A Swiss knife and a light backpack, that’s how I travel quickly

By Gaetan Damblanc and Stefan Holst

Having access to the properties of the right materials which are reliable and referenced is not always easy in e-motor cooling design simulations. In addition, the deployment of these data in the simulation inputs has to be quick if a wide range of materials option is to be investigated. Simcenter STAR-CCM+ 2206 integrates a large materials database for Electromagnetics simulations from Simcenter MAGNET. It provides an extensive list of materials data directly accessible from Simcenter STAR-CCM+ for quick ease of use.

Simcenter STAR-CCM+ 2206 also offers a new visualization technique to relieve users from having to model a full 3D machine saving computational cost. Now, you can simulate only a 2D portion of the e-motor and compute or display engineering values on the full 3D domain. This offers a gain in computational time while ensuring a high level of results interpretation.

Hello again everyone!

Remember my portable discman from the 90’s? In the same vein of portability, I wanted to share with you how I travel lightly and quickly while keeping the essentials wherever I go and for most business situations.

I never go anywhere without my Swiss knife multi-port USB adaptor, allowing me to rapidly get connected to a variety of devices.

Swiss knife multi-port USB adaptor

I also learned how a small hand baggage suitcase well organized can contain all that is needed for 10 days of travel, including a suit!

small hand baggage suitcase well organised

It’s the same with e-motor cooling design simulations. Wherever I go, I always pack up my Simcenter STAR-CCM+ latest version. The upcoming 2206 one for the end of the month is a must-have.

Model the complexity of e-motor

Simcenter STAR-CCM+ 2206 contains exciting new features to support my increasing usage of simulations for e-motor design focused on cooling innovations.

First, is the Swiss knife, in the form of an integrated Electromagnetic materials database. This database is the result of a couple decades of data collection and data refinement from my Simcenter MAGNET colleagues.

Simcenter STAR-CCM+ now shares the materials database with Simcenter Motorsolve, Simcenter SPEED, and Simcenter MAGNET to stay integrated into one ecosystem. This increases the consistency and numerical continuity along the design process cycle. And as you’ve read in my previous blog, you can import a design from Simcenter SPEED and Simcenter Motorsolve directly into Simcenter STAR-CCM+. Now you can even keep the exact same materials definitions.

The database integration also adds other direct benefits to the users:

  • an accelerated setup time, thanks to the data pulled from the database
  • the assurance behind the quality and completeness of the data.

The database is organized by material types, such as conductors, magnets, electrical steels, and insulator materials. Users get access to extensive material properties including:

  • Electrical and Thermal Conductivities
  • Resistivity
  • B-H tables
  • Relative Permeability
  • Temperature-dependent Coercivity
  • Relative Permittivity
  • Specific Heat Capacity
  • Density

Hence, users are ready to model the complexity and face most e-motor-related simulation problems.

Go faster while ensuring high fidelity

Now coming back to the light and quick aspects.

When we’re running a simulation, we want to go faster while ensuring we keep the highest fidelity possible. Simcenter STAR-CCM+ 2206 is your ally for this. Running a full 3D e-motor electromagnetics problem could be quite onerous, but it’s at times necessary.

  • However, if it is not, why not try to decrease your solution domain to the minimum, such as a sector model of the e-motor?
  • Do you really need a 3D sector?

A 2D model will suffice in most situations. Of course, it’s not new that Simcenter STAR-CCM+ can handle 2D sector model Electromagnetics simulations. However, what is new is the ability to leverage a smart new visualization feature that allows the user to build the full 3D e-motor representation from a simple 2D sector model.

This visualization technique combines “idealization” of periodicity, to rebuild the full 360 Degrees machine with the “idealization” of extrusion to generate the 3D geometry.

“Idealization” is a Simcenter STAR-CCM+ technique to retrieve engineering values on a complete domain from the simulation results of a portion of that domain.

With this new ability to combine “idealizations”, results from a 2D sector model can be reviewed on a 3D full machine in a few simple clicks. It really improves the overall e-motor performance understanding as well as the results interpretations, while running as light and quick as a 2D model.

This capability is extremely powerful for Magneto-Thermal coupled simulations, where a coupling of the electromagnetic simulation with the thermal model is required. This coupling helps to capture the full behavior of the e-motor electromagnetic performance in 2D and its associated cooling system in 3D (air-cooled, water jacket, or direct oil cooling).

An aircraft e-motor case

Let’s see now how this is presented when applied to one of our examples prepared here by my colleague Stefan Holst.

Stefan recently was working on an aircraft e-motor case, set up with the e-machine performance workflow, as presented below. However, this case was representing the full 3D machine, making him lose computational performance efficiency for the true need of this simulation.

With Simcenter STAR-CCM+ 2206, Stefan is now able to run only a 2D sector model and rebuild as needed the full 3D e-motor. This new functionality helps him to go faster by gaining in simulation time, while keeping the right level of fidelity for the analysis he was looking for.

Also, as the process involved the import of a design from Simcenter SPEED into Simcenter STAR-CCM+, he was able to pull in the exact same materials data. He didn’t have to go through any check or value conversions: the database handles this for him! He has now the assurance that his model is set in the same manner as the one from the electrical engineer who worked in Simcenter SPEED initially to prepare the e-motor design.

With this, you are all packed with your Swiss knife and condensed hand luggage for your next e-motor simulation adventures.

Additional Simcenter STAR-CCM+ 2206 top features will be revealed soon, keep watching!
In the meantime, discover the two first new Simcenter STAR-CCM+ 2206 features already released:

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at