A Road Map for the Teaching of

an Integrated Thermal & Fluids Course


        The first class begins with an overview of a complete thermal system through the presentation of a solar power plant.  All thermal and fluids related issues are discussed here according to their relevancy to the design of the solar power plant.

Note: The links below provide "jumping off" points to relevant subjects relating to the teaching of the thermal and fluid sciences.  Links with a blue button connect to pages directly relating to the teaching of the course.  Green buttons denote links to outside sites usually concern practical applications and/or the state-of-the-art thermal related technology.  For more information on the pictures below, click on them.

Solar Power Plant/Heat Transfer - An overview of a complete thermal system through the presentation of a solar power plant operated by the SunLab (a virtual lab operated by Sandia National Lab. and the National Renewable Energy Lab.).  Three modes of heat transfer, radiation, convection, and conduction, are introduced here.

Fluid Mechanics - Physical science dealing with the action of fluids at rest (fluid statics) or in motion (fluid dynamics), and their interaction with flow devices and its applications in engineering.  Case study of the National Wind Technology Center (NWTC) develops innovative wind turbine technology through the better understanding of the principles of fluid mechanics.

Thermodynamics-Science of Thermo (heat) and Dynamics (force or work).  Physics that describes and correlates the physical properties of macroscopic systems of matter and energy and their capabilities to deliver work.   It discusses thermodynamics cycles and their analysis in practical applications.  Thermal considerations of the design of a jet Engine from the Rolls Royce Engine Inc. is used as a case study here. 

Power Plant - A virtual tour-A comprehensive web guide to all issues concerning the design and the operation of a nuclear power plant.  An excellent supplement for the teaching of the steam Rankine power cycle.

Power Plant image map-Links to an active image map of a nuclear power plant.  Click on different areas to enlarge specific components and procure information.  Provide a global view of the complete layout of a power plant. 

Internal Combustion Engine-Links to "How Stuff Works", a very large site with information on how a multitude of objects work.  Idea to pay a visit when introducing the gas power systems like Otto and Diesel cycles.

Automobile-Explains how an automobile works, separated into ten different systems, including Engine, Drive Train, Exhaust, etc. 

Jet Engines-Operating principles of jet engines.  An interesting site to visit before the discussion of the aircraft propulsion and the Brayton cycle.



         The second class places more emphasis on the subjects of the heat transfer and the fluid mechanics.   We will begin our discussion by introducing the extended-surface/fin analysis for heat transfer enhancement.   As an example, we will investigate the heat dissipation analysis of a Pentium CPU chip. 

Enhanced Heat Transfer-The use of extended-surface/fin analysis for heat transfer enhancement is discussed.  As an example, we will investigate the heat dissipation analysis of a Pentium CPU chip and other cooling concepts applied to electronic devices.  Use the thermal resistance concept and its application to the CPU heat sink as a practical case study.

Computational Methods-Computational methods using finite difference and/or finite element schemes are frequently being used for thermal and fluids problems.  Several applications using these computational fluid dynamics (CFD) packages are presented.   In addition, on-line resources in the computational field will be provided.

Thermal Spray-Many real-world thermal problems requires the understanding of the transient time response of the heat transfer process.  One such example is the thermal spray process commonly used in material coating industry.  Applications of unsteady heat transfer and the lumped capacitance method are discussed here.

Hydropower Dam Project-This is a homepage for the Grand Coulee Dam.  Gives historical details, information on power generation, and its role in farmland irrigation.  Lots of pictures and explanation.   Can be presented as the sample application of hydrostatic forces acting on submerged surfaces.

Jet Engines - Pratt-Whitney Gallery-Characteristics, photos and information on many of Pratt-Whitney's aircraft engines.  Cutaway pictures of engines provide a detailed view of various engine components.  Perfect time for a review of the Brayton jet propulsion cycle and the momentum balance concept.  Check out the "big mouth" high bypass ratio turbofan system.

Wind Turbine Plant-A very comprehensive site for wind energy project.  Provide guided tours about subjects concerning wind turbines design, wind energy sources, wind fluid mechanics, etc.  External flow issues such as lift and drag of flow over objects can be discussed here.

Trans-Alaska Pipeline-Homepage of the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, which maintains and services the Trans Alaska pipeline.  Practical applications involving internal flow field such as the pressure loss and the convective heat transfer in a pipe line are considered here.

Aerodynamics, Wakes, and Jets-a page of links to sites dealing with a variety aerodynamics-related subjects, including bicycle aerodynamics, golf-ball aerodynamics, sport aerodynamics, etc.  Also included is a page concerning experimental measurements of wake and jet flow fields.  Visit these links to experience some beyond textbook discussions about fluid mechanics.

Model Aerodynamics-A technical and in depth look at the design and the aerodynamics of model aircraft.

wpe4.jpg (14252 bytes)Wall jet flow

Quantitative Flow Visualization-The use of Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) and other imaging techniques to provide visualization-enhanced information for both qualitative and quantitative understanding of various flow fields.  Sample flows include droplet injection process of an inkjet printhead, wake flow behind a circular cylinder, a turbulent jet and a wall jet flow.


e-Fluids Gallery of Flow Images-A large collection of flow visualization images from www.efluids.com.