Simcenter STAR-CCM+ Electrothermal Simulation of Busbars using Simcenter STAR-CCM+

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This example analyzes the current flowing through the inverter bus bar. Joule heat generation is analyzed along with temperature distributions under natural convection conditions.


In this example, current flowing though the inverter bus bar is analyzed. The current conducted in the busbar produces heat due to the resistive losses, a phenomenon referred to as Joule heating. The conductor is engulfed by an air volume which acts as sink for the emitted ohmic heat. 

Performing simulations on busbars is a comprehensive approach to design, analyze, and optimize their performance within electrical systems. It enables engineers to make informed decisions, enhance reliability, and ensure the safety and efficiency of the overall electrical infrastructure.
Geometry : 

Boundary Conditions : 
In this model, all boundaries are walls with different boundary conditions.
– Iout1-6
• Model the current exit and set the current boundary conditions.
• - 20 A

– Vin1,2
• This is the entry point for the current but specify the potential and determine the reference potential.
• 0 V
Meshing : 

Solid  : Busbar                                      Air
- Three Dimensional                           - Three Dimensional
- Steady                                              - Steady 
- Solid                                                 - Gas 
- Electromagnetism                             - Segregated flow
- Electrodynamic Potential                  - Constant Density
- Segregated Solid Energy                 -  Laminar 
- Constant Density                              - Gravity
- Ohmic Heating                                  - Boussinesq Model
                                                            - Segregated Fluid Temperature

Material Properties :
Density (kg/m^3)8940
Electrical Conductivity (S/m)5.96E7
Thermal Conductivity (W/m-K)398
Specific Heat (J/kg-K)386.0
Density (kg/m^3)1.18415
Dynamic Viscosity (Pa-s)1.85508E-5
Thermal Conductivity (W/m-K)0.0260305
Specific Heat (J/kg-K)1003.62
Thermal Expansion Coefficient (/K)0.00333

Results : 
Temperature Distribution: The temperature rise of the busbar according to this analysis is about ~15 degrees, but the overall temperature rise is even more significant.
Electric Current Density Magnitude: Current density has a large value at corners where the cross-sectional area is small
Various plots : Residual plots, Current in, Max temperature in the busbars, Total hear source due to ohmic heating. 
A demo example of busbar applications setup using Simcenter STAR-CCM+

The example sim file attached is a demonstration and not an endorsement of a best practice. It is provided to showcase the use of simulation features in a given application. Open the file in a software version equal to or newer than the one specified in the Version Applicable field.

See also:
STAR-CCM+ Documentation sections:
Tutorial Guide  >| Electromagnetism  >| Ohmic Heating: Domestic Fuse
User Guide  >| Physics  Simulation >|  Electromagnetism  >| Modeling Ohmic Heating
Joule Heating and Thermoelectricity

KB Article ID# KB000126485_EN_US



Associated Components

Design Manager Electronics Cooling In-Cylinder (STAR-ICE) Job Manager Simcenter STAR-CCM+