Finite element analysis (FEA) is a computerized method for predicting how a product reacts to real-world forces, energies, vibration, heat, fluid flow, and other physical effects.
Finite element analysis shows how something will perform when stressed, whether it will break, wear out, or work the way it was designed BEFORE it is created, installed or built in the ‘real’ world.
It is called analysis, but in the product development process, it is used to predict what is going to happen when the product is used.
FEA works by breaking down a real object into a large number (thousands to hundreds of thousands) of finite elements, such as little cubes, or geometric shapes (known as meshing). Mathematical equations help predict the behaviour of each element. A computer then adds up all the individual behaviours to predict the behaviour of the actual overall object.
Finite element analysis helps predict the behaviour of products affected by many physical effects, including:
- Mechanical stress
- Electro magnetics
- Mechanical vibration
- Heat transfer
- Fluid flow
- Chemical iterations
Greymatters Global Perspective
Finite Element Analysis from our perspective; as an Electrical Earthing Design Consultancy Firm is in the Power System, Electrical Earthing, and Electromagnetic Fields.
Why is Finite Element Analysis important in Electrical Earthing Design?
Unlike oil, water or other visible sources from failed structures, electrical earth leakages are invisible. But can be fatally dangerous.
As Electrical Earthing Design Consultants we need to know the behaviour of any earth leakage i.e. the uncontrolled release of electrical energy, from failed or damaged structures.
We need tools that allow us to model the potential energy field, converting the invisible (electrical energy) into real world forces. FEA does this through finite element mathematical analysis.
For the mathematical calculation we use the computer-modelling software called CDEGS. Which is an acronym of (Current Distribution, Electromagnetic Fields, Grounding and Soil Structure Analysis), which has many engineering modules in its suite, each dedicated to a specific task.
Finite Element Analysis & CDEGS
CDEGS software, an Integrated Software Package used for testing for Power System, Electrical Earthing/Grounding, Electromagnetic Fields and Electromagnetic Interference.
CDEGS software is a powerful set of integrated engineering software tools designed to accurately analyse problems involving electrical earthing, electromagnetic fields, electromagnetic interference including AC/DC interference mitigation studies and various aspects of cathodic protection and anode bed analysis with a global perspective, starting literally from the ground up.
Crucially, not all CDEGS versions are the same or perform in the same way – there’s more detail in previous blog
CDEGS HIFREQ version only (top-end module) computes conductor currents and electromagnetic fields generated by an arbitrary network of energized conductors anywhere above or below ground for normal, fault, lightning and transient conditions.
CDEGS models simple and multi-component conductors, including bare, coated pipes and pipe-enclosed cable systems buried in complex soil structures.
CDEGS and its sub packages, coupled with toll-free support from the world’s leading R&D design team in these specialties, provide you with an array of cost-effective solutions for problems ranging from simple grounding grid designs to the behaviour of complex networks of aboveground and buried conductors energised by lightning or other transients. By providing you with AutoCAD and other software supporting DXF integration, CDEGS can work seamlessly with your own Structural design files.
Whether you are confronted with a complex Earthing design, EMF studies, electromagnetic compatibility and interference problems or a lightning/surge study, you can rely on GreyMatters accredited use of accurate CDEGS, powerful and integrated software components for a realistic, optimized solution.
Extensive scientific validation of the software using field tests and comparisons with analytical or published research results, have been conducted for over thirty years. The validation, conducted by CDEGS developers “SES” as well as other independent researchers, is documented in hundreds of technical papers published in the most reputed international journals.
The CDEGS software package
SES started the development of the CDEGS software package in 1972, with the creation of the MALT engineering module (a basic circuit theory based app). Since that time, CDEGS has undergone steady growth and refinement. It is composed of eight engineering modules RESAP, MALT, MALZ, TRALIN, SPLITS, HIFREQ, FCDIST, and FFTSES.
Briefly stated, CDEGS capabilities are:
Soil resistivity analysis and soil structure interpretation.
- Earthing analysis: arbitrary soil structures any frequency & transients.
- Line constants for overhead and buried conductors or complex pipe-enclosed cable arrangements.
- Load, fault & transient current distribution (in neutrals, shields, etc.).
- Cathodic protection analysis of complex buried networks.
- Inductive, conductive and capacitive interference in shared corridors.
- Frequency and time domain analysis of electromagnetic fields generated by arbitrarily energized conductor networks (substations, transmission & distribution lines, industrial plants, etc.).
Top 1% – Knowing that proof of competence is a key pre-requisite for the project supply chain, GreyMatters is in the top 1% of Earthing consultancies in Europe to formally be FULLY CDEGS accredited/certified, which means there are no nasty surprises as you’re in safe hands! With over 20+years of sector experience – there isn’t a scenario we haven’t already come across and solved.