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A Unique Liquid Vapor Thermodynamic Property Measurement Apparatus

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Trends in Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.126.1 - 7.126.12



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Paper Authors

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Gilbert Wedekind

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Chris Kobus

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Session 1566

A Unique Liquid-Vapor Thermodynamic Property Measurement Apparatus For A Hands-On Undergraduate Laboratory Experience

Gilbert L. Wedekind, Christopher J. Kobus Department of Mechanical Engineering Oakland University, Rochester, MI 48309


This paper describes a fluid property experiment used in an introductory level Thermodynamics course. The Thermodynamics course is geared to introducing students to fundamental principles and their applications, including fluid property relationships. This paper presents a unique experimental apparatus, designed and built at Oakland University, to introduce students to indirect measurement techniques for measuring properties that cannot be directly measured; specifically, properties such as saturated vapor density and heat of vaporization as a function of saturation temperature. Typical results of students’ experiences will be presented.

I. Introduction

A primary philosophy of the undergraduate fluid and thermal science curriculum at Oakland University is a seamless integration of laboratory experiences in every undergraduate course. This includes the introductory thermodynamics course where the laboratory is carefully integrated into the lecture material as a supplemental learning experience. Property relationships are very important in any thermodynamic analysis, requiring the use of functional relationships, property tables and graphs that relate properties that are not directly measurable, such as specific internal energy, entropy, enthalpy and heat of vaporization, to directly measurable properties such as specific volume, temperature and pressure. It is desirable to provide students with insight as to how these property relationships might be developed for a liquid-vapor refrigerant mixture.

In this light, an experimental apparatus was designed and developed to directly measure pressure, and indirectly measure saturated vapor density and heat of vaporization as a function of temperature. Two different refrigerants are used, refrigerant-12 and refrigerant-134a. The mixture temperature is controlled by a simple flow-through water jacket, providing a means for changing refrigerant state-points by changing the water jacket temperature. A transparent viewing section allows the liquid and the liquid-vapor interface of the refrigerant to be observed during the experiment. Boiling can be observed when the water temperature is increased, and film-condensation observed when the temperature is decreased. The only direct measurements made are the refrigerant temperature, pressure and liquid level.

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright Ó 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Wedekind, G., & Kobus, C. (2002, June), A Unique Liquid Vapor Thermodynamic Property Measurement Apparatus Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--11300

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