M. M. El-Awad

Abstracts

2 Excel-VBA as Modelling Platform for Thermodynamic Optimisation of an R290/R600a Cascade Refrigeration System

Authors: M. M. El-Awad

Abstract:

The availability of computers and educational software nowadays helps engineering students acquire better understanding of engineering principles and their applications. With these facilities, students can perform sensitivity and optimisation analyses which were not possible in the past by using slide-rules and hand calculators. Standard textbooks in engineering thermodynamics also use software such as Engineering Equation Solver (EES) and Interactive Thermodynamics (IT) for solving calculation-intensive and design problems. Unfortunately, engineering students in most developing countries do not have access to such applications which are protected by intellectual-property rights. This paper shows how Microsoft ExcelTM and VBA (Visual Basic for Applications), which are normally distributed with personal computers and laptops, can be used as an alternative modelling platform for thermodynamic analyses and optimisation. The paper describes the VBA user-defined-functions developed for determining the refrigerants properties with Excel. For illustration, the combination is used to model and optimise the intermediate temperature for a propane/iso-butane cascade refrigeration system.

Keywords: Engineering Education, Thermodynamic Optimisation, Excel, VBA, cascade refrigeration system

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1 A Case for Introducing Thermal-Design Optimisation Using Excel Spreadsheet

Authors: M. M. El-Awad

Abstract:

This paper deals with the introduction of thermal-design optimisation to engineering students by using Microsoft's Excel as a modelling platform. Thermal-design optimisation is an iterative process which involves the evaluation of many thermo-physical properties that vary with temperature and/or pressure. Therefore, suitable modelling software, such as Engineering Equation Solver (EES) or Interactive Thermodynamics (IT), is usually used for this purpose. However, such proprietary applications may not be available to many educational institutions in developing countries. This paper presents a simple thermal-design case that demonstrates how the principles of thermo-fluids and economics can be jointly applied so as to find an optimum solution to a thermal-design problem. The paper describes the solution steps and provides all the equations needed to solve the case with Microsoft Excel. The paper also highlights the advantage of using VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) for developing user-defined functions when repetitive or complex calculations are met. VBA makes Excel a powerful, yet affordable, the computational platform for introducing various engineering principles.

Keywords: Engineering Education, thermal design, Excel, VBA, user-defined functions

Procedia PDF Downloads 256