ensino
supporting computer tools
for learning/teaching
heat transfer phenomena
João Nuno Simões*, M. Graça V.S. Carvalho
Chemical Engineering Department, University of Coimbra
*Corresponding author. E-mail: joaonunosimoes@sapo.pt
Keywords: Heat Transfer Phenomena, Simulation, Software, Visual Basic
Abstract
The usage of educational software for learning/
teaching heat transfer phenomena is of the most
importance throughout the academic formation of
chemical engineering students as they can easily
understand the fundamental concepts associated
with them. This paper describes the development
strategies and linkages of a user-friendly software
interface called PedTools. This software, with
intuitive property and layer configuration, allows
the user to simulate several case scenarios, for
one dimensional heat transfer in steady-state condition, with the most realistic performance offered
by the available heat transfer studies. The user can
change geometries, fluids and number and type
of thermal resistances to study and compare
their effects on heat flow, overall heat-transfer
coefficient and temperature profile. The implementation of transient condition simulation is still
in development.
Resumo
A utilização de software educacional para a aprendizagem/ensino dos fenómenos de transferência
de calor é da maior importância na formação
académica de alunos de engenharia química, na
medida em que estes podem com maior facilidade
compreender os conceitos fundamentais por detrás
dos mesmos. Este artigo tem por base a descrição
da estratégia de desenvolvimento e ligações de
um software user-friendly denominado PedTools.
Este software, de configuração intuitiva de
camadas e propriedades, permite ao utilizador
simular diversos cenários de transferência de calor
unidimensional em regime permanente, com a
melhor performance realística oferecida pelos
estudos de transferência de calor existentes. O utilizador pode fazer variar as geometrias, fluidos,
número e tipo de resistências térmicas a estudar e
comparar os efeitos da variação das mesmas no
fluxo de calor, dos coeficientes de transferência de
calor e perfis de temperatura. A implementação da
simulação em regime transiente encontra-se ainda
em desenvolvimento.
1. INTRODUCTION
Chemical engineers are often called upon to solve problems where the application of
simulation tools using specific computer software is essential. However, the available
software does not always fulfil their needs, for many reasons: its simplicity, being the
software only applicable to restricted conditions, or, on the contrary, its complexity that
requires the study of the language used in a much higher level. In addition, the use of
computer tools by undergraduate engineering students could be a useful pedagogical
methodology to motivate them in learning different subjects. For instance, transfer phenomena, although fundamental for engineering practice, are hardly understood and
learned by the students. Simulation tools allow the students to explore enthusiastically
the effects of changing parameters within a specific situation helping them to easily
understand the concepts and mechanisms behind transfer phenomena (Silverstein,
2001). In our opinion, this is far more important than substituting values into formulas
and obtaining numerical results in academic problem solving.
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Supporting Computer Tools for Learning/Teaching Heat Transfer