Many SolidWorks users especially the ones who are dealing with conductors are interested to find a way to predict the level of the electric current induced in the conductors by the variation of the magnetic fields. This sort of electric current is called Eddy Current. We do have a solution for that. Our electromechanical full wave 3D simulation software, EMS, has an Finite element solver particularly for conduction analysis which characterizes the eddy current in conductors. EMS is fully integrated inside SolidWorks.

What is Eddy Current?(Foucault Current)

Eddy currents are electric currents induced within conductors by a changing magnetic field in the conductor. These circulating eddies of current have inductance and thus induce magnetic fields. These fields can cause repulsive, attractive, propulsion, drag and heating effects. The stronger the applied magnetic field, or the greater the electrical conductivity of the conductor, or the faster the field changes, then the greater the currents that are developed and the greater the fields produced.

The term eddy current comes from analogous currents seen in water when dragging an oar breadthwise: localized areas of turbulence known as eddies give rise to persistent vertices. Somewhat analogously, eddy currents can take time to build up and can persist for very short times in conductors due to their inductance.Eddy currents in conductors of non-zero resistance generate heat as well as electromagnetic forces. The heat can be used for induction heating. The electromagnetic forces can be used for levitation, creating movement, or to give a strong braking effect. Eddy currents can also have undesirable effects, for instance power loss in transformers. In this application, they are minimized with thin plates, by lamination of conductors or other details of conductor shape.
Self-induced eddy currents are responsible for the skin effect in conductors. The latter can be used for non-destructive testing of materials for geometry features, like micro-cracks. A similar effect is the proximity effect, which is caused by externally-induced eddy currents.

In the following picture the eddy current density in a three-phase transformer is depicted which is coming from the AC analysis of this transformer using the AC magnetic solver of our 3D Electromechanical simulation software, EMS. The transformer has 3 feeding coils and 3 secondary copper coils where each coil has a core made of mild steel.