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Microsoft Excel Heat Transfer Add In For Engineering Courses

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Conference

2008 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Thermodynamics, Fluids and Heat Transfer - I

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count

18

Page Numbers

13.894.1 - 13.894.18

DOI

10.18260/1-2--3584

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/3584

Download Count

1908

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Paper Authors

author page

Troy Dent University of Alabama

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Keith Woodbury University of Alabama

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Robert Taylor University of Alabama

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

Excel Heat Transfer Add-in for Engineering Courses Abstract

The application of computer software is central in modern engineering instruction. Software has been specifically designed for courses and some textbooks are packaged with specialized versions of popular software. However, a survey of University of Alabama alumni shows that the majority primarily uses MS Excel for engineering computations compared to those that commonly use engineering software packages. The wide availability of MS Excel contributes to its use. With this in mind, an Add-in for MS Excel is being developed to provide a useful package of engineering functions for heat transfer instruction. The initial Add-in was developed to calculate the dimensionless temperature for 1-D transient heat conduction in a solid. The Add-in includes 4 functions which handle a plane wall, infinite cylinder, sphere and semi-infinite solid. Additional modules have been developed to calculate the local or average Nusselt number for internal or external flows and the view factors for different 3-D radiation heat transfer set- ups. Currently, these three modules are presented separately as part of a Heat Transfer course, but could be combined into a single Add-in.

The paper discusses the development, testing and application of these Add-in modules. A major part of the effort was the development of algorithms to compute the transient conduction solutions in a timely manner. After some refinement, sufficiently efficient functions were developed. The Add-in provides a tool for engineers for the widely-used MS Excel. As a learning tool, the Add-in provides a demonstration of the underlying formulas for a heat transfer course.

Introduction

As more computer programs and software become available for engineering, it has become necessary for universities to include instruction involving the usage of these software packages. Software has been specifically designed for courses and some textbooks are packaged with specialized versions of popular software. However, a survey of University of Alabama alumni shows that the majority primarily uses MS Excel for engineering computations, with a fewer number that commonly use engineering software packages. The wide availability of MS Excel contributes to its popularity. With this in mind, an Add-in for MS Excel is being developed that would provide a useful package of engineering functions. The initial Add-in was developed to calculate the dimensionless temperature for 1-D transient heat conduction in a solid. The Add-in includes 4 functions which handle a plane wall, infinite cylinder, sphere and semi-infinite solid. The Add-in needed to provide results with accuracy comparable to other software packages and have an efficient run-time. Short run-times for the individual calculations are necessary for the multiple calculations to generate tables and charts. Additional modules have been developed to calculate the local or average Nusselt number for internal or external flows and the view factors for different 3-D radiation heat transfer set-ups. Currently, these three modules are presented separately as part of a Heat Transfer course, but could be combined into a single Add-in.

For the 1-D transient heat conduction functions, the calculations for the plane wall, infinite cylinder and sphere involve finding eigenvalues and performing an infinite series summation; so, they were developed together with changes only for the different equations related to each shape.

Dent, T., & Woodbury, K., & Taylor, R. (2008, June), Microsoft Excel Heat Transfer Add In For Engineering Courses Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3584

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