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Heat Transfer & Phase Change Blog Posts

Rosetta and Philae: A Historic Landing on a Comet

November 12, 2014

How the Sun, solar system, and planet Earth formed and how life began are fundamental science questions that still remain unanswered. Today, we may be one step closer to answering these questions, because the spacecraft Philae, which is aboard the Rosetta, is in the process of landing on a comet for the first time ever. I was able to interview two of the scientists involved in this project to gain insight into how Rosetta’s mission may answer these very questions.

Designing Electric Vehicles with Magnetic Cooling Technology

October 21, 2014

In a previous blog post, we focused on the growing use of magnetic cooling technology as a safer, more eco-friendly method of refrigeration. Here, we look at how one team of researchers analyzed the potential use of this technology in the design of electric vehicles.

Accounting for Heat in the Design of Lithium-Ion Batteries

October 9, 2014

In the performance of lithium-ion batteries, thermal management is an important element to consider. Through modeling and simulation, you can improve the design process by analyzing how heat is transferred within the energy source.

Improving the Beer Brewing Process with Simulation

September 26, 2014

There are two aspects of home brewing: the culinary side and the engineering one. Many beer lovers start brewing either to improve a recipe, try to clone their favorite beer, or even simply just to see how it works. After brewing a few batches, however, it turns out that the brewing process can also be very challenging from an engineering point of view.

Modeling a Coil Heat Exchanger

August 21, 2014

Coil heat exchangers are simple and easy to manufacture. Here, we consider an axially wound coil of copper carrying hot water that heats air inside of a circular duct. Since the geometry is almost invariant about the centerline, the model is solved in the 2D axisymmetric plane. Additional expressions are added to compute the temperature drop between turns of the coil, which greatly simplifies the modeling.

Phase Change: Cooling and Solidification of Metal

August 12, 2014

Modeling phase change is important for many thermal processes, ranging from the food industry to the metal processing industry. The Heat Transfer Module offers a dedicated interface for modeling the characteristics of phase change. It uses the apparent heat capacity method, which we introduce here.

Optimizing the Continuous Casting Process with Simulation

July 31, 2014

The Swiss steel company SMS Concast has been leveraging multiphysics simulation to optimize the steelmaking process of continuous casting. Through research conducted using COMSOL Multiphysics, the R&D team at SMS Concast was able to implement a new technique that allowed a steelmaking plant in Taiwan to reduce yearly CO2 emissions by about 40,000 tons.

Designing Fully Superconducting Rotating Machines

July 29, 2014

Imagine a mode of air travel that is both fuel efficient and environmentally friendly. The mechanical modeling of torque transfer components in fully superconducting rotating machines have helped researchers draw new conclusions on how to optimize aircraft design and potentially achieve electric propulsion. A research team investigated the stress and heat distribution in these machines and presented their results at the COMSOL Conference 2013 in Boston.


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