Video Lecture Series: Modeling Electromagnetic Coils in COMSOL®

July 16, 2020

Looking for a quick, guided introduction to electromagnetic coil modeling with the COMSOL Multiphysics® software and the AC/DC Module? We put together a series of video lectures that walk you through the modeling of electromagnetic coils, designed to show the key aspects of building such models. Let’s quickly review what’s in these videos and how to use the series to your best advantage!

Getting Started with Modeling Electromagnetic Coils

The simplest electromagnetic coil is a single turn of current-carrying wire, as you’ll see in almost any introduction to the topic. It’s often a reasonable engineering simplification to assume that the coil can be treated as a closed loop, meaning that it is axisymmetric, or invariant around the centerline.

A 2D axisymmetric model of a simple, one-turn coil.
A simple one-turn coil can also be modeled using a 2D axisymmetric assumption. 

It is with this assumption that our coil modeling lecture series begins. The first session contains five videos in which we’ll work in the 2D axisymmetric space.

Session 1 Videos

Once completing the videos in this introductory session, you will have seen the foundations for 2D axisymmetric coil modeling techniques.

Electromagnetic Heating in Coils

One of the common uses of COMSOL Multiphysics with the AC/DC Module and Heat Transfer Module is for modeling inductive heating, the process by which a coil is used to heat up a workpiece over time. In this second lecture session, we address this topic in depth.

A model of a workpiece undergoing inductive heating.
Workpiece being inductively heated over time, with nonlinear material properties. 

Session 2 Videos

Once completing this lecture session, you should be confident in addressing most coil heating problems.

Modeling of Forces, Motion, Nonlinearities, and More

The third lecture session addresses another kind of multiphysics: the coupling of electromagnetic forces to the deformation and motion of parts, such as in solenoids.

A plot of the displacement in a solenoid actuator over time, with an inlay of the 3D model.
Displacement of a solenoid actuator over time. 

Session 3 Videos

Modeling of 3D Coils

The last session in the coil modeling lecture series addresses issues related to modeling 3D coils. Although most of the concepts of coil modeling can be learned solely on a 2D axisymmetric model, there are some unique issues that need to be addressed in 3D.

Simulation results for the current magnitude and magnetic field of a 3D coil model.
A 3D coil model showing current magnitude on the coil and the surrounding magnetic field. 

Session 4 Videos

Once you’ve gone through this last session of lectures, you’ll have the foundations to solve 3D coil models. We hope that these videos will educate and inspire you to build coil models in COMSOL Multiphysics and the AC/DC Module, and do to so faster and with confidence in your modeling!


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