P13624: Conductive Heat Transfer #3

Systems Design

Table of Contents

Systems Design for P13624 includes the general concept generation, development, and primary selection process for the conductive heat transfer apparatus. This section shall outline the steps taken in the development of primary designs up until the Systems Design Review. From feedback and considerations during the Systems Design Review, a primary design was chosen and development progressed into the detailed design phase.


In previous sections of the Chemical Engineering Principles Lab I, students were tasked with designing, building, and testing a conductive heat transfer unit. All of the Chemical Engineers in team P13624 went through this design experience. Unfortunately the process was extremely rushed with no set budget, limited time, limited resources, and students did not have sufficient engineering experience to create a useful or accurate product. Below are two of the final apparatuses that were developed in the ChemE Principles Lab previously.
Vacuum Design PVC pipe with Contained Insulation Design
public/Benchmarking/old design 1.jpg public/Benchmarking/old design 2.jpg

Experience and results obtained from creating these devices was used as a benchmarking point, although the primary goal behind P13624 is to generate an independent design rather than improve upon old designs.

Functional Decomposition

As a starting point, the design goals and needs of the conductive heat transfer device were broken down into basic functional requirements. The first step in this process was to develop the top level function for the apparatus. A visual representation of the top level functional breakdown is shown below:
Top Level Function

Top Level Function

From these basic functional requirements, three main design goals were developed: to create one dimensional heat transfer, to generate measurable data, and to enhance student lab skills. Those three goals were further broken down into more specific functional requirements:

Detailed Functional Decomposition

Detailed Functional Decomposition

Concept Development

Concept Generation

From the functional decomposition and overall understanding of the project, the system was broken down into a theoretical concept:
Fundamental Concept

Fundamental Concept

Energy will be put into the system, and energy will leave the system to provide a steady state temperature profile across a region of heat conduction. This temperature profile will be measured and displayed by some means of temperature transmission. Ideally, energy should be conserved within the system.

From this concept, subsystems became apparent to fulfill specific needs of the design. A list of primary subsystems was defined and all possible options were brainstormed. Ideas that were dangerous, impractical, too costly, or otherwise deemed inadequate for the application were removed and the options below were considered:



Using these subsystem ideas, system concepts were brainstormed, sketched, and their pros and cons were discussed. Below is a pdf with original concept sketches:

Original Concept Development Sketches

Improvement & Selection

The original concept sketches were further refined to consider physical constraints and other customer needs and a concept comparison was done based on the old design as a datum.
Concept Comparison

Concept Comparison

Based on this analysis, four primary designs were chosen, drawn in CAD, and presented at the Systems Design Review.

Box Blocks Hinged Box Clamp Vertical Hinged Pipe
public/Concept Development/cad1.jpg public/Concept Development/cad2.jpg public/Concept Development/cad3.jpg public/Concept Development/cad4.jpg

Risk Assessment

In order to prepare for potential challenges throughout MSDI and II, a comprehensive risk assessment was created. The goal of the risk assessment was to predict challenges that will be faced, assess their potential severity and impact on the project, and preemptively evaluate options to mitigate risks. The initial risk assessment document is linked below:

Project Risk Assessment

Systems Design Review

System Design Review - April 5th, 2013. 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

The purpose of this meeting was to present progress of MSD project P13624 and request feedback from project customers, guide, and other material experts on problem assessment, concept development, and concept refinement. Below are links to documentation presented at this meeting and developed from design review feedback.

System Design Review Agenda - List of documents and topics to be covered with a tentative meeting timeline

Senior Design Project Data Sheet - Brief project summary and background information provided to attendees prior to the meeting

System Design Review Presentation - PowerPoint slides covered during the meeting

Project Risk Assessment - Chart of risks anticipated during the project including causes, effects, severity, and planned ways to minimize risk

System Design Review Meeting Minutes - Notes recorded from attendee feedback

System Design Review Action Items - Specific issues and action items developed to resolve design problems brought up from attendee feedback and notes

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