit from M&S.

Attend this session to get an overview of the use of multiphysics models, simulation apps, digital twins, and surrogate models in the field of renewable energy. This session also offers an executive overview of the topics we’ll cover in this COMSOL Day.

Toward Zero-Emission Flight: The Role of FEA Simulations in Electrifying Aviation

Mustafa Baris Topçuoglu, GKN Aerospace, Fokker Elmo

In this keynote talk, Topçuoglu will present GKN Fokker Elmo's research and customer-focused approach to electrical wiring interconnection system (EWIS) solutions for the electrification of future aviation, highlighting emerging opportunities and challenges. GKN Fokker Elmo aims to become a sustainable partner in the clean sky initiative by offering comprehensive finite element analysis services for certification, design, optimization, and safety within the urban air mobility (UAM) and hybrid aviation markets.

Currently, within the electric aviation sector, GKN's multiphysics analysis identifies areas for enhancing EWIS design, system and subsystem verification, and installation through rigorous validation testing. Through these analyses, GKN's partners have the chance to modify or improve their designs before conducting time-consuming and expensive tests.

Furthermore, GKN addresses new safety, design, and certification concerns specific to electric aviation, which differ from those in traditional commercial aviation. The emergence of the all-electric aviation and more-electric aviation markets anticipates the use of higher-frequency AC feeders as well as high-power and high-voltage systems. Consequently, these new technical challenges necessitate significant changes in failure mechanisms, protection systems, certification regulations, and design considerations.

Topçuoglu will demonstrate how GKN Aerospace pioneers solutions in this transitional period by not only leveraging academic knowledge but also harnessing the advantages of multiphysics analysis, providing specific examples.


Development efforts to meet the demand for electric motors and generators have increased exponentially with the transition to electric vehicles and wind turbine power production. Modeling and simulation is an integral part of the R&D process in the field, enabling engineers to address design considerations such as the:

  • Demand for electric motors to deliver high torque across a broad speed range
  • Requirement for generators to provide power at low rotational speed
  • Limited availability of essential minerals

COMSOL Multiphysics® and the AC/DC Module offer extensive capabilities for modeling, simulating, and optimizing radial and axial flux machines using different principles of operation, such as permanent magnet, switched reluctance, and induction machines. The add-on module's unique ability to handle nonlinear magnetic effects in combination with temperature-dependent properties and heat transfer has made it the preferred product for creating high-fidelity multiphysics models.

In this session, we will demonstrate the COMSOL® software's capabilities for analyzing rotating electrical machines such as motors and generators. We will show how the software treats nonlinear magnetic effects such as hysteresis as well as temperature-dependent properties.


The COMSOL® software aids in different processes in the field of renewable energy. It offers unique modeling and simulation (M&S) capabilities as well as easy-to-use features for creating standalone simulation apps.

The Application Builder and COMSOL Compiler™ allow for bringing M&S to a larger group of scientists and engineers thanks to their capabilities for creating and deploying simulation apps. These apps can be incorporated into digital twins for use in equipment maintenance and process operation. The latest release of COMSOL Multiphysics® contains functionality for creating surrogate models based on data from simulations and advanced function approximation such as DNN and Gaussian process, making simulation apps lightning-fast.

In this session, you’ll learn about the COMSOL® software’s capabilities for creating simulation apps and digital twins.

Lunch Break
Introduction to COMSOL Multiphysics®

Incorporating modeling and simulation into design and development processes in the field of renewable energy requires software that includes functionality for modeling a wide range of physics phenomena and their interactions. The COMSOL Multiphysics® software platform and its add-on products provide a user-friendly, integrated modeling environment and unique multiphysics capabilities for modeling everything from molecular flow to geomechanics. With COMSOL Multiphysics®, users can collaborate efficiently on R&D projects by creating advanced models, quickly turning these models into simulation apps, and creating standalone simulation apps that can be distributed freely.

In this session, you will learn the fundamental workflow in COMSOL Multiphysics®, which is used throughout the product suite. We will demonstrate the main modeling steps, including how to:

  • Create the model geometry
  • Select materials
  • Define the physics settings
  • Build the mesh
  • Solve the model
  • Evaluate and visualize results
  • Create reports
The Effect of Subsoil Water Movement on Underground Cables

Kevin X. Authier, Duurzaam Energie Perspectief, Alliander

Almost the whole electricity grid in the Netherlands is running on the maximum of its capacity. For several locations, the capacity is limited due to bottlenecks at given hotspots, such as horizontal drillings or areas where clusters of cables come together.

Each of these locations is investigated to see if the standard cable capacity is actual bottlenecked or if there is more power available for the connection. At the moment, these investigations are performed with a 1D program on an infinite time base and no external influences. Several studies have shown that the end temperature under a maximum-rated cable load is only reached after a few years and up to several decades under a continuous maximum load. This method proves a lot of capacity is left unused while creating unwanted waiting time for citizens and companies who want or need a connection to the grid.

