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Power Source

Power sources or heat sources can be used to simulate heat generation from a volume. Application examples include electronic equipment and HVAC systems, e.g., to model heat generated by chips on a circuit board.


SimScale currently supports power sources within three analysis types:

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

  • A CAD part (this only applies to conjugate analysis as convective analysis contains only the fluid volume)
  • A geometry primitive (cartesian box, sphere, cylinder).
  • A cell zone of any arbitrary shape.

Both watts \((W)\) and British thermal units \((Btu/s)\) are allowed to define power.


In the simulation tree, navigate to Advanced Concepts and add a Power source by clicking on the ‘+’ button (circled). Two types of power sources are supported:

settings panel for power sources
Figure 1: Accessing Power sources feature in the SimScale Workbench. The source can be a CAD part, a geometry primitive or a cell zone.

Absolute Power 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 choose the relevant volume region in the domain.

Specific Power Source

This type of source has to be used when the power density is known. This is simply total power per unit volume in \(m^3\) or \(in^3\). This quantity is often provided for batteries and fuel cells, for example.


If a power source is applied to multiple entities, each of them will generate the prescribed power value. For example, if a heat source with a value of 100 \(W\) is assigned to two entities, each will emit 100 \(W\).

each chip has a 1.5W heat load applied to it.
Figure 2: Applying 1.5 \(W\) heat loads to each of the 6 chips means the total power defined is 9 \(W\).


If you assign a negative value to a power source, it will extract heat from the system acting as a heat sink.

Last updated: October 20th, 2020

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part of: Advanced Concepts

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