Table of Contents
Problem StatementA boiling system can be an incredibly useful tool for removing vast amounts of heat from a surface. However, due to the complexity and chaos of a boiling environment, the fundamental physics of a nucleating bubble are not well understood.
The Rochester Institute of Technology Thermal Analysis, Microfluidics, and Fuel Cell Laboratory (RIT TAµFL) has proposed and started a preliminary design to study the boiling process by simulating bubble nucleation. They believe that observing an oscillating and evaporating meniscus will provide tremendous insight into the physics of bubble growth and departure. However, the current design by TAµFL does not meet the specifications necessary to adequately study bubble nucleation; the setup cannot oscillate the meniscus at an appropriate frequency, is not climate controlled, is not modular, and is rigid where it needs to be flexible. Furthermore, none of the subsystems in the current setup have been integrated with each other, and it is unclear whether they are capable of interacting with one another.The goal of our MSD team is to design a system that addresses these issues. It’s expected that the meniscus will oscillate via a piezoelectric actuator while a capacitive sensor will be used to monitor the size of the meniscus. Then, a feedback loop connected to a syringe pump will control the volume of the liquid in order to maintain stability. The resulting experimental setup will be utilized in future boiling systems studies, and in order to facilitate long term thermal technology improvements. The applications of understanding bubble nucleation pertain to any system that requires heat dissipation, ranging from jet engines to computer chips.
The project statement can be accessed via a Word Document by clicking here.
Images of Current System
Image of the existing system as viewed from above. The syringe pump is located outside of this image to the left, while the circuit is located outside of this image to the right.
Team Vision for Problem Definition Phase
Plans for the problem definition phase:
- Understand the project readiness package.
- Interview the customer in order to gain a greater understanding of the project.
- Research relevant background information.
- Develop a fundamental understanding of the project.
- Develop a project plan.
- Bond with team members
- Participate in group bike ride in order to promote team bonding.
Accomplishments during the problem definition phase:
- Gained a greater understanding of the project.
- Saw the current setup in TAµFL's lab.
- Met with and interviewed the customer.
- Baked cookies in order to bestir team bonding.
- Assigned team member roles.
- Developed a preliminary project plan, project statement, customer requirements, and engineering requirements.
- Did not participate in group bike ride.
Project Goal and Project PlanIt's anticipated that this MSD team will design and construct a functioning test fixture that will enable the Rochester Institute of Technology Thermal Analysis, Microfluidics, and Fuel Cell Laboratory to study bubble nucleation. The anticipated project plan, as of MSD week 3, is provided below in the form of a Gantt chart.
An Excel Worksheet with the Gantt chart can be accessed by clicking here.
An Excel Worksheet with the use case scenarios can be accessed by clicking here.
An Excel Worksheet with the customer requirements can be accessed by clicking here.
An Excel Worksheet with the engineering requirements can be accessed by clicking here.
The DeliverableIt's expected that this MSD team designs and constructs a device that is capable of meeting the customer requirements. Specifically, this means that the device must create a stable liquid meniscus, oscillate the meniscus at a frequency of approximately 100 Hz, be capable of utilizing multiple different working fluids, be able to interface with the other subsystems, and it must be reliable. In order to fulfill the customer requirements, it's also expected that the MSD designs a computer program that allows for adequate control of the device. Therefore, upon completion of MSD II the customer will receive a device that meets his requirements along with a program that is capable of supplying the necessary controls. It's the customer's desire that the device designed and constructed by this MSD team will enable him to conduct his doctoral research.
ConstraintsThe constraints for this project are as follows:
- Remain within the budget of $5,000.
House of Quality
An Excel Worksheet containing the house of quality can be accessed by clicking here.
Design Review Materials
|Item||Link to document|
|Project readiness package||Click here.|
|Initial customer interview||Click here.|
|Team norms||Click here.|
|Risks identification||Click here.|
|Problem definition presentation||Click here.|
|Presentation feedback||Click here.|
Plans for Next PhaseIt's expected that the following tasks are completed by the end of the next phase:
- Identify possible project delays and how to handle them
- Conduct additional benchmarking and literature reviews
- Ensure that engineering requirements align with customer requirements
- Preliminary systems design
- Divide subsystems and identify tasks for each