Heat Sources

Heat sources can be used to simulate heat generation from a volume. For instance, it is useful when dealing with electronic equipment and HVAC systems, to model heat generated by chips on a circuit board, or by car engines in a garage.


SimScale currently supports heat sources within two analysis types:

  1. Convective heat transfer
  2. Conjugate heat transfer

In both cases, the heat source has to be assigned to a volume which can be one of the following:

  • A CAD part (this only applies to Conjugate Heat Transfer as Convective Heat Transfer contains only the fluid volume)
  • A geometry primitive (cartesian box, sphere, cylinder).
  • A cell zone, which can be created during the hex-dominant parametric meshing operation (see the Surface Refinement section of Mesh settings for further details on creating a cell zone). The advantage of this option, with respect to the geometry primitive, is that an arbitrary shape can be set as heat source.

Creation of a Heat Source

In the simulation tree, navigate to “Advanced Concepts” and add a Heat Source. Two types of heat sources are supported:

Heat Source

This type of source has to be used when the total power emitted by the heating element is known. The user is required to provide this value and to choose the relevant region of the domain.

Volumetric Heat Source

This type of source has to be used when the power density is known. This is simply total power per unit volume. This quantity is often provided for batteries and fuel cells, for example.


If single heat sources are applied to multiple entities, each of them produces the prescribed power value. For example, a heat source with a value of 100W is assigned to two entities, each will emit 100W.

Each chip has a 1.5W heat load applied to it.
Applying 1.5W heat loads to each of the 6 chips


When assigning a heat source, one can either select the solid in the viewer (switching to the volume selection mode), or use the check box on the top-right corner of the screen.


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