Thermal Science Laboratory

In the Thermal Science Laboratory, students apply classroom theories of the principles of thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and heat transfer to experiments relating to conduction, convection, radiation, major and minor/local losses in pipes, various flowmeter/velocity devices (rotameters, pitot-static tubes, hot-wire anemometers, orifice flowmeters, venturi meters, turbine flowmeters, and ultrasonic flowmeters), pressure measurement, steam power generation cycles, variable piping systems, and pumps (single, parallel, and series), falling ball viscometers, fluid control systems, and drag.  Student experiments conducted in the laboratory are highly visual and practical.

In detail, the laboratory contains the following equipment:

  • Variable speed flow bench with Venturi flowmeter, Pitot-static tube traverse, and Kiehl probe
  • Flow bench with variable entrance configurations, Pitot-static tube traverse, orifice flowmeter, multiple pressure transducers, and A/D data acquisition system.
  • Concentric tube heat exchanger with parallel or counter flow ability.  Computer data acquisition system, recirculation pump, hot water tank, flowmeters, and thermocouples.
  • Table-top scale Rankine cycle (Rankine Cycler from Turbine Technologies, Ltd.):  boiler, axial flow turbine, condenser, electric generator, various diagnostic equipment (pressure and temperature), fuel source, and computer data acquisition system.
  • Full-scale pipe and pump rig capable of parallel or series piping in various diameters and parallel, series, or single pumping configurations.  Includes two ultrasonic flowmeters, turbine flowmeter, digital and analog pressure gauges, various valve types, strainers, and check valves.
  • Transient cooling experimental bench fitted with three parallel stainless steel plates, plate heater and small furnace, compressed air, flow conditioner, pressure regulator, thermocouples, air dryer, and A/D data acquisition.
  • One dimensional heat conduction test bench with constant head water tank, two hot plates, copper test rods, rotameter, fluid valves, and A/D data acquisition.
  • Fluid feedback control system with PID controller and data acquisition.
  • Falling sphere viscometers including variable sphere size/material and various fluid types.
  • Portable hot wire anemometer
  • Infrared thermometer with radiative emissivity measuring capability.
  • Heiss pressure gauge (i.e., barometric pressure gauge)
  • Various instrumentation and diagnostic equipment including valves, thermometers and thermocouples, pressure gauges, rotameters, LCD projectors, psychrometric instrumentation (e.g., wet bulb thermometers), manometers, and Pitot-static tubes.
  • Demonstration equipment including, centrifugal pump impeller, turbine, turbocharger and cut-away, and scaled-down industrial wind tunnel model.