Publications

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Nonlinear Programming Applied to Thermal and Fluid Design Optimization

Historically, thermal/fluid modeling began as a means of validating and sometimes correcting passively cooled designs that had been proposed by nonspecialists in heat transfer and fluid flow. As dissipation fluxes have risen, and as air cooling reaches the limits of its usefulness, involvement of thermal engineers is required earlier in the design process. Thermal engineers are now commonly responsible for sizing and selecting active cooling components such as fans and heat sinks, and increasingly single and two-phase coolant loops.

Meanwhile, heat transfer and fluid flow design analysis software has matured, growing both in ease of use and in phenomenological modeling prowess. Unfortunately, most software retains a focus on point-design simulations and needs to do a better job of helping thermal engineers not only evaluate designs, but also investigate alternatives and even automate the search for optimal designs.

This paper shows how readily available nonlinear programming (NLP) techniques can be successfully applied to automating design synthesis activities, allowing the thermal engineer to approach the problem from a higher level of automation. This paper briefly introduces NLP concepts, and then demonstrates their application both to a simplified fin (extended surface) as well as a more realistic case: a finned heat sink.

Publication: Optimizing.pdf

Source: ITherm

Author: Brent A. Cullimore

Year: 2002

Content Tags: design optimization, parametric, design synthesis, design variables, variables, sink temperature

Parametric Thermal Analysis and Optimization Using Thermal Desktop

Thermal analysis is typically performed using a point design approach, where a single model is analyzed one analysis case at a time. Changes to the system design are analyzed by updating the thermal radiation and conduction models by hand, which can become a bottleneck when attempting to adopt a concurrent engineering approach. This paper presents the parametric modeling features that have been added to Thermal DesktopTM to support concurrent engineering. The thermal model may now be characterized by a set of design variables that are easily modified to reflect system level design changes. Geometric features, optical and material properties, and orbital elements may all be specified using user-defined variables and expressions. Furthermore, these variables may be automatically modified by Thermal Desktop’s optimization capabilities in order to satisfy user-defined design goals, or for correlating thermal models to test data. By sharing the set of design variables among analysis models spanning multiple disciplines, further integrated analysis and design may be accomplished. The framework into which Thermal Desktop is embedded in order to support an integrated Thermal/Structural/Optical design, analysis, and optimization system is also presented.

Publication: 00ICES-266.pdf

Source: ICES

Author: Timothy D. Panczak, Brent A. Cullimore

Year: 2000

Content Tags: concurrent engineering, parametric, parameterize, register, registers, dynamic mode, dynamic SINDA, symbol manager, expression editor, expressions, design optimization, orbital heating, model correlation, solver, optical properties, heat pipes, symbol, variables, case set manager, properties, structural

Steady State and Transient Loop Heat Pipe Modeling

The NASA-standard thermohydraulic analyzer, SINDA/ FLUINT, has been used to model various aspects of loop heat pipe  (LHP) operation for more than 12 years. Indeed, this code has many features that were specifically designed for just such specialized tasks, and is unique in this respect. Furthermore, SINDA is commonly used at the vehicle (integration) level, has a large user base both inside and outside the aerospace industry, has several graphical user interfaces, preprocessors, postprocessors, has strong links to CAD and structural tools, and has built-in optimization, data correlation, parametric analysis, reliability estimation, and robust design tools.

Nonetheless, the LHP community tends to ignore these capabilities, yearning instead for “simpler” methods. However, simple methods cannot meet the challenging needs of LHP modeling such as transient start-up and noncondensible gas (NCG) effects, are often hardware-specific or proprietary, or cannot be used in a vehicle-level analysis.

There are many reasons for this hesitancy to use SINDA/ FLUINT as it was intended. First, hardware developers tend to be less versed in analytic methods than the user community they serve. Second, there are political hurdles, such as the fact that ESA contractors are required to use ESA sponsored software. Third, the state-of-the-art in LHPs is not so advanced that the analysts can be ignorant of the complex two-phase thermohydraulic and thermodynamic processes and phenomena involved, and unfortunately most thermal analysts are accustomed only to “dry” thermal control (radiation, conduction, etc.).

