Undergraduate Internal Flow Convection Heat Transfer Laboratory

Contributing USMA Research Unit(s)

Civil and Mechanical Engineering

Publication Date


Publication Title

Thermal and Fluids Engineering Conference (TFEC 2019)

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


An experimental apparatus was designed, built, tested, and implemented as a laboratory experience in an undergraduate heat transfer course at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Four different tube configurations demonstrate for students internal flow convection heat transfer fundamentals using straight and coiled thin-walled, circular tubes with valves and a large ice bath tank. The apparatus is instrumented with thermocouples and a data acquisition system. As part of the laboratory experience, students measure, collect and analyze data, compare experimental results to theory, and assess error and uncertainty. This simple convection laboratory provides realistic, hands-on experience with an experimental apparatus, a laboratory procedure, instrumentation, and engineering technicians − all of which help students gain physical understanding of thermal-fluids concepts and develop professionally.

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