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PCM Heat Exchanger for Manufacturing Environment: Independent Study Case for Integrative Project-Based Learning

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Green and Sustainable Manufacturing Practices

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Irina Nicoleta Ciobanescu Husanu Drexel University (Tech.)

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Irina Ciobanescu Husanu, Ph. D. is Assistant Clinical Professor with Drexel University, Engineering Technology program. Her area of expertise is in thermo-fluid sciences with applications in micro-combustion, fuel cells, green fuels and plasma assisted combustion. She has prior industrial experience in aerospace engineering that encompasses both theoretical analysis and experimental investigations such as designing and testing of propulsion systems including design and development of pilot testing facility, mechanical instrumentation, and industrial applications of aircraft engines. Also, in the past 10 years she gained experience in teaching ME and ET courses in both quality control and quality assurance areas as well as in thermal-fluid, energy conversion and mechanical areas from various levels of instruction and addressed to a broad spectrum of students, from freshmen to seniors, from high school graduates to adult learners. She also has extended experience in curriculum development. Dr Husanu developed laboratory activities for Measurement and Instrumentation course as well as for quality control undergraduate and graduate courses in ET Masters program. Also, she introduced the first experiential activity for Applied Mechanics courses. She is coordinator and advisor for capstone projects for Engineering Technology.

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The goal of this project was to introduce a new, more efficient means of removing heat from a cooling tower or similar application with minimal capital investment on behalf of the customer. This involved evaluating many different phase change materials to optimize the process.

Current applications of commercial and industrial cooling involve some level of possible exposure to the operator as well as the environment. Common cooling towers utilized in the industry today are constructed such that hot water comes into contact with cooler air so that temperature can be removed from the water prior to recirculation into the subject system. Often airflow can be aided by either pushing or pulling through the system mechanically. Cooling tower variations, such as changes to surface area and flow rates, has been implemented in effort to create sufficient cooling capacity (Hensley, 2009). This project aims to increase the efficiency of existing cooling tower systems by incorporating Phase Change Materials (PCMs) due to their ability to store and release large amounts of energy. Secondarily, the system must also exhibit minimal cost of installation and maintenance. Basic preliminary design of the system involves enclosing a PCM inside a tube or coil made from highly conductive material. This tube will capture heat from the hot water needing to be cooled, then transfer this heat to cool air which exits the system

Ciobanescu Husanu, I. N. (2018, June), PCM Heat Exchanger for Manufacturing Environment: Independent Study Case for Integrative Project-Based Learning Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah.

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