Fourth, the general-purpose and complete nature of SINDA/FLUINT tends to make it intimidating, especially in light of the third reason listed above. SINDA/FLUINT is not designed strictly for LHPs or even for LHP-like systems; it has been used for everything from nuclear reactor cooling to dynamic models of human hearts and tracheae. The user’s manuals and standard training classes†  rarely mention capillary phenomena because only a fraction of SINDA/FLUINT’s users are thus inclined. It is to address this fourth reason that this paper has been written, since the authors can do little to redress the first three problems.

This paper summarizes the available modeling capabilities applicable to various LHP design and simulation tasks. Knowledge of LHPs is assumed.

Publication: lhp.pdf

Source: ICES

Author: Brent Cullimore, Jane Baumann

Year: 2000

Content Tags: Loop Heat Pipe, LHP, noncondensible gas, condensers, evaporators, slip flow, phase suction, design optimization, reliability engineering, noncondensible gases, two-phase flow, two-phase, compensation chamber, network elements, nonequilibrium, wicks, capillary systems, liquid surface, interface, CAPPMP, iface, conduction

Automated Determination of Worst-case Design Scenarios

This paper describes readily available techniques for automating the search for worst-case (e.g., “hot case”, “cold case”) design scenarios using only modest computational resources. These methods not only streamline a repetitive yet crucial task, they usually produce better results.

The problems with prior approaches are summarized, then the improvements are demonstrated via a simplified example that is analyzed using various approaches. Finally, areas for further automation are outlined, including attacking the entire design problem at a higher-level.

Publication: WorstCase-ICES.pdf

Source: ICES

Author: B. Cullimore

Year: 2003

Content Tags: parametric, model correlation, design optimization, convergence

Nonlinear Programming Applied to Calibrating Thermal and Fluid Models to Test Data (Semi-Therm 2002)

Nonlinear Programming Applied to Calibrating Thermal and Fluid Models to Test Data (Semi-Therm 2002)

Publication: calibrating.pdf

Source: Semi-Therm

Author: Jane Baumann, Brent Cullimore

Year: 2002

Content Tags: model calibration, model correlation, condenser, condensers, validation, design optimization, parametric

Dealing with Uncertainties and Variations in Thermal Design

The major influence on the reliability of electronics is temperature, yet thermal/fluid modeling is plagued with uncertainties and unknowns. Nonetheless, if appropriate values of these unknown parameters are available for any specific electronics package, then its temperature response can be accurately predicted using modern thermal/fluid analysis tools.

Traditionally, uncertainties are dealt with by a combination of testing, safety factors or margins, and worst-case design scenarios. Analyses are performed iteratively in a repetitive “point design evaluation” mode. Computer-based design simulation tools have emphasized increasing detail and fidelity to physical phenomena, seemingly ignoring the fact that the inputs to these simulations are highly uncertain.

This paper describes both current and future methods of dealing with uncertainties in thermal engineering. It introduces advanced tools and alternative methodologies that can automate not only the quantification of reliability, but can also help synthesize designs on the basis of reliability. It advocates using rapid gains in computer speed not to increase the degree of detail in a model, but to help the engineer find a robust design by automating high-level design tasks.

