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Establishment Of An Air Compressor Experimentation Facility Via Undergraduate Student Projects

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.283.1 - 5.283.18



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Paper Authors

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Kevin J. Renken

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John Reisel

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

Session 2333


John R. Reisel, Kevin J. Renken University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee


The Mechanical Engineering Department at The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) has recently established an Air Compressor Experimentation Facility through several mechanical engineering undergraduate student projects. Initial funding for the lab was provided by a University of Wisconsin System Applied Research Grant and by a donation solicited from a local compressor company. The facility houses four industrial 15-hp rotary screw air compressors, a high-speed PC-data acquisition system (PC-DAS), highly-sensitive instrumentation (e.g., watt transducer, pressure transducers, relative humidity sensor, sound level sensor and temperature probes) and a state-of-the-art infrared imaging radiometer.

Several mechanical engineering students have worked on independent projects to establish this Air Compressor Experimentation Facility. These projects include (i) the design, setup and implementation of a PC-DAS with instrumentation to measure, monitor and record air compressor performance, (ii) the measurement of energy savings achievable by using advanced synthetic lubricants, (iii) the effect of environmental and operating conditions on air compressor performance, (iv) the thermal analysis of air compressor operation using a thermal imaging camera, (v) the creation of a procedure to independently test several lubricants in a single air compressor, and (vi) the development of a web page containing information learned in the laboratory.

This paper presents the student projects that developed this test facility, preliminary experimental results generated by these student projects, and the educational experiences of our undergraduate students who worked on the projects.


In 1997, the authors received a University of Wisconsin System Applied Research Grant to establish the Energy Conversion Efficiency Laboratory in the Mechanical Engineering Department at The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The initial funding was supplemented by the donation of four Atlas Copco Model GA11 15-HP rotary screw air compressors, many filters and various air compressor lubricants from a local air compressor company. Subsequently, four undergraduate students were employed to work on independent projects to develop this experimentation facility so that measurements of air compressor performance and energy efficiency data could be obtained. Two of these students used this experience to assist them in finding jobs after graduation, one of the students has chosen to remain working on the project as a graduate Research Assistant, and the fourth student continues to work as an undergraduate Project Assistant in this lab and in another research laboratory.

Renken, K. J., & Reisel, J. (2000, June), Establishment Of An Air Compressor Experimentation Facility Via Undergraduate Student Projects Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8363

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