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Touching Water: Exploring Thermodynamic Properties with Clausius App

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Conference

2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016

ISBN

978-0-692-68565-5

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Assessment, Course, and Curricular Development

Tagged Division

Energy Conversion and Conservation

Page Count

15

DOI

10.18260/p.27051

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/27051

Download Count

105

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Paper Authors

biography

Smitesh Bakrania Rowan University

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Dr. Smitesh Bakrania is an associate professor in Mechanical Engineering at Rowan University. He received his Ph.D. from University of Michigan in 2008 and his B.S. from Union College in 2003. His research interests include combustion synthesis of nanoparticles and combustion catalysis using nanoparticles. He is also involved in developing educational apps for instructional and research purposes.

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biography

Austin Carrig Rowan University

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I am currently a student at Rowan University studying mechanical engineering.

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Abstract

The effect of pressure and temperature on the properties of water is a critical concept within engineering curriculum. Instructors spend considerable effort training students to use reference databases; traditionally in tabulated forms or more recently with use of computer-aided references. The reliance on tables however, places undue emphasis on the property values over property relationships. Understanding thermodynamic relationships and the trends are of greater value from a student learning perspective than the numeric value of the properties. This value is highlighted by the practice of asking students to sketch thermodynamic cycles on a temperature-entropy T-s or pressure-volume P-v chart. The typical analytical steps involving property retrieval followed by depiction on a property chart is disjointed and reversed. If property values are acquired directly from a T-s or P-v property chart, the process is integrated into a single intuitive step that promotes deeper understanding. While printed charts exist, they can be challenging to read considering a single point must supply up to six discrete values (namely P, T, v, u, h, and s). Instead, an interactive property chart that displays properties values for states identified by the user can be highly effective. This was the inspiration behind the Clausius app. Clausius allows users to simply tap on a desired state within a T-s chart to retrieve property values. The design was driven by the need to visualize thermodynamic property relationships as opposed to simply delivering property values. The app was subsequently studied in thermodynamics courses for its impact on student learning (with a treatment group) when compared to accessing properties via steam tables (with a control group). The intervention involved a guided exploration of water properties by the participants, followed by an assessment of students’ understanding of the property trends. Three sets of treatment and control groups participated, across two campuses and three departments. The outcomes provide a strong endorsement for Clausius and its ability to teach property trends. Student feedback also supported the advantages of more visual and dynamic reference for water properties. Overall, enabling students to ‘touch and explore’ thermodynamic properties seems more intuitive and conducive to deeper learning than the traditional use of tabulated property values.

Bakrania, S., & Carrig, A. (2016, June), Touching Water: Exploring Thermodynamic Properties with Clausius App Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.27051

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