June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.192.1 - 12.192.12
Airflow Test Bench: A Senior Capstone Project
An airflow test bench system was designed, built and tested for the undergraduate mechanical engineering thermal fluids laboratory at Western Kentucky University. A two-semester senior capstone design sequence, ME 400 – Mechanical Engineering Design and ME 412 – Mechanical Engineering Senior Project, provided a four-member mechanical engineering student team with sufficient time to plan and execute this engineering process.
The final airflow test system is primarily intended for instructional situations, but has the potential for external industrial interaction as well. The system delivered by the project team is usable over a range of flows and system impedances. Primary benefactors of this test bed will be future students in Mechanical Engineering Senior Labs. These hands-on laboratory courses now have an airflow test bench for use in the demonstration of the impedance characteristics of various system geometries, which can then be compared with their theoretically predictions, and the characterization of the performance characteristics of air moving devices through the generation of pressure head and rpm versus volumetric flow rate curves. The system can provide further extension for student engagement in industrial projects.
During the course sequence, the students had a variety of meaningful engineering experiences. The design and selection of the critical test bed components clarified uncertainty regarding measurement impact on the final system. Through the test bed construction, teamwork, project management and maintaining a schedule within time and budgetary constraints were reinforced. Finally, the system testing development and implementation of an experimental test plan yielded the delivery of a quality product. This paper will detail faculty observations and project outcomes.
This project was completed with the assistance of an Undergraduate Senior Project Grant from the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers, Inc.
Every year the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning (ASHRAE) funds the Undergraduate Senior Project Grant Program, which awards schools grants for the execution of senior projects. The grants are often used to design, construct and test projects. The distribution of these funds is based on the relevance of the proposal to educational endeavors in the Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVAC&R) disciplines. 1, 2
In 2004, ME seniors and their faculty advisor in the ME Senior Lab I course at Western Kentucky University submitted a proposal to the ASHRAE Undergraduate Senior Project Grant Program, requesting funds to design, build and test (DBT) an airflow test bench. The proposal was selected by ASHRAE as one of the projects to be funded for the 2005 – 2006 academic year.
Choate, R., & Schmaltz, K., & Howard, S., & Graves, P., & Martin, J., & Kruckenberg, C. (2007, June), Air Flow Test Bench: A Senior Capstone Project Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/1544
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