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A Senior Design Project in Automated Solar Heating System for Learning Green Energy Manufacturing

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

Best Practices and Lessons Learned in Design Projects

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Paper Authors


Richard Y. Chiou Drexel University

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Dr. Richard Chiou is Associate Professor within the Engineering Technology Department at Drexel University, Philadelphia, USA. He received his Ph.D. degree in the G.W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology. His educational background is in manufacturing with an emphasis on mechatronics. In addition to his many years of industrial experience, he has taught many different engineering and technology courses at undergraduate and graduate levels. His tremendous research experience in manufacturing includes environmentally conscious manufacturing, Internet based robotics, and Web based quality. In the past years, he has been involved in sustainable manufacturing for maximizing energy and material recovery while minimizing environmental impact.

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Irina Nicoleta Ciobanescu Husanu Drexel University

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Irina Ciobanescu Husanu, Ph. D. is Assistant Clinical Professor with Drexel University, Engineering Technology program. Her area of expertise is in thermo-fluid sciences with applications in micro-combustion, fuel cells, green fuels and plasma assisted combustion. She has prior industrial experience in aerospace engineering that encompasses both theoretical analysis and experimental investigations such as designing and testing of propulsion systems including design and development of pilot testing facility, mechanical instrumentation, and industrial applications of aircraft engines. Also, in the past 10 years she gained experience in teaching ME and ET courses in both quality control and quality assurance areas as well as in thermal-fluid, energy conversion and mechanical areas from various levels of instruction and addressed to a broad spectrum of students, from freshmen to seniors, from high school graduates to adult learners. She also has extended experience in curriculum development. Dr Husanu developed laboratory activities for Measurement and Instrumentation course as well as for quality control undergraduate and graduate courses in ET Masters program. Also, she introduced the first experiential activity for Applied Mechanics courses. She is coordinator and advisor for capstone projects for Engineering Technology.

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Tzu-Liang Bill Tseng University of Texas - El Paso

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Dr. Tseng is a Professor and Chair of Industrial, Manufacturing and Systems Engineering at UTEP. His research focuses on the computational intelligence, data mining, bio- informatics and advanced manufacturing. Dr. Tseng published in many refereed journals such as IEEE Transactions, IIE Transaction, Journal of Manufacturing Systems and others. He has been serving as a principle investigator of many research projects, funded by NSF, NASA, DoEd, KSEF and LMC. He is currently serving as an editor of Journal of Computer Standards & Interfaces.

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The paper presents a senior design project that engages in educational activities to enhance learning in Green Energy Manufacturing, including construction of heat exchanging solar collector system and implementation in the effective heating of a green house. This process consisted of two phases: the initial modification and the final implementation. The first stage of this process included troubleshooting the previously built heat exchanging solar collector system. This system is comprised of an evacuated tube and a flat panel solar collector both attached to a hot water tank heat exchanger for maximum efficiency. The second stage was the implementation of the solar collector system connection to the greenhouse for ideal effective heating. The control system was specifically designed to actively monitor soil temperatures with the use of a thermocouple sensor all the while maintaining ideal greenhouse conditions by pumping heated fluid through coils underneath the soil surface. The addition of this active feedback control system is to maximize the heat transfer from each panel with minimal energy loses. The intention of this project is the replacement of expensive energy costs for heating a greenhouse with an alternative sustainable solar heating design. The outcome of this undertaking is the successfully incorporation of the heat exchanging solar collectors as the exclusive energy input required to heat the greenhouse system in order to decrease food manufacturing costs, expand the profitability of fruit and vegetable harvests, and decrease the environmental impact of greenhouse heating.

Chiou, R. Y., & Ciobanescu Husanu, I. N., & Tseng, T. B. (2016, June), A Senior Design Project in Automated Solar Heating System for Learning Green Energy Manufacturing Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.27276

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