Today, simulations of thermal behavior and heat transfer are a key element in the product development of temperature-sensitive components, for example in electronics. They are the prerequisite for efficient heat management in components with high power densities. Fraunhofer IPM has many years of experience in the simulation of physical processes, especially in the field of thermal simulations. The main focus is on simulations of coupled phenomena, such as heat, electricity and mass transport in process engineering (e.g. Peltier cooling) or in sensor technology (e.g. 3-omega sensors). The simulations are based on purely analytical considerations. For this purpose we rely on tools like Matlab, MathCAD or Mathematica as well as COMSOL Multiphysics for finite element models.
Our current work focuses on heat transfer in connection with mass transfer for geothermal heat exchangers as well as heat management in microstructures and in complete electronic assemblies. Such simulations are based on actual geometric specifications that can be fed into the simulation tools via CAD interfaces. Various types of flows are simulated, ranging from mass flows via CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics), electrical or thermal flows, the impact of thermal effects on the mechanical properties of components or the interaction of these effects with one another.
Our expertise is complemented by experience in the simulation of optical systems using ray tracing and wave optics analysis techniques. For instance, we are able to simulate flow and heat transfer for liquids or gases in a completely embedded manner. This allows us to improve even complex systems or to adapt them for a wider range of applications.