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Designing A Hvac Demonstrator An Ashrae Undergraduate Senior Project

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1997 Annual Conference


Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Publication Date

June 15, 1997

Start Date

June 15, 1997

End Date

June 18, 1997



Page Count


Page Numbers

2.138.1 - 2.138.10

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Paper Authors

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Richard L. LeBoeuf

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Gregory Spaulding

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

Session 2348

Designing a HVAC Demonstrator - an ASHRAE Undergraduate Senior Project

Richard L. LeBoeuf, Gregory Spaulding Kansas State University at Salina

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc. (ASHRAE) provides funds for undergraduate senior projects to encourage students to pursue ASHRAE-related careers. As a result of this grant program, the mechanical engineering technology (MET) seniors at Kansas State University have designed and built a Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) Demonstrator that will be used to demonstrate the interrelationship between thermodynamics and HVAC processes. The apparatus will be used to demonstrate airflow, inlet heating and humidification, air cooling, and air reheating. The demonstrator includes computer data acquisition and control using modern virtual instrumentation software. This apparatus will be an invaluable resource in our Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer course as well as in our Industrial Instrumentation and Controls course.

The Senior Design Project courses in mechanical engineering technology at Kansas State University (KSU) consist of a two-course sequence. In the first semester, students generally clarify the project requirements and perform a preliminary design. In the second semester, the design is finalized and fabrication and testing take place. This project required students to develop a sound background in mechanical design, fluid thermal system design, as well as, electronic instrumentation and control. This senior project tied much of the material from students’ previous course work together, including that of thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, instrumentation and control. In this respect, the project truly represents a ‘capstone’ design project.

Introduction Funding for senior design project courses, which have become especially common in engineering technology programs, can be difficult to obtain. Finding a project that has many elements of mechanical engineering technology and can be permitted to span an entire academic year is often difficult. Although the senior project courses at KSU traditionally have been industrial projects funded by industry, the ASHRAE Undergraduate Senior Project Grant Program was attractive because it could encompass many aspects of students’ course work, require a significant amount of learning, and last up to an entire academic year.

Prior to the year the senior project grant was procured, ASHRAE sent a proposal solicitation to the college in September. The deadline for proposals was in December and notification of approval was given by ASHRAE in March of the following year. Since a laboratory component had just been added to the Thermodynamics course (now called Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer), this project was viewed as a perfect way to develop essential laboratory equipment while providing seniors the opportunity to gain experience in HVAC along with mechanical design, instrumentation and automated data acquisition. This project fit into the higher priority

LeBoeuf, R. L., & Spaulding, G. (1997, June), Designing A Hvac Demonstrator An Ashrae Undergraduate Senior Project Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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