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Analysis and Field-based Learning of Energy Conservation Measures in an Engineering Thermodynamics Course

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

ECCD Technical Session 4: Energy and Analysis

Tagged Division

Energy Conversion and Conservation

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Paper Authors


Arash Kialashaki California State University, Chico

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Dr. Arash Kialashaki is a senior engineer and a lecturer at the Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering and Sustainable Manufacturing Department at CSU Chico. He earned his PhD in Mechanical Engineering Department at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, a master’s degree in energy systems and another master’s degree in mechanical engineering. In addition, he is a certified professional engineer at the state of California since 2016.
Dr. Kialashaki has more than six years teaching experience at undergraduate level. As an instructor at UWM and CSU Chico, he has taught a range of courses including Introduction to Fluid Mechanics, Engineering Thermodynamics, Heat Transfer, and Finite Element Analysis.
He has written several journal papers and presented in national and international conferences. He received DOE's Distinguished Alumni Award in 2019.

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In this complete paper, author discusses the techniques of introducing the concept of industrial and commercial energy conservation measures (ECMs) to undergraduate mechanical engineering students. To reach this goal, multiple ECMS are selected to be analyzed in Engineering Thermodynamics course to engage senior level students in actual engineering problems, develop their practical engineering skills, and enhance students’ knowledge about industrial and commercial energy engineering practice. It is important to note that due to the existing constraints in the Engineering Thermodynamics course, such as time limitations and wide-ranging topics in the course syllabus, author is recommending the most relevant, yet advantageous ECMs, to avoid any unintentional consequences. Through several years of professional experience in energy engineering, by visiting more than fifty industrial and commercial facilities, and reviewing more than two hundred energy efficiency improvement projects, author selected some of the most cost-effective ECMs which can result in significant energy savings and demand reduction for energy end-users. These ECMs include lowering the lighting power density by installing LED fixtures, affinity law and its applications in variable frequency drives installed on fans and pumps, high thermal efficiency water heating systems, and installation of thermal energy storage. For each of the above ECMs, the author explains the concept of the ECM, how it may save energy, and what equipment is involved in that ECM. The discussion around the concept of each of the ECMs is followed by a real industrial case study where the measure is implemented, and the annual energy savings was realized. Author also provides a discussion around the peak demand reduction, how it relates to the energy savings that may be achieved due to installation of the ECMs. Finally, author recommends a field trip to help students visualize what they learned in the Engineering Thermodynamics course. This field trip would be visiting an on-site central utility plant which most universities have to meet their heating and cooling loads. A step-by-step procedure is included at the end of this paper which streamlines the field trip planning process and helps the instructors to set and evaluate the goals of the trip. A paper-based students evaluation of teaching (SET) survey was conducted by CSU Chico Department of Institutional Research which captured students’ attitude regarding self-efficacy using a Likert-type scale from 1 to 5. This paper discusses the outcomes of this survey.

Kialashaki, A. (2020, June), Analysis and Field-based Learning of Energy Conservation Measures in an Engineering Thermodynamics Course Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34144

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