ME 430 Experiment Design

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Sponsors
  • Dr. Kumal Kumar
Team Name Team Icarus
Email engr-teamicarus@uidaho.edu
Duration Summer 2017 - Fall 2017
Advisors
Team Members
  • Jens Christianson
  • Daniel Cox
  • Bradlee Speirs
  • Sammy Stuhlman
  • Zhengsong "Eric" Xia


The goal of this project is to develop two experiments for the ME 430 class. These include a heat pipe and solar panel experiments. The heat pipe experiment consists of reverse engineering a heat pipe thesis by W.K. Rossiter and designing an experiment that goes with the heat pipe. The solar panel experiment consists of a solar panel that tracks the movement of the sun and a pyranometer to gather data from the different forms of solar radiation.

Solar Panel Experiment[edit]

Problem Definition[edit]

Background[edit]

Dr. Kumal Kumar wants the Capstone Design students to design two experiment platforms for the ME 430 class to use in their curriculum. For the solar panel, he wants us to make a solar tracking device that gives us feedback on how much solar energy is being produced as it follows the sun.

Specifications[edit]

Solar Tracker Specifications (As of 6/27/2017)
  • Compatible LabView Software
  • Weather Proof
  • Compatible with Power Sink
  • Two Axes of Movement (depending on budget)
  • Sun Tracking Via Governing Equations
  • Sun Tracking Via Light Diodes
  • Has A Pyranometer to Measure Solar Radiation Flux Density
  • Cost - $1500
  • 100 Watt Solar Panel

Project Learning[edit]

Client Interview[edit]

Lead Instructor and Technical Advisor Meetings[edit]

Research[edit]

Design[edit]

Initial Design Phase[edit]

Concept Description
TeamIcarus_onelinearactuator.jpeg Concept Design of the Solar Tracker using only one linear actuator.
TeamIcarus_onemotor.jpeg Concept Design of the Solar Tracker using a motor and gear.
TeamIcarus_linearactuatoroneaxis.JPG.jpeg Render of frame with one axis movement from a linear actuator.
BK Precision Programmable DC Electronic Load Model 8500: This is a programmable dc electronic load that will be used to dissipate and read the power of the solar panel.

Programmable DC Electronic Load[edit]

The BK Precision Electronic Load Model 8500 was selected to dissipate and read the power/voltage/current levels from the solar panel. This electronic load also works with the LabView software and that makes it suitable for this project.

Solar Panel[edit]

During the initial design phase there was discussion on the capacity of the solar panel. We decided on a 100-Watt solar panel from Grape Solar because the electronic load we selected can accurately dissipate and read the load value. The solar panel also comes with a number of features that allow us to have flexibility in our design, one example is weatherproofing. We can't have an ME 430 student falling behind because of a string of rainy days.

Heat Pipe Experiment[edit]

Problem Definition[edit]

Background[edit]

Dr. Kumal Kumar wants the Capstone Design students to design two experiment platforms for the ME 430 class to use in their curriculum. For the heat pipe, he wants us to build it based on a thesis by William Kent Rossiter in 1970.


Specifications[edit]

Heat Pipe Specifications
  • Compatible with LabView Software
  • Ability to change heat pipe and mesh (off the shelf)
  • Measure heat distribution
  • Measure heat flux
  • Tested vertically and Horizontally (possible more later on)
  • Cost - $1200

Project Learning[edit]

For this project we learned how a heat pipe works and what affects it. We learned what each component in the heat pipe did and how vital each of the specs were.

Client Interview[edit]

Lead Instructor and Technical Advisor Meetings[edit]

Research[edit]

Design[edit]

Initial Design Phase[edit]

Concept Description
2017_ME430ExperimentDesign_SWThesisModel.jpeg SolidWorks model of heat pipe from thesis.

Team Information[edit]

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Team members listed below from left to right
Jens Chrsitianson Project Specialty: Design Development, Programming
Mechanical Engineering
Email: chri9714@vandals.uidaho.edu
Daniel Cox' Project Specialty: Solid Modelling
Mechanical Engineering
Email: cox6917@vandals.uidaho.edu
Bradlee Speirs Project Specialty: Solid Modelling, Programming
Mechanical Engineering
Email: spei0821@vandals.uidaho.edu
Sammy Stuhlman Project Specialty: Consultant Relations
Mechanical Engineering
Email: stoh4463@vandals.uidaho.edu
Zhengsong "Eric" Xia Project Specialty: Scanning, Solid Modelling
Mechanical Engineering
Email: xia6922@vandals.uidaho.edu