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Circuit Simulation for Thermal Analysis

There's no denying the importance of circuit simulation for engineers. And when you add thermal analysis into the equation, it strengthens the case even further.

Almost all products created using circuit simulation will have undergone thermal analysis. Not least for safety reasons, but also to ensure they work effectively. There's no innovation without experimentation, and circuit simulation software gives designers the freedom to continuously test and adjust designs.

At DesignSpark, we offer a circuit simulator capable of thermal analysis to test your designs. Read our guide to learn more about how circuit simulation and thermal analysis go hand in hand in one piece of software.

Understanding what a circuit simulator does

Circuit simulators are specialised software that allow engineers to create a digital replica of a circuit. They demonstrate how the circuit responds to input signals and conditions, as well as how the electrical current interacts with any components such as resistors.

In a nutshell, circuit simulation helps engineers learn how a circuit behaves under different conditions and with varying components.

What is thermal analysis?

Thermal analysis is a method used to assess how a product acts under different thermal conditions. It allows you to delve into a product's behaviour when placed in different temperature scenarios.

H3: How can circuit simulators and thermal analysis be used together?

Thermal simulation is a form of thermal analysis. It allows engineers to evaluate temperature distribution, heat dissipation and thermal stresses within the circuit, helping them design circuits that operate within safe temperature limits across multiple environments.

A circuit that overheats can cause functional issues and even put people in danger. Thermal analysis through techniques like thermal simulation can help neutralise potentially disruptive temperature effects before putting a model into production. The sooner issues are spotted, the less challenging or costly something could become further down the line.

The use of a circuit simulator that covers an integrated layout environment will help engineers get a clear overview of potential flaws in the design.

What causes an electric circuit to heat up and what impacts can this have?

Sometimes, electron flow through a circuit is resisted. This means that part of the energy in the electrons can't continue through the circuit. The energy that was moving the electrons around the circuit is converted into heat energy.

This creates a risk of the electrical circuit overheating. While damage caused by overheating can be repaired by swapping out components, professional engineers have to abide by certain safety standards and regulations. This is because rising temperatures in the circuit can damage components and lead to dangerous outcomes such as a fire or even an explosion.

Why are circuit simulators and thermal analysis beneficial to the design process?

By combining a circuit simulator with thermal analysis, you can:

  • Assess how a circuit reacts when exposed to temperature fluctuations
  • Spot potential for overheating
  • Ensure designs are reliable across environments

These findings allow designers to adjust circuit designs and prototypes so that the end product performs as efficiently as possible. This might involve the addition of cooling strategies and other forms of heat management.

Entire electronic systems can fail because of insufficient thermal loading of printed circuit boards (PCBs); increasingly small PCB boards and increasing power dissipation, where unwanted heat is produced, are to blame.

The use of circuit simulators with thermal analysis allows engineers to evaluate the following within a circuit:

  • Temperature distribution
  • Heat dissipation
  • Thermal stresses

Think of thermal analysis through circuit simulation as a form of quality control to make sure products meet the correct specifications in the design process.

H3: Which industries might use circuit simulation for thermal analysis?

Many system designers perform thermal analysis using circuit simulators in the following sectors:

  • Automotive
  • Industrial
  • Aerospace
  • Healthcare
  • Energy
  • Consumer electronics

Advantages of circuit simulation for thermal analysis?

Engineers can benefit from circuit simulation for thermal analysis in several ways. Here are some key benefits:

  • Time-saving: Circuit simulator software gives designers the option to make fundamental changes in seconds. Design flaws are clearly highlighted when using thermal analysis functions on a circuit simulator, allowing users to intervene earlier. This means the timeline of a project can be sped up significantly.
  • Cost-efficiency: Building a hardware prototype can be a costly part of the design process, so the less a project relies on this the better. Refining a design virtually using circuit simulation will reduce the number of prototypes built using hardware.
  • Accessibility: Engineers at any level can use circuit simulation for thermal analysis, which, depending on the software you use, can be completed in a range of ways.

Why choose DesignSpark's Circuit Simulator software for thermal analysis?

Apply thermal analysis using the DesignSpark Circuit Simulator software and benefit from the following.

  • Different plans: We offer three subscription plans, including our free Explorer level. This gives you plenty of circuit simulation capabilities, including design, modelling, simulation and analysis environments to work with. Our two paid plans, Creator and Engineer, have a 60-minute simulator time limit, with the latter also giving you access to private groups where you can collaborate with other engineers.
  • Endless designs: Benefit from unlimited public designs across all three of our plans. We also offer SPICE and VHDL-AMS models to enhance your experience.
  • Recent news: No matter your level as an engineer, we make it easy for you to stay up to date with the latest information about circuit simulators. You can also view our FAQs or ask our experts for assistance.

Log in or register today to begin using circuit simulator software with DesignSpark.

I'm a Mechanical Engineer by qualification though I worked for a long time specialising in Motion Control systems and integration with various PLC systems. I've wide experience of many types of applications from packaging machines to military and some applications that I can't mention. At home, I like to tinker and make things with wood, metal, plastics, electronics and mechanical system. I'm never happier than with a hammer and a screwdriver in my hands....