June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
13.129.1 - 13.129.13
A Ventilation System Capstone Design Project
The Hofstra University mechanical engineering program requires students to take two capstone design courses – one in the mechanics area; the other in the thermal/fluids area. This paper discusses a Spring 2007 design project in the latter area; in particular, a project dealing with design of a ventilation system for a room.
Over the past four years, our department has experienced an increase in enrollment in the mechanical engineering program. We are not completely sure as to the reason for this. Perhaps the increase is due to the students’ perception of an improved job market in the ME discipline. It may also be due to the mechanical faculty’s emphasis on teaching and interaction with students rather than research. It may be due to improved lab facilities. And, it could be due to the students’ observation of high quality senior design projects of a practical nature. Regardless of the cause, the increased enrollment has been reflected in an increase in the size of our classes.
In the past, the senior design thermal/fluids course typically had an enrollment of between five and ten. However, in Spring 2007 the enrollment reached eighteen, an all- time high. Also, the department had recently passed a rule that no more than three students could be in a design group. Hence, projects were needed for six groups, rather than the usual two. Finding suitable projects is never an easy task (at least for this professor). Fortunately, equipment funds were available from an ASHRAE Senior Undergraduate Project Grant, and it was decided to have two of the six groups work independently on design and construction of a ventilation system for the thermal/fluids lab. The system was to be temporary. After conclusion of the semester it was to be removed and stored for potential future use in the laboratories. As discussed below, the project was very successful. Students received a valuable design and construction experience, and the project has resulted in a new experiment for the mechanical engineering laboratories.
II. System Specifications
Students were given the following design specifications for the ventilation system:
The ventilation system should have five (5) diffusers, each providing 100 cfm of air to the room. The instructor provided the locations of the diffusers and also the location of the fan. Figure No. 1 shows the required location of the fan and the required locations of the five diffusers. The possible duct routings are shown as dashed lines. The students had to size and route the ductwork from the fan to the diffusers. At first, it was planned to temporarily support the ducts from the ceiling. This proved to be unfeasible due to
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