Simulation of heat transfer in power cables using the finite element method (FEM)

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This is especially true when dealing with heating problems caused by electrical resistance.

Numerical simulation engineering has become widespread, helping engineers solve increasingly complex problems while shortening the prototyping and testing stages. It allows them to better anticipate, understand and optimize the operation, development and design of many products. Above all, it has the advantage of covering a wide range of application domains, across multiple dimensional scales.

With regard to the cable, we know that its maximum limit of use is determined by the heat resistance of its components. This aims to avoid any irreversible degradation which could endanger the system in which it is integrated. Nevertheless, setting up experimental procedures to better understand the ins and outs of such a problem is work that requires considerable material resources. The use of multiphysics simulation software such as COMSOL®, combined with application know-how, therefore brings real added value in solving this type of problem, since it makes it possible to better understand: the temperature behavior of multiple components (reinforcement, fillers, binder coating, insulating sheath, braided shielding, etc.); the effect of the environment on the cable (type of environment, outside temperature, fluid velocity, etc.); as well as the characteristics of heat dissipation within materials (heat transfer, fluid-solid exchange).

Process Capabilities

Indeed, using such a tool, it is possible to determine the two-dimensional distribution of the temperature inside a cable for a multitude of geometric configurations and load cases.

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