Asee peer logo

A Ventilation System Capstone Design Project

Download Paper |


2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Design Project Based Learning

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.129.1 - 13.129.13



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Charles Forsberg Hofstra University

visit author page

Charles H. Forsberg is an Associate Professor of Engineering at Hofstra University, where he primarily teaches courses in the thermal/fluids area. He received a B. S. in Mechanical Engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn (now Polytechnic University), and an
M. S. in Mechanical Engineering and Ph. D. from Columbia University. He is a Licensesd Professional Engineer in New York State.

visit author page

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

A Ventilation System Capstone Design Project

I. Introduction

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

Forsberg, C. (2008, June), A Ventilation System Capstone Design Project Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3787

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2008 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015