Joule-Thomson (JT) Cooling

Joule-Thomson Design and Analysis

CRTech tools are used to model the complexities of Joule-Thomson or JT cooling systems, as either blow-down systems or closed cycles (e.g, Linde-Hampson). Because they provide compact and vibration-free cold heads, such coolers are popular for cooling of sensors and electronics including cryogenic and MEMS (microcooling) applications.

The combination of SINDA/FLUINT plus FloCAD® (an optional Thermal Desktop® module) can be used for detailed modeling, system-level modeling, and sizing and sensitivity analyses of cold heads and other heat exchangers.

Key features relevant for analyzing JT cooling systems include:

  • Real-gas and saturation dome properties readily available for the most commonly used fluids including hydrogen, helium, nitrogen, argon, CO2, methane, and propane. Additional and custom fluids (e.g., mixed gas coolers) descriptions can be created by CRTech or the user.
  • System-level heat exchangers (e.g., NTU, UAtot, effectiveness) for sizing (e.g., set an outlet temperature) and for high-level simulations
  • Complex heat exchangers in cold heads and in multi-stage coolers (regenerators, recuperators, intercoolers)
  • Transient analyses including tank blow-down and structural cool down
  • Expansion into the dome including two-phase heat exchange. See also Two-phase Flow Analysis.
  • Arbitrarily complex control systems (PID etc.) applied to valves, compressors, etc.
  • Access to parametric modeling and Advanced Design Modules (optimization and sizing, automated model calibration to test data, reliability and statistical design, etc.)

Sample Model of a JT Cold Finger

A sample model is available to illustrate the application of SINDA/FLUINT and Thermal Desktop/FloCAD to the modeling of the Joule-Thomson cycle. These examples demonstrate:

  • JT cryostat analysis
  • Design optimization and dynamic blow-down (chilldown) analysis
  • Modeling of labyrinth seals (even though they purposely leak in this application)
  • Modeling of heat exchangers, at both the system and detailed levels
    • Including application of compact heat exchanger (CHX) methodology
  • Use of FloCAD for both sketch-pad modeling and for geometric modeling

The models with documentation are available for download.

Click here to fetch the JT Modeling Example from our User Forum


FloCAD online training

Class times: May 2 & 4 from 10am to 2pm MT

Cost: $425

This online class will provide an introduction to fluid modeling components within FloCAD. The class will be held over a 2-day period, with daily sessions running approximately 4 hours each. The class uses a mixture of lecture, demonstrations, and self-paced tutorials to allow attendees to practice building fluid system models and interpreting results. The presentations will comprise 2 - 3 hours of each session, and the instructor will be available during the remainder of the time for questions during tutorials. Attendees must have basic working knowledge of SINDA and Thermal Desktop as these topics will not be covered but their usage is required for FloCAD.

Register here

Thermal Desktop, RadCAD, and TD Direct in-class training

Date: April 25-28, 2017, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., daily
Location: Lakewood, CO

CRTech will be hosting introductory training for Thermal Desktop, RadCAD and TD Direct. Lecture and hands-on tutorials introduce attendees to basic Thermal Desktop and RadCAD usage and allow practice building models and interpreting results. The class will also introduce students to SpaceClaim direct modeling CAD interface and advanced meshing tools in TD Direct.

Daily Schedule

Day 1 and 2: Introduction to SINDA and Thermal Desktop
Day 3: Introduction to RadCAD
Day 4: Introduction to TD Direct

To learn more about this class and to register, visit our Training Page.

Anode and cathode of a flow battery

Using Sinaps? It is not too soon to get started with TD/FloCAD!

This webinar describes the process for converting from Sinaps to Thermal Desktop (TD) and FloCAD. This process includes using an exporter which works with Version 6.0 of the CRTech tool suite (expected to be released in May of 2017).

Come learn about the basics of TD/FloCAD, including many compelling features not available in Sinaps. The webinar will also cover how to manage the transition period, during which you may be using both programs simultaneously. This is also a chance to ask questions. 

If you missed this webinar, please contact us for the presentation material and recording.