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A Desktop Experiment Module: Heat Transfer

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Innovations in the CHE Laboratory

Tagged Division

Chemical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.25.1 - 14.25.13

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Paper Authors


Adrienne Minerick Mississippi State University

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Adrienne Minerick is an Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at Mississippi State University. She received her PhD and M.S. from the University of Notre Dame and B.S. from Michigan Technological University. Since joining MSU, Dr. Minerick has taught the graduate Chemical Engineering Math, Process Controls, Introduction to Chemical Engineering Freshman Seminar, Heat Transfer, and Analytical Microdevice Technology courses. In addition, she is an NSF CAREER Awardee, has served as co-PI on an NSF REU site, PI on grants from NSF and DOE, and is the faculty advisor for MSU’s chapter of the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE). Her research is in medical microdevice diagnostics & dielectrophoresis.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Desktop Experiment Module: Heat Transfer Adrienne R. Minerick, Dave C. Swalm School of Chemical Engineering, Mississippi State University,

Abstract: This paper outlines a new Desktop Experiment Module (DEMo) engineered for a chemical engineering junior level heat transfer course. This new DEMo learning tool is versatile, fairly inexpensive, and portable such that it can be positioned on student desks throughout a classroom. Advantages of this approach are that students can closely examine and fiddle with the system to see cause and effect better than with instructor led demonstrations. The DEMo system can illustrate conduction of various materials, thermal energy generation, thermal contact resistance, heat dissipation from fins, and convection across surfaces of varying geometry. These learning tools can also serve as vibrant hands-on experiments with high school students.

Keywords: Heat Transfer, Experiment, Inexpensive equipment


The junior level heat transfer class is a first course in conduction in 1-D and 2-D systems (Cartesian, cylindrical and spherical coordinates); conduction through composite walls; evaluation of resistances; heat transfer enhancement using fins; convective heat transfer (laminar and turbulent flow, flow past immersed bodies and tube banks); overall heat transfer coefficient, and heat exchanger design. The current course text for this course is Incropera and DeWitt’s “Fundamentals of Heat and Mass Transfer” [1].

Course objectives are to provide junior level undergraduate students with fundamental knowledge of heat transfer in chemical engineering processes and process equipment. Special emphasis is given to the economics of heat exchanger design and heat recovery. It is assumed that students entering the class are proficient in: • Manipulating units in their solitary form or with 1changes such as 1T, • Performing mass & energy balances, • Drawing flow profiles and calculating flow in rectangular and cylindrical geometries, • Physically interpreting a derivative and solving first order linear ordinary differential equations. Throughout the course, students learn and demonstrate the tools, skills and knowledge to: • Distinguish between and apply mathematical models for the three mechanisms of heat flow (conduction, convection, and radiation). • Draw temperature profiles and describe heat flow given system geometry, medium, and direction of temperature gradient. • Calculate rates of heat transfer and analyze data to determine heat flow in various geometries, media, and in common heat exchangers.

2009 ASEE Annual Conference 1

Minerick, A. (2009, June), A Desktop Experiment Module: Heat Transfer Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas.

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