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AC/DC & Electromagnetics Blog Posts

The Graphene Revolution: Part 2

March 27, 2013

In a previous blog entry I discussed some of the exotic properties of graphene. The fact that graphene consists of a single layer of atoms means the aspect ratio of any graphene-based structure may be very high. High aspect geometries present their own array of modeling challenges.

Simulating Eddy Current Brakes

March 4, 2013

Last week you saw how you can simulate the heating of a car’s brake discs. This reminded me of another type of brake — the eddy current brake (also known as magnetic brake). Whereas the other model was a study in heat transfer, eddy current brakes deal with electromagnetics.

Upgrading the Nuts and Bolts of the Electrical Grid

February 20, 2013

The electrical grid describes the network created for producing electricity, transmitting it and delivering it to the consumers. A “smart grid” is an electrical grid that gathers information on the suppliers and consumers automatically to improve efficiency and sustainability in the system. As the automated technology improves, the hardware that physically connects the electrical grid together must improve as well. This hardware, the “nuts and bolts” of the grid, is comprised of transformers, cable joints, terminations, bushings, and fault current […]

Inductive Heating of a Billet Simulation Tutorial

February 18, 2013

Induction occurs when a metal object moves in the presence of a magnetic field inducing a current in that object. The induced current causes it to heat up (called inductive heating), as all current does. Yet, simulating these two coupled physics together can be difficult to do as they are intrinsically based on different time scales. COMSOL Multiphysics is able to cleverly simulate them through combining the frequency domain modeling of the magnetic field with a stationary simulation of the […]

Lightning-Proof Wind Turbines

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 […]

Simulation-Based Design of New Implantable Hearing Aids

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 […]

Coal: The Energy of Right Now

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 […]

Simulating Permanent Magnet Generators

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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