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Web Based Interactive Thermodynamic Property Evaluation

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.718.1 - 5.718.7



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Paper Authors

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Chee Lum

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Alvin Goh

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Craig W. Somerton

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

Session 2520

Web Based Interactive Thermodynamic Property Evaluation

Craig W. Somerton, Alvin Goh, Chee Lum Department of Mechanical Engineering, Michigan State University

I. Introduction

With the tremendous growth of the Internet and the world wide web, many engineering courses now have some components that are web based. At its simplest, this may involve posting course materials, such as syllabus and homework assignments, on the web, while in its more complex form includes full-fledged web based courses. To fully accomplish a completely web based course in thermodynamics, some provisions must be made for interactive problem solving and, as the focus of this paper, interactive property evaluation. Two JAVA applets have been developed that provide an interactive, web based approach to the evaluation of thermodynamic properties for steam and ideal gases.

This paper continues with a brief description of the software development. This is followed by a description and demonstration of the JAVA applets. Finally, conclusions are provided concerning this work.

II. Code Development

In developing these applets several different JAVA compilers were considered. Borland JBuilder was chosen to be used for this purpose. One of JBuilder’s strengths was its drag and drop feature for building the graphical user interface. As shown in Table 1, two other JAVA compilers were given serious consideration. JBuilder was found to be more desirable than the other compilers because it has extensive code-browsing facilities, as well as facilities for creating and modifying Java Bean components. It also provides features for component-based program, so building an interface is accomplished by dragging and dropping GUI components, such as a push button, into the designer window. Finally, the software was readily available at the MSU Student Bookstore and was reasonably priced at $99.98.

The property calculation component of the applets were handled by taking existing MATLAB or FORTRAN codes and translating them into JAVA code. For the ideal gas applet, the ideal gas law was used for the relationship among temperature, pressure, and specific volume. The enthalpy, entropy, and internal energy were calculated from integrating the specific heats. That is,

T cP P s - so = ∫ dT′ + R ⋅ ln   (1) To T′  Po 

Lum, C., & Goh, A., & Somerton, C. W. (2000, June), Web Based Interactive Thermodynamic Property Evaluation Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8838

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