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A Tale of Two Houses

A Case Study in Heat Transfer


Author(s)

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 Areas

N/A

Educational Level

High school, Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division

Format

PDF

Type / Methods

Interrupted, Role-Play

Language

English

Subject Headings

Engineering (General)  |   Mechanical Engineering  |   Chemical Engineering  |   Physics  |  


Date Posted

01/20/09

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