Thermodynamics Project Ideas For Mechanical Engineering Students
Here is a list of project ideas based on Thermodynamics. Students belonging to third year or final year can use these projects as mini-projects as well as mega-projects. If you have questions regarding these projects feel free to ask them in the replies below.
It would be great if you can add many more ideas to this list. We will keep updating it.
For example, here are some projects done by Virginia University Students:
One-dimensional, Steady-state Conduction in Composite Systems.
This project studies steady-state conduction in series/parallel configurations, such as are used in conventional stud-wall (balloon) residential construction. The discussion includes both the planar isotherm model and the straight-line heat flux model. A similar insulating arrangement is seen to the right in this 1950’s photograph of a DC-6 aircraft interior.
Transient Conduction at the Interface between Two Materials.
In this project we model a finger touching a hot material as a, one-dimensional, transient conduction problem. We test flesh-soapstone, flesh-cast iron and flesh-Space Shuttle tile (shown at right) and compare and contrast the resulting behavior. The interface between the flesh and other material provides an interesting numerical challenge for students, as do the significantly different thermal properties of the three hot materials
Convective Heat and Mass Transfer from a Runner.
This problem is an embellishment of the common textbook problem of approximating a runner as a cylinder in cross-flow. We compute both the sensible and latent heat transfer as a function of the runner’s speed relative to the wind, ambient air temperature and relative humidity. The air and water property functions Excel/VBA workbook makes it a simple matter to test a wide range of parameters without having to look up all the needed properties (some 11 of them) manually.
Evaporative Cooling of Water in a Lister (or Lyster) Bag.
In this project we approximate the water-containing, semi-permeable, canvas bag as a “lumped capacitance” and use standard forced convection correlations for a cylinder in crossflow to find the sensible and latent heat transfer (the latter associated with evaporation from the outer surface to the bag). With this information we predict the temperature-time history of the water as a function of atmospheric conditions including wind speed, air temperature and relative humidity. This project makes extensive use of the air-water property spreadsheet in HTT.