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Compression Of An Ideal Gas With Temperature Dependent Specific Heat Capacities

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.329.1 - 10.329.13

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Paper Authors

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Jr., Donald Mueller

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Hosni Abu-Mulaweh

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In this paper, a MATLAB computer model of the compression process is presented. The substance being compressed is air which is considered to be an ideal gas with temperature-dependent specific heat capacities. Two approaches are presented to describe the temperature-dependent properties of air. The first approach is to use the ideal gas table data from Ref. [1] with a look-up interpolation scheme. The second approach is to use a curve fit with the NASA Lewis coefficients [2,3]. The computer model developed makes use of a bracketing–bisection algorithm [4] to determine the temperature of the air after compression. This computer code is supplied to the students and discussed after the students have performed a detailed hand calculation. Then, students are required to modify the supplied computer program to solve additional problems. The instructional approach outlined in this paper accomplishes several objectives. First, this computer work serves as a connection between first-year, computer-tools courses and engineering science courses. At Indiana University-Purdue University FortWayne, students take a two-credit hour computer tools course in which they learn MATLAB and then take a two-credit hour programming course in which they learn C/C++ with an engineering emphasis. After completion of the courses, students are often eager to apply their skills to engineering problems. Unfortunately, the opportunities to utilize these skills are limited and students often question why they are required to take the computer classes. More exercises need to be developed to utilize and reinforce the computer skills. Second, the computer implementation allows students to easily vary the thermodynamic parameters so that students can develop a deeper appreciation of the limitations associated with thermodynamic assumptions such as the constant specific heat approximation. Third, the flexibility of the model allows for realistic extensions to the original problem, such as the incorporation of heat loss from the compressor and compressor efficiency. As students modify the provided computer code they develop additional insight and familiarity with thermodynamic equations and concepts. Finally, in later courses, the computer model can be modified to investigate more complicated situations, such as multistage compression with intercooling [5] or the gas turbine cycle [6]. Examples of how these objectives are achieved are provided and discussed.

Mueller, J. D., & Abu-Mulaweh, H. (2005, June), Compression Of An Ideal Gas With Temperature Dependent Specific Heat Capacities Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon.

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