CFD Simulations of new Generation Frequency Converters

At Danfoss, the next generation of frequency converters is almost ready. In the design phase, a 3D model simulation of the new converter provided crucial test results. Soon, Danfoss will introduce the market to a brand-new frequency converter, a device used to control the speed of an electric motor. Developing a completely new frequency converter is not something Danfoss undertakes often. In the design phase, simulations had to be performed on 3D models, and the results formed the basis for the development of the inverters. Needing resources to perform the simulations, Danfoss contacted DIS.

CFD simulations provide clarity


Electronics cannot withstand high temperatures, so it is essential to ensure that installed electronics do not overheat. To save time and money, DIS conducted a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulation of the inverter during the design phase, simulating how fluids such as water and air behave in the chosen geometry. To solve the task and make the devices as compact as possible, the geometry was simplified in a simulation model. A 3D model of the entire device, including the fan, heat sink, and electronics, was simulated, and various effects were placed in different locations.


Because of the CFD simulations, it was possible to observe the air flow through the frequency converter and understand how it cooled the electronics. Additionally, it was possible to pinpoint problem areas where the temperature rose significantly due to minimal or no air exchange. Based on the results from the simulations and comparing them to results from tests carried out on prototype inverters, DIS also provided solution proposals for the design. The new initiatives subsequently proved to yield a 37 percent improvement in cooling as a result of the simulations.


A simulation model allows us to be more flexible in our work and test our ideas so that we can avoid having to build too many prototypes. This saves us a lot of time. When you have a good simulation model, you can relatively quickly make changes in the virtual world and test whether the change solves the problem or creates new challenges. The simulation results and solution proposals we have received from DIS have given us very important knowledge and we are now in the process of testing the presented solution proposals, says Claus E. Jørgensen, Lead Mechanical Engineer at Danfoss.

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