Thermal simulations for materials

© Fraunhofer IPM
Finite elements model of an electrocaloric multilayer component (COMSOL Multiphysics®) for thermal component optimization

Fraunhofer IPM has many years of experience regarding the use of thermoelectric and caloric materials in thermal energy converters, be it for the conversion of waste heat into electricity or for efficient cooling. The thermal integration of these functional materials is essential for the performance and durability of systems. An optimized thermal connection ensures maximum performance and service life of the respective system. This optimization requires thermal simulations such as:

  • A phenomenological description of the thermodynamic processes in caloric materials
  • Examination of thermally induced mechanical stress states in electrocaloric or elastocaloric components
  • Geometric optimization of thermoelectric modules for load point adaptation

In thermal modelling, we cover a wide range of topics and aspects:

  • Calculation of the efficiency of thermoelectric modules and systems
  • Thermal coupling of thermoelectric modules or caloric components to specific ambient conditions
  • Calculation of optimized component geometries
  • Influence of material parameters on the performance of modules and systems
  • Determination of thermal gradients and resulting mechanical stresses in caloric components

Further information


Lighthouse project ElKaWe

Electrocaloric heat pumps

Six Fraunhofer Institutes are working on the development of efficient electrocaloric heat pumps as an alternative to compressor technology.

MagMed project

In the MagMed project, we are working together with industrial partners to create efficient, refrigerant-free freezers for medical technology using magnetocaloric technology.


Elasto-Cool project

In the Elasto-Cool project, highly efficient heat pumps for heating and cooling are developed.

TE-BHKW project

Together with industrial partners we are working on increasing the efficiency of CHP units by use of thermoelectric power generation.

HochPerForm project

In the HochPerForm project, three Fraunhofer Institutes are collaborating on the performance of highly compact, fast actuators based on shape memory alloys.