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It is imperative for electrical power engineers to ensure that high-power conductors in switchgears, switchboards, and panelboards can withstand large short-circuit transient currents, high temperature rises, and strong magnetic forces developed under the short-circuit conditions. Ozen Engineering can simulate the short-circuit condition on these structures through a coupled-physics solution which provides the following results:

  • Electromagnetic force distribution over the conductors,
  • Thermal expansion, internal heat generation and transfer
  • Structural deformation, stress, and strain.

To begin the analysis, we create a model of your structure in Ansys Maxwell, which is an industry-standard simulation tool for low-frequency electromagnetics. We use the magnetic transient solver to obtain the EM force distribution produced by the short circuit excitation. The process starts with importing model geometry using your CAD file or by creating the model geometry inside Maxwell. Material properties are assigned to the objects in the model. Ansys tools include an industry-based material database for material assignments. Temperature dependence can be enabled to allow the use of expressions or datasets to modify material properties based on operation temperature. The short-circuit current excitation used in the multi-physics model can be obtained from industry-based short circuit analysis tools such as SKM, Easy Power, etc. Alternatively, the short-circuit current used can be represented with a user-created dataset or expression. Next, mesh operations are applied and solver settings are configured. We enable transient force coupling to transfer the EM force data to Ansys Mechanical to perform the structural analysis.  


Example short-circuit phase current waveform


Example volumetric force distribution over a three-phase bus bar under short-circuit conditions.


We use Ansys Mechanical to apply the EM force distribution to perform structural analysis and determine the structural response. The results can include quantities such as object deformation, stress, and strain. Results for each time step are directly mapped into the Mechanical analysis, and the mesh used in Maxwell is also mapped onto the Mechanical model. If needed, the magnitude of the forces can be scaled or offset. Boundary conditions are applied to points in the model that constrain the degrees of freedom.


Example of deformation results.


Example of stress results.



Ozen Engineering is a leading provider of Ansys solutions, catering to a diverse range of industries with a specialization in electronics, semiconductor, biomedical, healthcare, aerospace and automotive applications. Our team delivers personalized solutions to optimize product design and performance by seamlessly integrating Ansys simulation into the product development process. As an elite channel partner of Ansys, we provide best-in-class software tools, consulting, training, mentoring, and technical support.

Contact us to learn about our simulation capability and request a demonstration for us to show you how we can help you with your engineering projects. Ozen Engineering Inc is an Ansys Elite Channel Partner, and we provide training to use Ansys tools, offer consulting services, and sell Ansys software packages.

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Post by David A. Giglio, PhD, PE
January 19, 2024