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A Tale of Two Houses

A Case Study in Heat Transfer



Co Authors:

Frank Bowman
Department of Chemical Engineering
University of North Dakota
frank.bowman@und.edu

Brian Tande
Department of Chemical Engineering
University of North Dakota
briantande@mail.und.edu

Abstract:

At Thanksgiving dinner, Uncle Bubba and Uncle Bill are arguing over whose house is more expensive to heat or cool: Bubba's Georgia home in the summer or Bill’s North Dakota home in winter. Student teams play the role of Bubba and Bill's niece or nephew, an engineering student who attempts to resolve their argument. This interrupted case was developed for use in sophomore- and junior-level chemical engineering classes dealing with heat transfer applications and theory. It could also be adapted for use in introductory physics and engineering courses. It is designed to teach students about conduction heat transfer and to guide them through the process of engineering model development.

Objectives:
  • State Fourier’s Law for conductive heat transfer.
  • Explain how surface area, thickness, and thermal conductivity influence the rate of heat transfer.
  • List several limitations of Fourier’s Law.
  • Describe some of the uncertainties involved in engineering calculations.
Keywords: Heat transfer; Fourier’s Law; conduction; heating; cooling
Topical Area: N/A
Educational Level: High school, Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division
Formats: PDF
Type/Method: Interrupted, Role-Play
Language: English
Subject Headings: Engineering (General)   Mechanical Engineering   Chemical Engineering   Physics  
Date Posted: 01/20/09
Date Modified: N/A
Copyright: Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.

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