June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
23.302.1 - 23.302.10
Combination Unit to Support Instruction in Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics and Heat TransferThermodynamics, fluid mechanics and heat transfer are fundamental thermal fluid sciencecourses taught in mechanical engineering. While generally taught as four separate courses overfour semesters, they are interrelated; the foundational theorems are intertwined with each other.It is important to provide vertical integration of these courses. Teaching these theorems and theirrelation to the physical world can be greatly augmented by laboratory experimentation. However,commercially available instructional equipment is often costly and/or demonstrates limitedprinciples. This work describes a senior engineering project to design and build an integratedsystem which supports instruction in all three areas.Air conditioning, climate control, heating, and refrigeration all rely on principles ofthermodynamics, fluid mechanics and heat transfer. To demonstrate these principles and theirapplications, a system was designed and constructed to study the operating characteristics andsystem design theory of an actual air conditioner/heat pump unit.An old window unit air conditioner was dissembled and modified to act both as an airconditioner and a heat pump. A chamber was built to simulate indoor environment. Thecondenser was placed into a water tank to illustrate the heat removed from the chamber duringthe air conditioner mode. The water tank also served to act as a heat source when the unit wasrun as a heat pump. Heating element was installed to compare the heat generated by heat pumpand electricityMultiple experiments can be performed on this unit for thermodynamics, fluid mechanics andheat transfer courses. This project involved topics such as system design, piping fraction, heatexchange, and control circuits design. The students came to grips with efficiency improvementtechniques, the special skills required in HVAC work and the very real constraints of workingwithin a limited space and within a limited budget.
Lin, L., & Smith, J. W., & Knittweis, S. (2013, June), Combination unit to support instruction in Thermodunamics, Fluid Mechanics, and Heat Transfer Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/19316
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