Cloud-based simulation of multi-physics systems

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The goal of this Case Study has been to demonstrate the capability to simulate the electro-mechanical and thermal behavior of devices such as transformers, motors and electro-magnetic valves and injectors by coupling appropriate codes.

The benefits of a pay-per-use basis for computing resources and software licences for the end-user have been demonstrated. Other benefits include the capability to run bigger simulations than were previously possible.

There is a general trend in the CAE market towards multi-physics simulation capabilities on very different levels. There is a fast growing number of design engineers who know that they should enhance their currently used simulation environment by such multiphysics features and tools. However, due to the daily workload the available time for running an evaluation of new methods and software solutions is very limited. Those interested engineers will only start software evaluations if they can be sure to get a valuable feedback from their tests after a very short time (i.e. few days).

A very basic but practically important hurdle for software tests often are the initial preparation steps - in the area of multiphysics simulation a specific complication is the co-simulation (coupling) of codes provided from different sw-vendors:

 

  • software ordering,
  • software download and installation,
  • licensing,
  • software configuration,
  • integration in the user environments,
  • availability of basic tutorials,
  • obtaining help and support from multiple ISVs.

Although these initial preparation steps are just ‘stupid IT issues' -- for a CAE engineer they often may lead to a termination of the evaluation if the in-house IT arena is not well prepared for such software tests. The idea of this experiment ‘Fortissimo - Multiphysics Simulation in the Cloud' therefore is to provide multiphysics evaluation capabilities and related support services as a remote cloud service from HPC-centres.

Such services will provide access to various simulation codes, an open code-coupling environment [MpCCI], a valuable and growing number of tutorials, and enough CPU resources to run even bigger jobs. Software licenses can be provided from the HPC centre (HPC centre has a contract with ISV which allows the use of software by third parties) or by the end-users (HPC centres re-routes its license request to external license server CPU). Experts for the software tools will also be available for support.

The application focus in this experiment is on coupled electro-thermal calculations for transformers, electrical motors, switching devices, etc.