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Teaching The Design Of Energy Conversion In Propulsion Systems

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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

Energy Programs and Software Tools

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.1084.1 - 8.1084.15



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Paper Authors

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Laura Genik

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Craig Somerton

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

Session 1333

Teaching the Design of Energy Conversion in Propulsion Systems

Craig W. Somerton, Laura Genik, Todd Jammer, Dean Hagler, and Tomohiro Hamada Michigan State University/University of Portland/Michigan State University

Introduction A design project has been developed and implemented in a senior-level thermal design course that addresses energy conversion as it applies to land-based propulsion systems. The same project has been used in similar courses at both the University of Portland and Michigan State University. An in-house computer program, TeachPiston, is utilized which allows the students to investigate several operating parameters of an internal combustion engine. The student design project team is assigned the task of developing a preliminary design for a racing engine. A recommendation on the operating characteristics for the engine is to be formulated by the design team, performing an optimization study with performance weighted 75% and efficiency 25%. The TeachPiston software is used for calculations over a range of compression ratios, cut-off ratios, supercharger pressure boosts, and intercooler exit temperatures.

This paper continues by providing a detailed description of the operation of the TeachPiston program. Next the design project is presented and results of the design study are provided to demonstrate the utility of the software. Student feedback is provided to assess the program and design experience. Finally, recommendations concerning the use of the program and the design projects are provided.

TeachPiston Software The software package TeachPiston is a DOS executable program that can be used for a variety of calculations involving piston-cylinder systems. The software is available in two forms. It may be run in DOS batch form (TeachPistonDOS) with limited interactivity (the user is requested to provide the names of the input and output files) for which the user must prepare an input file using a text editor such as Notepad. It may also be run through MATLAB (TeachPistonML), which was the form used for the design project and will be the focus of the remainder of this work. TeachPistonML is to be used in conjunction with the MATLAB program TPStart.m, which will create the data input file for TeachPistonML, run TeachPistonML, and display the output file in notepad. All of the required files may be extracted from, which is posted at the MSU TECAD home page,

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Genik, L., & Somerton, C. (2003, June), Teaching The Design Of Energy Conversion In Propulsion Systems Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11578

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