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Centrifugal Pump Test Bed: A Senior Capstone Project

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Collection

2008 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Design Project Based Learning

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count

15

Page Numbers

13.282.1 - 13.282.15

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/3954

Download Count

1028

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Paper Authors

biography

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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biography

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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Joel Lenoir Western Kentucky University

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Joel Lenoir is the Layne Professor of Mechanical Engineering at WKU, and primarily teaches in the dynamic systems and instrumentation areas of the curriculum. His industrial experience includes positions at Michelin Research and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, as well as extensive professional practice in regional design and manufacturing firms.

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

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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