Project: My Thermal Mug

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Sooner or later you’re going to realize just as I did that there’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path (from the Matrix).

This question is one that only a very old man asks. Does this path have a heart? All paths are the same: they lead nowhere. They are paths going through the bush, or into the bush. In my own life I could say I have traversed long long paths, but I am not anywhere. Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn’t, it is of no use. Both paths lead nowhere; but one has a heart, the other doesn’t. One makes for a joyful journey; as long as you follow it, you are one with it. The other will make you curse your life. One makes you strong; the other weakens you. (from Carlos Castenada’s writings)

The way to learn engineering (or anything) is to walk the path. Choose a path with heart …

Educational Rationale

  • Many (most) engineers I’ve seen don’t have a solid grasp of the law of conservation of energy
  • Many (most) engineers I’ve seen don’t get the scientific method
  • Some (all?) don’t understand the idea of “designing an experiment.”
  • Summary: Get meaningful knowledge of: C. Energy, Sci. Method, Designing an Experiment. (take positive steps on your path forward as becoming an engineer …

Real World Rationale

  • People like cold beverages and they will pay $’s for well designed products.
  • The products I’ve seen don’t work that well.
  • Thus, the problem we’re trying to solve is to how to get a beverage cold and keep this beverage cold.
  • Summary: Design an insanely good thermal mug which means that when the customer pours a beer (or soda) into the mug, the mug drops the temperature of the beverage down to about 0 degrees C and keeps it there a long time.
The thermal mug will use phase change materials (latent energy change) or thick walls (sensible energy change) or some combination

 

Goals for this Project

You have completed the following:

  • Built an Arduino-based temperature measurement system with an LCD temperature readout and a waterproof temperature sensor.
  • Built a MatLAB math model that predicts the equilibrium temperature of a mug filled with warm beverage. You can model phase change materials and thermal mass (e.g. thick glass wall).
  • Explained how to apply the scientific method and then given an example in the context of this project
  • Created your recommended design for a thermal mug
  • Communicated your findings via a video and a pdf summary sheet.

Resources

Tutorial on Using an LCD

Hardware (that I have ordered for you; needs to be returned at end of project):

  • Super Cool Color LCD
  • Balance (500 g w/ 0.1 g resolution)  for measure mass
  • Glass Mug (in ME223 Locker in EP 203)

Actions to Reach Goals (Guidelines for your Plan)

1. Complete individual assignment: Thermal Math Modeling

2. Complete individual assignment: How to Design an Experiment

3a. Figure out how to waterproof your sensor. Recommended Approach Do a Diamond

3b. Complete team assignment: Testing of Ice Melting

4. Complete team assignment: Scientific Method Applied to Glass mug

5. Design your mug. Document in your logbook.

6. Prepare a 1 page document (pdf) and video presentation in which you present your findings. Post on BBLearn.

7. Pat your self on the back.
Scream (loudly; three time) we rock!
Have a cold beverage of your choice.

Guidelines for the Video

Part I: Introduce your project (40 s)

1-(1 slide @ 20 s)-Explain why you are designing a better mug. Who are your customers and what do you hope to do for them.

1-Explain why you are learning experiment design and the scientific method. Why will this benefit you right now, your future colleagues, and  a company that you might go to work for?

Part II Explain Experiment Design (2 minutes)

1-Summarize how to do experiment design

2 or 3-Explain your experiment design for the ice water melt experiment

2-Explain your experiment design for the glass cup experiment

Part III Results (1 minute + 20 seconds)

1-Show a photo of your Arudino Board w/ LCD being used to measure temperature

1-Show a photo of your temperature sensor and explain your solution for waterproofness

1-Show an image of your recommended design. Describe key features

1-Describe the thermal performance (it will cool a beer down from 50 to 32 deg-F) using results of your math model.

Part IV Reflective Thinking (1 minute)

1-List three strengths of your team.

1-List three improvements for your team

1-Summarize the three most important things that you learned about experiment design

Guidelines for the PDF Document

Concept: PDF and video align and work together (eliminate all busy work!)

Part I: Introduce your project

Explain why you are designing a better mug. Who are your customers and what do you hope to do for them. Explain why you are learning experiment design and the scientific method. Why will this benefit you right now, your future colleagues, and  a company that you might go to work for?

[format 1 to 2 short paragraphs or a bulleted list]

Part II Explain Experiment Design

Include your technical documentation.
(Tip! Keep a good logbook and your doc is done)

Part III Results

Photo of your Arudino Board w/ LCD being used to measure temperature

Photo of your temperature sensor and 1 to 2 sentences that explain your solution for waterproofness

Image of your recommended design. List of  key features. List predictions of your math model.

Part IV Reflective Thinking (1 minute)

List three strengths of your team.

List three improvements for your team

Summarize the three most important things that you learned about experiment design

 

 

One Response

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