Project Examples

Analysis and Design of Heating Systems for UMass Lowell Buildings

Course: 22.341 Conduction & Radiation Heat Transfer
Semester: Spring 2006
Instructor: Hongwei Sun
Partner: University of Massachusetts Lowell Facilities: Ball Hall Mechanical Room, Ball Hall Boiler Room, and UML Engineering Building Window System

Students in this course partnered with Mark Lukitsch, UML Facilities Manager, to investigate real industrial problems such as analysis and design of heating systems for UML buildings. Within the context of this partnership, teams of students collaborated to evaluate heat transfer conditions in several UML building locations, and analyzed ways to optimize existing thermal systems. Radiation networks were examined and integrated into the s-l projects. The Analysis and Design of Heating Systems for UML Buildings projects provided students with a real world concrete example in which they were able to identify existing problems within the engineering system, analyze thermal performance and developed a potential solution.

The s-l projects provided an opportunity for students to apply principles of radiation in their design projects, calculate costs (i.e., costs saved, fuel costs, design costs, window replacements). Furthermore, design projects integrated into the course provided useful information in terms of assessing heat loss, new design options and payback periods for such design improvements. In the case of the mechanical room assessment, students concluded that insulating pipes would provide a financially sound improvement to address the amount of heat released from the steam pipes in the basement of Ball Hall. Calculations were conducted using thermal circuit relations as well as Nusselt, Grashof, and Prandtl number equations.