Publication: IPACK2001-15516.pdf

Source: InterPack

Author: Brent A. Cullimore

Year: 2001

Content Tags: parameterize, parametric, contact conductance, design synthesis, Phenomena, robust design, design optimization, design variables, reliability engineering

Beyond Point Design Evaluation

Publication: NewOsummary.pdf

Source: ASME

Author: Brent A. Cullimore

Year: 2001

Content Tags: model calibration, CFD, parametric, design optimization, design synthesis, Phenomena

Optimization and Automated Data Correlation

Optimization and Automated Data Correlation in the NASA Standard Thermal/Fluid System Analyzer

SINDA/FLUINT (Ref 1-7) is the NASA-standard heat transfer and fluid flow analyzer for thermal control systems. Because of its general formulation, it is also used in other aerospace specialties such as environmental control (ECLSS) and liquid propulsion, and in terrestrial industries such as electronics packaging, refrigeration, power generation, and transportation industries. SINDA/FLUINT is used to design and simulate thermal/fluid systems that can be represented in networks corresponding to finite difference, finite element, and/or lumped parameter equations. In addition to conduction, convection, and radiation heat transfer, the program can model steady or unsteady single- and two-phase flow networks. CRTech's SinapsPlus® is a complete graphical user interface (preand postprocessor) and interactive model debugging environment for SINDA/FLUINT (Ref 8, 9). SinapsPlus also supports the C language in addition to the traditional choice of Fortran for concurrently executed user logic. This paper describes revolutionary advances in SINDA/FLUINT, the NASA-standard heat transfer and fluid flow analyzer, changing it from a traditional point-design simulator into a tool that can help shape preliminary designs, rapidly perform parametrics and sensitivity studies, and even correlate modeling uncertainties using available test data. Innovations include the incorporation of a complete spreadsheet-like module that allows users to centralize and automate model changes, even while thermal/fluid solutions are in progress. This feature reduces training time by eliminating many archaic options, and encourages the performance of parametrics and other what-if analyses that help engineers develop an intuitive understanding of their designs and how they are modeled. The more revolutionary enhancement, though, is the complete integration of a nonlinear programming module that enables users to perform formal design optimization tasks such as weight minimization or performance maximization. The user can select any number of design variables and may apply any number of arbitrarily complex constraints to the optimization. This capability also can be used to find the best fit to available test data, automating a laborious but important task: the correlation of modeling uncertainties such as optical properties, contact conductances, as-built insulation performance, natural convection coefficients, etc. Finally, this paper presents an overview of related developments that, coupled with the optimization capabilities, further enhance the power of the whole package.

Publication: sfpaper.pdf

Source: IECEC 1998

Author: Brent A. Cullimore

Year: 1998

Content Tags:

Optimization, Data Correlation, and Parametric Analysis Features in SINDA/FLUINT Version 4.0

This paper describes revolutionary advances in SINDA/FLUINT, the NASA-standard heat transfer and fluid flow analyzer, changing it from a traditional point-design simulator into a tool that can help shape preliminary designs, rapidly perform parametrics and sensitivity studies, and even correlate modeling uncertainties using available test data.

Innovations include the incorporation of a complete spreadsheet-like module that allows users to centralize and automate model changes, even while thermal/fluid solutions are in progress. This feature reduces training time by eliminating many archaic options, and encourages the performance of parametrics and other what-if analyses that help engineers develop an intuitive understanding of their designs and how they are modeled.

The more revolutionary enhancement, though, is the complete integration of a nonlinear programming module that enables users to perform formal design optimization tasks such as weight minimization or performance maximization. The user can select any number of design variables and may apply any number of arbitrarily complex constraints to the optimization. This capability also can be used to find the best fit to available test data, automating a laborious but important task: the correlation of modeling uncertainties such as optical properties, contact conductances, as-built insulation performance, natural convection coefficients, etc.

Finally, this paper presents an overview of related developments that, coupled with the optimization capabilities, further enhance the power of the whole package.

Publication: sf981574.pdf

Source: ICES 1998

Author: Brent A. Cullimore

Year: 1998

Content Tags: design optimization, model correlation, parameterize, parametric, two-phase flow, two-phase, optical properties, submodels, registers, expression editor, user logic, concurrent engineering, concurrent design, dynamic mode, dynamic SINDA, specific heat, solver, constraint, slip flow, Phenomena, capillary systems, mixtures, working fluids, nonequilibrium, vapor compression, uncertainty, uncertainty analysis

Optimization and Automated Data Correlation in the NASA Standard Thermal/Fluid System Analyzer

SINDA/FLUINT (Ref 1-7) is the NASA-standard heat transfer and fluid flow analyzer for thermal control systems. Because of its general formulation, it is also used in other aerospace specialties such as environmental control (ECLSS) and liquid propulsion, and in terrestrial industries such as electronics packaging, refrigeration, power generation, and transportation industries.

