June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
Energy Conversion and Conservation
11.809.1 - 11.809.8
Interactive Computer Program for Enhancing Conductive Heat Transfer Concepts
A computer based interactive learning tool for students enrolled in the Heat and Mass Transfer course for undergraduate students was developed. The program is based on a code developed through a private contract with Sandia National Laboratory for steady state and transient heat conduction in solids. The interface, which was developed as part of this research, between the student and the kernel program, allows visualization of steady state conductive heat transfer in one and two dimensions. The program is used by students on an individual basis as a supplement to their usual textbook, homework and class involvement. Input from the students is prompted via text boxes in a Windows based program. A rectangular shaped solid object is presented in the program window when the program is first launched. Each of the four sides of the object is afforded an input box for the student to type the prescribed temperature for each of the edges of the body. Overall height and width input boxes must also be filled in by the students. Once the “start” button is depressed, the temperature calculations are automatically performed and the temperature distribution is displayed. Students enrolled in the Heat and Mass Transfer course are given instruction sheets for operating the program, including prescribed temperature values for the boundaries. They are then asked to provide a written response to questions, requiring them to explain where the heat flux is the largest and the smallest in the body. An evaluation of the program by the students is included in the study as a means of determining the effectiveness of the program.
Giving students an intuitive physical feel for steady state thermal conduction is an important part of any heat transfer curriculum. Imparting this depth of understanding to students can be difficult in a typical classroom setting. Indeed, even with the aid of textbooks and printed images, there is a significant barrier to overcome in imparting this intuitive feel. Allowing the students as much hands-on experience as possible with the principles of steady state thermal conduction seems to hold the most promise for instilling these concepts at the intuitive level. As such, the subject program of this paper was developed to be used as a supplement to existing classroom lecture and textbook use.
The program is based on a code developed through a private contract with Sandia National Laboratory for steady state and transient heat conduction in solids. This program, called “verif.exe” is DOS based, and as such, is not as easy to use as programs which run in a Windows environment. The DOS program “verif.exe” uses a very efficient calculation method called “time partitioning”  which allows temperature solutions to be computed very quickly. This method involves the sum of two solutions for computing temperature. A “long time” solution involving eigenvalues and series terms is added to a “short time” solution, which arises from the Laplace transform or semi-infinite approximation. This method usually allows convergence of
McMasters, R., & Sexton, M. (2006, June), Interactive Computer Program For Enhancing Conductive Heat Transfer Concepts Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--261
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