© Photo | Delta IDL

“Simu­la­tion allows a one-to-one depic­tion”

Prob­lems with heat in your elec­tronic systems? Ask André Runge – he knows how to simu­late prop­erly

Fans are needed wher­ever heat has to be dissi­pated. In close collab­o­ra­tion with Delta IDL, ebm-papst make sure that they are opti­mally employed. The engi­neering specialist based at Greif­swald in North Germany is a specialist in simu­lating heat and air flow. since 2002, the experts have offered heat dissi­pa­tion concepts and construc­tions for large and small customers, as well as its own self-devel­oped prod­ucts. What form the collab­o­ra­tion takes, and what chances and risks are inherent in heat and flow simu­la­tion, are explained by Delta IDL founder and managing director André Runge.

Can the bene­fits of simu­la­tion be expressed in figures?
No. That would be diffi­cult. The key advan­tage compared to measuring is that the cause and effect can be seen. For example, just because the acoustics and temper­a­ture are right when measuring, it does not neces­sarily mean that the optimum status has been achieved. Simu­la­tion allows a one-to-one depic­tion that shows the exact flow char­ac­ter­is­tics. In some cases, you can see that a piece of metal plate is all that is needed to screen off or redi­rect the flow – and the customer’s whole problem is resolved. But the differ­ence is hard to express in figures unless you are conducting measure­ments and simu­la­tion in parallel. It all becomes clearer if you conduct virtual tests on different versions of a product, in other words once the simu­la­tion model has been defined. You can then enjoy an impres­sive benefit in terms of time.

Where are the limits of simu­la­tion?
We are able to offer such good simu­la­tion because we have the expe­ri­ence and because besides our own measure­ments, we employ measuring reports from the customer to verify our simu­la­tions. You cannot expect satis­fac­tory results without expe­ri­ence in simu­la­tion tools. But you will always encounter appli­ca­tions in which prac­tical exper­i­men­ta­tion is better than theo­ret­ical study, in which we also use measure­ments to support the simu­la­tion. This is done in partic­ular when there are too many external factors that you cannot influ­ence your­self or which you cannot precisely define.

So the major source of error in simu­la­tion is human?
Human and trust in the data used. The most impor­tant thing is commu­ni­ca­tion. We often find that the “language” used within one project differs from one industry to the next. Some­times it even differs within a single industry, tech­ni­cally speaking. We work with check­lists, for example, to prevent any misun­der­standing.

What precise form does the collab­o­ra­tion with ebm-papst take?
Starting with the concepts, we try to iden­tify the appro­priate fan. If we cannot find anything off the shelf, if we need measuring results, char­ac­ter­is­tics curves under partic­ular pres­sure condi­tions or samples, we place a direct enquiry. ebm-papst researches quickly and without fuss. Together, we then define the optimum solu­tion for the customer, enabling him to reduce, for example speed, and thus cost, energy and noise. It is a very close collab­o­ra­tion.

What moved you to use the fans your­self?
For our own prod­ucts, we quickly decided to take this route because of some­thing we have learned from the expe­ri­ence of our customers: They some­times selected cheaper fans from the Far East, for reasons of cost. These rarely satisfy expec­ta­tions with respect to noise, air perfor­mance or warranty. so at the end of the day they are not really cheaper at all. At ebm-papst we get the best prod­ucts avail­able on the market.


This 3D simu­la­tion of an elec­tronic unit shows flow char­ac­ter­is­tics

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