June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
11.118.1 - 11.118.10
A Solar Distiller as a Thermal Systems Design-Build-Test Project
In an effort to improve Mechanical Engineering (ME) students’ ability to design and realize thermal systems, a hands-on design project has been developed for a junior level thermal systems design course. Previous presentations1 have reported on the development of three projects with an emphasis on the design of a solar water-heating device. This paper describes, in more detail, experience in implementing a project to design, construct and test devices using solar energy to distill rather than just to heat water.
In this project, teams are given a limited set of materials and specifications that constrain their design options while giving them plenty of opportunity for creativity. The materials required are inexpensive (insulating foam, tubes, tape, clear plastic sheet, aluminum foil, plywood sheet, hoses and hose clamps, etc.). The teams are required to develop conceptual designs and analyze their design in three successive levels of complexity before they are allowed to begin construction. Teams are required to evaluate alternatives and base design decisions on their analyses. The culmination of the project is a test in which the students’ systems are tested against their predictions and in which they compete to see which team’s design performs the best. Experience in implementing this project indicates that it provides a useful opportunity for students to exercise their analytical skills in thermal sciences in the context of a design project.
Project Assignment Description
Design, model, construct and test a small solar water distillation system. In this assignment, you will work in teams of three to design a solar water distillation system using given materials and meeting specific design constraints. Your design objective is to design and construct a system that will distill the most water during a five-hour period. To meet this objective, you will need to develop an analytical model of your system and modify your design on the basis of your modeling analyses. You will then construct your system and test it under prescribed conditions.
You may use only the materials provided or allowed for each team. The maximum area for water storage is 4 ft2. No pumps or energy sources other than the sun may be used. You may not add water to your system during the collection period.
Dixon, G. (2006, June), A Solar Distiller As A Thermal Systems Design Build Test Project Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--89
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