June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
13.282.1 - 13.282.15
Centrifugal Pump Test Bed: A Senior Capstone Project
Abstract A centrifugal pump test bed was designed, built and tested for the undergraduate mechanical engineering thermal fluids laboratory at Western Kentucky University. This project was funded through the Undergraduate Senior Project Grant Program sponsored by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers, Inc. (ASHRAE) and is primarily intended for instructional situations.
The project was executed over a two-semester Mechanical Engineering Senior Project design sequence, with a three-member student team planning the project design during the fall semester and executing the project construction and testing during the spring.
The final system delivered uses two 1.0 horsepower pumps that can generate a range of volumetric flows and a piping system capable of varied impedances and flow paths. A useful innovation by the team was the capability of modifying pump impeller diameter, as well as flow paths. Existing hands-on laboratory courses now have a centrifugal pump test bed to demonstrate the full complement of pump similitude: series and parallel configurations, rotational speed effects, and varied impeller size.
During the senior design course sequence, the students generated a design and selected critical components in the pump demonstration bed to provide the desired capabilities, executed the project construction demonstrating their ability to work together as a team, managed the project and maintained a schedule within time and fiscal budgetary constraints, and finally implemented appropriate testing of the final system through an experimental test plan to assure that the desired quality was achieved. This paper will detail project outcomes and faculty observations of the process and assessment of student work.
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, 3
In 2005, 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) a Centrifugal Pump Demonstration System. The proposal was selected by ASHRAE as one of the projects to be funded for the 2006 – 2007 academic year.
The stated scope of the project was to design, build and test (DBT) an educational demonstration or instructional unit to allow undergraduate students to evaluate the behavior of centrifugal pumps in a variety of operating conditions. The unit was to be used to complement an engineering science course in fluid mechanics by providing mechanical engineering students
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