Thermodynamic simulations

© Fraunhofer IPM
Simulation of physical systems using Simscape™: System simulation model of a caloric heat pump to analyze the thermodynamic behavior of caloric materials in a two-phase fluid. Essential system components are combined in subsystems (evaporator, condenser, caloric segment, valves, global throttle)

Novel cooling and heating systems and special heat pipes for efficient cooling are among Fraunhofer IPM’s research priorities. Understanding thermodynamic cycles and heat and mass transfer is essential for the optimization of these systems.

For caloric cooling systems, for example, we rely on a special system concept in which caloric materials are integrated into a heat pipe to transfer thermal energy quickly and efficiently. System simulations based on Matlab-Simulink allow us to gain a deeper understanding of the processes in such a system. These simulations include, among other things, the thermodynamic description of caloric materials using phenomenological models as well as the experimentally verified behavior of essential components such as valves in the two-phase fluid.

Important questions with regard to the modelling include the following:

  • Thermodynamic behavior of caloric materials in two-phase fluid
  • Identification of performance- and efficiency-limiting factors in the system
  • System behavior in partial and full load operation
  • Examination of advanced system concepts to increase performance and efficiency, including heat regeneration, intercooling, etc.
  • Comparison of system functionality with classic compressor systems

We use the expertise and experience of our scientists to optimally design and experimentally validate our own components, demonstrators or prototypes, but we also offer them to our customers as a direct service.

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.

HochPerForm project

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