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Air Flow Test Bench: A Senior Capstone Project

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Conference

2007 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Outstanding Contributions to ME

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count

12

Page Numbers

12.192.1 - 12.192.12

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/1544

Download Count

494

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Paper Authors

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Robert Choate Western Kentucky University

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Robert Choate teaches thermo-fluid and professional component courses in Mechanical Engineering, including the Sophomore Design, Junior Design, the Senior ME Lab I and the ME Senior Project Design course sequence. Prior to teaching at WKU, he was a principal engineer for CMAC Design Corporation, designing telecommunication, data communication and information technology equipment.

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Kevin Schmaltz Western Kentucky University

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Kevin Schmaltz teaches thermo-fluid and professional component courses in Mechanical Engineering, including the Freshman Experience course, Sophomore Design, Junior Design and the Senior Project Design course sequence. Prior to teaching at WKU, he was a project engineer for Shell Oil, designing and building oil and gas production facilities for offshore platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Stephen Howard Western Kentucky University

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Stephen Howard was a Mechanical Engineering undergraduate student when this project was undertaken. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering in August 2006 at Western Kentucky University.

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Paul Graves Western Kentucky University

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Paul Graves was a Mechanical Engineering undergraduate student when this project was undertaken. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering in May 2006 at Western Kentucky University.

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Jonathan Martin Western Kentucky University

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Jonathan Martin was a Mechanical Engineering undergraduate student when this project was undertaken. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering in May 2006 at Western Kentucky University.

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Chris Kruckenberg Western Kentucky University

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Chris Kruckenberg was a Mechanical Engineering undergraduate student when this project was undertaken.

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

Airflow Test Bench: A Senior Capstone Project

Abstract

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.

Introduction

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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