In a pilot investigation, a location in Amsterdam was analyzed to see if it was a bottleneck. The location was in a horizontal drilling, where a bundle of several old oil-pressure 50-kV cables was surrounded by asbestos pipes.

By simulating the groundwater and the effect of a canal flowing above the cables on an infinite time base and comparing the results with the current calculation methods, Alliander was able to upgrade the cable capacity significantly. This simulation of cables being influenced by ground conditions is a first step toward simulating the surroundings as closely as possible to reality.


Thanks to its versatility and user-friendliness, COMSOL Multiphysics® is being used for development across a wide range of engineering fields. In the development of power storage devices and electrical machines, the software is particularly useful for understanding and designing essential thermal management systems. The software's unique multiphysics modeling capabilities make it ideal for studying heat transfer and heat generation in combination with electromagnetic fields and currents, nonisothermal flow, stresses and strains due to thermal expansion, and electrochemical processes in batteries and fuel cells.

This session will offer an overview of the functionality in COMSOL Multiphysics® that can be used to understand and design thermal management systems in power storage devices and electrical machines.


The Fuel Cell & Electrolyzer Module add-on to COMSOL Multiphysics® features a wide range of functionality for modeling electrochemical cells with porous and solid electrodes, including gas-diffusion electrodes and gas-evolving electrodes. Scientists and engineers in the renewable energy field rely on the module for the study and design of cells, from the unit cell scale to the stack scale.

The module's unique modeling capabilities include descriptions of the transport of neutral and charged species for electrolytes of arbitrary composition, with ready-made formulations for the most common electrolyte types. Electrode kinetics can be described using Butler–Volmer, Tafel, or user-defined expressions of the overpotential and local electrolyte concentration. Multiphysics couplings allow for simulation that combines species transport with fluid flow, including, e.g., multiphase flow for gas-evolving electrodes.

In this session, you will get an overview of the modeling and simulation capabilities of the Fuel Cell & Electrolyzer Module and learn how it can be used in research and development in the field.


The COMSOL Multiphysics® software is widely used for modeling and simulation in energy transmission and power electronics, which both have applications in the field of renewable energy.

In addition to its wide range of capabilities for the modeling of quasistatic and time-harmonic electromagnetic fields, the COMSOL® software also features unique multiphysics capabilities for coupling thermal and structural effects with electromagnetic fields. Effects such as induction heating and Joule heating as well as structural stresses and strains caused by thermal expansion can be studied in user-friendly modeling interfaces. The impact of free and forced convection and computation fluid dynamics (CFD) on the operation and design of cables and power electronics devices can also be accounted for.

Join us in this session to get an overview of the modeling and simulation capabilities in the COMSOL® software for the design of high-power cables and devices for power electronics.


Modeling and simulation (M&S) has become an important tool in the study of the design and operation of battery systems. The COMSOL Multiphysics® software and its add-on Battery Design Module provide user-friendly yet powerful and versatile capabilities for describing batteries and electrochemical cells. The software also features multiphysics capabilities for coupling the electrochemistry within a battery with structural stress effects due to intercalation, heat generation, heat transfer, and computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Multiphysics models can be utilized to investigate thermal management and thermal runaway in individual cells as well as in battery modules and packs consisting of hundreds of cells.

Learn more about the COMSOL® software's capabilities for M&S of battery energy storage systems (BESSs) in stationary applications as well as battery cells and packs for automotive applications in this session.

Closing Remarks

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COMSOL Day Details

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April 18, 2024 | 10:00 CEST (UTC+02:00)
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Invited Speakers

Mustafa Baris Topçuoglu GKN Aerospace

Mustafa Baris Topçuoglu has been working on multiphysics finite element analysis (FEA) as a high-voltage (HV) design engineer at GKN Aerospace for two and a half years. He graduated from Middle East Technical University, Turkey, and Kocaeli University, Turkey, with a background in FEA, power electronics, and electrical motors. He completed his thesis on the design of eddy-current brakes for battery–electric vehicle (BEV) trucks. (Presented paper: DOI:10.1109/ISIE.2019.8781251)

Topçuoglu is enthusiastic about cutting-edge technologies and electrification for a zero-carbon future. He is working on coupled electromagnetic and electric thermal analysis and magnetohydrodynamics analysis based on future zero-carbon market needs.

Kevin X. Authier Duurzaam Energie Perspectief (DEP)

Kevin Authier is an energy systems consultant working for Duurzaam Energie Perspectief (DEP), a subsidiary of Dutch grid operator Alliander. To connect as many customers as possible to the grid while limiting the impact on stability and reliability, Alliander must install new cable systems and ensure that the use of existing systems is being maximized. Authier's team supports this mission by determining the limits of various cable systems buried in the ground, in machined drillings, and in open air. Authier specializes in cable-ampacity, electromagnetic-field, and short-circuit-force calculations on cable systems, completed in part using multiphysics simulation. He recently used the COMSOL Multiphysics® software in his work to research the effect of groundwater convection on the ampacity of a cable system.