Virtual thermal prototyping on a web-based platform

February 16, 2017 // By Graham Prophet
Belgian startup Diabatix is offering access to efficient thermal design through its web-based solution platform. The solution as a service makes thermal know-how accessible to any engineer. It guides them in simulating and optimizing cooling systems better and faster, without CFD consultants and traditional software licenses.

The tool has the capability to autonomously suggest cooling system geometries in natural freeform shapes, pushing thermal performance to the limit. Critical thermal applications addressed with the Diabatix solution platform, with supercomputers under the skin, yield claimed cooling performance improvements up to 30%.

 

Liquid cooling is key in precision and industrial machines as well as battery cooling for electric cars. Unfortunately, developing proper cooling is easier said than done for the involved manufacturers. Despite capable CFD software tools, they struggle with trial-and-error engineering, physical prototyping, lengthy simulations and use of consultants.

 

The company says that its platform offered as a service is a user-friendly software environment that no longer requires engineers and designers to be thermal specialists. The Diabatix solution platform allows any engineer to design, simulate and optimise cooling systems starting from the functional thermal requirements.

 

Diabatix differentiates itself from commercial CFD and other thermal-related software tools, saying, “The latter typically cater thermal engineering projects on a limited number of processing cores... Diabatix enables thermal engineering on a much more detailed level, fully capturing the complex physics behind heat transfer in liquids, solids and airflows. Our web-based platform uses optimization methods in combination with CFD software OpenFOAM and other tools – with supercomputers crunching all the data. This design approach takes away the typical bottlenecks of trial-and-error engineering, and enables better-performing cooling designs faster.”

 

An agreement with the Flemish Supercomputer Centre (VSC) allows Diabatix to run parametrized thermal design studies on hundreds of processing cores. Following this approach, simulations are typically executed 50 times faster.

 

A simple cold plate with an S-shaped cooling channel. The high temperature variability reveals the huge potential for optimization.

 

Manufacturers are able to identify winning heat sink designs that take cooling engineering to the next level; Diabatix adds, “Quite unique is the capability of our platform to come up with cooling channel geometries in natural freeform shapes that