SINDA/FLUINT is used to design and simulate thermal/fluid systems that can be represented in networks corresponding to finite difference, finite element, and/or lumped parameter equations. In addition to conduction, convection, and radiation heat transfer, the program can model steady or unsteady single- and two-phase flow networks.

C&R’s SinapsPlus® is a complete graphical user interface (preand postprocessor) and interactive model debugging environment for SINDA/FLUINT (Ref 8, 9). SinapsPlus also supports the C language in addition to the traditional choice of Fortran for concurrently executed user logic.

This paper describes revolutionary advances in SINDA/FLUINT, the NASA-standard heat transfer and fluid flow analyzer, changing it from a traditional point-design simulator into a tool that can help shape preliminary designs, rapidly perform parametrics and sensitivity studies, and even correlate modeling uncertainties using available test data.

Innovations include the incorporation of a complete spreadsheet-like module that allows users to centralize and automate model changes, even while thermal/fluid solutions are in progress. This feature reduces training time by eliminating many archaic options, and encourages the performance of parametrics and other what-if analyses that help engineers develop an intuitive understanding of their designs and how they are modeled.

The more revolutionary enhancement, though, is the complete integration of a nonlinear programming module that enables users to perform formal design optimization tasks such as weight minimization or performance maximization. The user can select any number of design variables and may apply any number of arbitrarily complex constraints to the optimization. This capability also can be used to find the best fit to available test data, automating a laborious but important task: the correlation of modeling uncertainties such as optical properties, contact conductances, as-built insulation performance, natural convection coefficients, etc.

Finally, this paper presents an overview of related developments that, coupled with the optimization capabilities, further enhance the power of the whole package.

Publication: sfpaper.pdf

Source: IECEC

Author: Brent A. Cullimore

Year: 1998

Content Tags: design optimization, model correlation, parameterize, parametric, two-phase flow, two-phase, optical properties, submodels, registers, expression editor, user logic, concurrent engineering, concurrent design, dynamic mode, dynamic SINDA, specific heat, solver, constraint, slip flow, Phenomena, capillary systems, mixtures, working fluids, nonequilibrium, vapor compression, uncertainty, uncertainty analysis

Tank Sizing Analysis for Reduced Gravity Cryogenic Transfer Receiver Tank

Understanding fluid behavior in microgravity is essential to further development of cryogenic storage in space environments. The Reduced Gravity Cryogenic Transfer project is designed to investigate tank chilldown in a microgravity environment onboard a parabolic flight. This work focused on examining the feasibility of chilling down different tank sizes using liquid nitrogen within the time constraints of the flight. Thermal models of four different tank geometries were made using Thermal Desktop and SINDA/FLUINT. The tank wall was modeled as a series of solid finite elements while the fluid inside the tank was represented by twinned liquid and vapor lumps. Fluid was injected into the bottom of the tank to simulate a dip tube and vented out of the top of the tank. The tank wall temperature as well as the state of the fluid inside the tank was tracked throughout the simulation. Several different cases were run with different chilldown operations for each tank model using a combination of charge, hold, and vent cycles. The average wall temperature, propellant mass savings and thermal efficiency of each of the four tanks were compared under seven different chilldown operations. A recommendation was made for the receiver tank size based on these parameters.

Publication: TFAWS2021-CT-01.pdf

Source: TFAWS 2021

Author: Erin M. Tesny, Daniel M. Hauser, Jason W. Hartwig

Year: 2021

Content Tags: two-phase, twinned tanks, chilldown, solid finite elements, finite elements, finite element, parametric analysis, parametric, material properties