Multidisciplinary Software Integration - Tools for Power Electronics
Since the mid-1990s it has become apparent that further advancements in power electronics are severely limited by the lack of adequate multidisciplinary analysis and design tools. CPES initiated a pioneering effort to improve the computer aided design (CAD) practice in power electronics through integration of mechanical and electrical CAD tools. The research has been focused on automated model reduction techniques, and on design software integration through model and analysis data exchange between commercially available tools. These ideas were initially shared with CPES Industry Consortium in the Workshop on Integration of Software Tools for Power Electronics Design in 2000, and the first results describing the new tool-integration process and its use for power electronics module design were presented in 2001 and 2002. This novel concept has since been incorporated and furthered by several software companies, most prominently by the CPES long-term industry partner, Ansoft Corp., Pittsburgh, PA. In 2003, Ansoft introduced the most comprehensive set of integrated software tools for power electronics design, connecting Maxwell for electromagnetic and electromechanical analysis, with ePhysics for thermal and mechanical stress analysis, and Simplorer for circuit-based time and frequency domain analysis. The ability to integrate electro-magnetic, electromechanical, thermal, structural mechanical, and circuit analyses and simulations within a unified working environment, will greatly enhance power electronics research and development, and provides an opportunity for a drastic reduction of product design cycles.