Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
This Check It Out is about one of my favorite annual publications, COMSOL News. The 2013 edition recently came out, and it has a bunch of articles that developed out of the 2012 series of worldwide COMSOL user conferences.
A short jam on the conference because it’s important to know: The 2013 COMSOL Conference kicks off October 9 in Boston. I’ve attended this annual event quite a few times over the years, and it is well worth checking out. It has mini-courses, keynotes, demos, workshops, events, and the like, as you might expect. But the best part of it by far is the user presentation portion. There are literally hundreds of presentations. All these engineers, researchers, scientists, and even students from over all the world show you what they are doing and how they use COMSOL Multiphysics modeling and simulation to get there. It’s absolutely mind boggling what you guys are up to. A nerd’s paradise, let me put it that way.
But, let’s face it, not everyone’s boss is going to spring the bucks so that you can go to Boston this fall. This is what makes COMSOL News so valuable. It provides you access to the top user presentations from last year’s conference, so I guess you can call it vicarious conferencing. And your copy is complimentary.
In this 48-page edition, that means you get 15 articles plus a guest comment from a senior research staff member with Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Neutron Science Directorate in the Research Reactors Division. Each article is technical but readable, so you do not have to be versed in, say, how to model inertial focusing in straight and curved microfluidic channels to get a lot out this publication.
Topics range from modeling the electrochemistry of blood glucose test strips to silent air cooling for thermal management and from sonar dome vibration analysis to Li-ion battery simulation. Three articles in particular stand out.
The first is about how a team of researchers at ABB used multiphysics simulation to develop a new smart-gird ready vacuum reactance load tap changer for the power industry. It touches on developing a 500-part PTC Creo Parametric model, bidirectional file transfers with COMSOL, generating meshes, applying loads, and verifying simulations with real-world data. The picture of this device, which is expected to perform 1 million operations over the course of it 30-plus year lifespan, on the opening page is something you have to see.
Switches, LEDs, electric toothbrushes, and smartphones and heat, wireless sensors, and electromagnetics all come together in the second article. Specifically, the article discusses how COMSOL Multiphysics simulations of thermal, electromagnetics, and capacitive sensor performance has become an “indispensible” product development tool for engineers at KOSTAL, a leading supplier of switching modules used in automobiles.
The third article cooks. Miele, the developer of domestic appliances and commercial machines, set out to create a safe, energy-efficient induction stove. Now, you may think that a stove is but a stove. But induction stoves operate totally differently than electric or gas stoves. Basically, they heat what’s inside a pot rather than heating the stove to heat the pot to heat the stuff inside the pot. Simulations with COMSOL Multiphysics enabled researchers to extract data that you could never get from experimentation.
One of the reasons I enjoy COMSOL News is that I end up learning more about things that had never tripped my curiosity meter before like induction stove design considerations. And learning about how smart people are using multiphysics simulation and modeling to bring the future one step closer to today is what’s going on in the 2013 edition. COMSOL News is available now as a downloadable PDF or as an online an interactive document from the link over there. It’s too good to pass by.
Thanks, Pal. – Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering