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Development Of An Inexpensive Labview Based Refrigeration Cycle Laboratory

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Instrumentation and Laboratory Systems

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.426.1 - 8.426.5

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Paper Authors

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Rita Oro

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J Hines

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

Session 2220

Development of an Inexpensive LabView-Based Refrigeration Cycle Laboratory J. Wesley Hines, Rita Oro, Youssef Sharara The University of Tennessee Knoxville, TN 37996-2300

Abstract: A thermodynamic refrigeration cycle laboratory was created using a window air conditioner, pressure and temperature sensors, and a LabView data acquisition system. The system measures the high and low pressures sides and the refrigerant temperatures between the four major components. A National Instrument LabView data acquisition system was used to acquire, transform and present the thermodynamic data to the students over the Internet. The software uses the temperature and pressure measurements to calculate thermodynamic properties such as enthalpy, specific volume and entropy. , These values are used to the calculate specific heat transfers and works of the various components which are then used to estimate the system efficiency.

1. Introduction: Engineering students taking their first class in Thermodynamics at the undergraduate level commonly fail to relate the theoretical aspects developed in class with the real world. One method of bridging this gap is to integrate a laboratory into undergraduate classes. This is usually expensive and time consuming, especially for classes that have 60-100 students in which multiple lab sections would be necessary. One alternative to traditional laboratories is a remote laboratory that can be accessed through the Internet and broadcast to the students in class or at other scheduled times. This paper presents the development and usage of a remote thermodynamics laboratory. Prior publications have shown that an inexpensive, portable, thermodynamics laboratory is useful [1]; we have taken this one step further and used National Instrument's (NI) LabView (LV) Internet capabilities to bring the laboratory into the class without physically transporting it. A survey of LabView Internet technologies is available [2].

2. Methodology: An inexpensive, residential, window-type air conditioner was purchased from a local appliance store. Nameplate data is provided in Table 1. The air conditioner was taken to a local refrigeration service provider and fitted with pressure taps on the high and low- pressure sides. Both local gages and pressure transducers were attached to the pressure taps. The local gages were useful in calibrating the pressure transducers. Since the data was used for class related experiments and is not currently used for research, the accuracy of the measurements was not of crucial importance. Thermocouples were then placed between the four major components and the outputs of the instrumentation were


Oro, R., & Hines, J. (2003, June), Development Of An Inexpensive Labview Based Refrigeration Cycle Laboratory Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee.

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