When the electrical current flows through a reduction cell, it is used to electrolyse the alumina and heat up the cell, in order to melt the bath that serves as a solvent for the alumina.
As for magneto-hydrodynamic (MHD) aspects, it is also crucial to have a good thermal design. The first issue that comes to mind is the protection of the cell integrity by the right amount of side ledge, but of course many aspects are important, related to energy consumption, cell operation and stability.
KAN-NAK thermal modelling relies on a sophisticated physical model, in which electric potential, temperature field, velocity fields combined with the determination of the ledge profile and the metal surface contour are jointly solved to determine the stationary state. Hence, the thermal model is strongly coupled to the MHD model.
When designing a reduction cell, it is most interesting to take both thermal and MHD aspects into account, because one will affect the other. It is thus important that the thermal design goes hand in hand with the MHD design.