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Course Descriptions - ME 4131

Course Title:

Thermal Environmental Engineering Laboratory

Terms Offered:

Fall and Spring


QP ME 3701, 3702
ME 3322 or 3323 Heat Transfer,
ME upper division or graduate student

Catalog Description:

Experiments in psychrometrics, refrigeration, air-conditioning, solar energy, indoor air quality, and other topics related to refrigeration, building heating and cooling, and indoor air quality.

Textbooks/Required Material:

Text: Course Packet written by Kuehn and Ramsey

References: "Thermal Environmental Engineering" 3rd Edition, T. H. Kuehn, J.W. Ramsey, and J.L. Threlkeld, Prentice-Hall, 1998.

ASHRAE Handbook Series

Prepared By: Professors James W. Ramsey and Thomas Kuehn

Date of Preparation:

February 13, 2001

Course Leader(s):

Professors Kuehn and Ramsey

Class/Laboratory Schedule:

One 50 minute lecture session and one 3-hour laboratory session per week

Contribution of Course to Meeting Professional Objectives:

100% Engineering Topics

Course Topics:

  1. Automated data acquisition
  2. Fan performance and duct air flow measurements
  3. Mixing of outdoor and return air, mixed air dampers, stratification
  4. Particulate filtration, particle sampling and measurement
  5. Refrigeration - walk-in cooler performance both steady and transient behavior
  6. Solar radiation instrumentation
  7. Flat-plate solar collector performance tests
  8. Heat exchanger performance
  9. Heating and humidifying or cooling and dehumidifying system performance
  10. Room air flow, local ventilation, flow visualization techniques
  11. Small refrigeration system instrumentation and test
Course Objectives:
  1. Function effectively in laboratory teams
  2. Teach students to use automatic data acquisition systems
  3. Teach students to write data acquisition and analysis software
  4. Teach students the behavior of actual heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, refrigeration and solar heating systems
  5. Allow students to operate real mechanical systems
  6. The comparison of theoretical and actual system performance
  7. Proper report writing and documentation skills, including proper referencing of source material, and the presentation of data and results
  8. Learn how to design and instrument a piece of equipment or system to obtain the desired performance characteristics
Course Outcomes:

(Numbers shown in brackets are linked to program outcomes 1-9.)

  1. Test and document the performance of real building mechanical systems [1, 2, 4, 9]
  2. To operate potentially dangerous laboratory equipment in a safe manner [2, 6]
  3. Select and install instrumentation appropriate to characterize a refrigeration system [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
  4. Write effective laboratory reports [2, 6, 7]
  5. Write data acquisition software, e.g. in C or C+ code [1, 2, 3, 9]
  6. To develop expertise in the operation of automatic data acquisition systems [2, 9]
  7. To analyze the experimental data including an uncertainty analysis [2, 6]
  8. Interpret experimental results and make comparisons with theoretical system performance predictions [1, 2, 5]
  9. Make recommendations regarding changes to improve the existing experimental procedure [2, 5]

Assessment Tools:

  1. Laboratory data sheets
  2. Informal laboratory reports
  3. Formal laboratory reports
  4. Quizzes
  5. Lab participation
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