July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Energy Conversion and Conservation
Engineering education is moving toward online delivery, a medium where the major challenge remains offering pragmatic and enriching laboratory experiences to remote learners. This challenge may be addressed through direct simulation, remote control, online observation, and/or remote hands-on laboratories. Among the options, hands-on remote laboratories demonstrate benefits in students’ learning outcome achievement as compared to the other online options and even brick-and-mortar equivalents. This work showcases a hands-on fluids teaching lab kit designed to be shipped to students taking lab-intensive engineering fluids courses remotely.
The kit, which ships in a 41-quart Rubbermaid container, includes a 100-mm-diameter circular wind tunnel capable of producing undeveloped and fully developed velocity profiles in both laminar and turbulent regimes. These features are achieved through a variable-speed computer fan driving airflow through half-meter-long pipe sections coupled to achieve desired tunnel length. Velocity profiles are observed by rastering a pitot-static probe across the pipe’s open end while measuring local pressure differential.
This modular kit is capable of multiple unique experiments: 1) producing textbook laminar and turbulent velocity profiles, 2) showing axial velocity profile development, 3) determining boundary layer thickness, 4) measuring flow drag coefficient on a sphere, 5) validating velocity profile integration by measuring mean velocity, 6) measuring the profile shape impact of adding screens or honeycomb downstream of the fan, and 7) exploring the fan speed to flow rate relationship – at least seven unique experiments in one kit! Modular kits allow experiments to be tailored by instructors to target student needs and toward achieving course learning outcomes.
The kit allows for engineering distance learning that reinforces a range of fluids theory, particularly visualizing velocity profiles, which is often difficult for undergraduates. It also provides students pragmatic experience using common lab instrumentation and techniques: pitot-static probes, differential pressure gages, barometers, and flow visualization. The mailed hands-on kit teaching approach fills a pragmatic need toward realizing a fully-online ABET-accredited mechanical engineering bachelor’s degree program.
Jones, N. T., & Niemi, S. R., & Traum, M. J. (2021, July), A Hands-on Learning Module Pipe-flow Velocity Profile Interrogator Laboratory Kit for Remote Online Fluid Mechanics Instruction Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36585
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