MpCCI ArcLib

Electric Arc running in a simple Busbar System
© Fraunhofer SCAI
Electric Arc running in a simple Busbar System


Electric arcs occur in various industrial applications from melting, welding, and lighting to switching devices. The discharge phenomenon is governed by the magneto-hydrodynamic equations, considering the Lorentz forces, Ohmic heating and radiation transport. The resulting arc is coupled with the dynamics of the compressible flow of the gas.

The MpCCI CouplingEnvironment provides a multiphysics framework solution to subdivide the complex problem in smaller problems. Each physical problem can be solved by a separate solver. Beside the highly coupled physics aspect, the challenge still remains in the plasma modelling. The physical properties of the plasma are one of the keys in modelling the electric arc behavior.

The MpCCI ArcLib has been developed in order to provide the capability to model the phenomenon of electric arc. This is provided as an add-on MpCCI CouplingEnvironment for the electric arc simulation based on ANSYS Emag and ANSYS Fluent solvers. A best practice co-simulation algorithm is included in the package. The application framework supports different strategies to model the contact motion, e.g. by remeshing arcing area during the calculation, or using a set of predefined meshes to guarantee a minimum cell quality over the simulation.

Beside co-simulation enhancement, the tool includes the standard approximations for arc modelling used in industry:

  • Material properties computed in the LTE approximation
  • Enhancement of standard radiation model implemented in flow solver
  • Interaction of the arc with the electrodes (arc  roots)

Service Offer

  • Extension of material database
  • Implementation of new arc model
  • Customization of the framework for dedicated application

The MpCCI ArcLib has been developed in the context of a customer project. During that project given relay configurations need to be modelled and simulation results to be validated against experimental results.

A beta version of the MpCCI ArcLib will be available soon.