Thermal-Fluids Laboratory



  Wind tunnel picture

The Thermal-Fluids Laboratory is a modern research and instructional facility that emphasizes the design of experiment and report writing skills. It serves as the main environment for experiments in the course ME 495--Experimental Methods in Thermal Science, and it provides support for Senior Capstone Projects with emphasis of a thermal-fluids nature.

Lab located in:

  • Engineering building, room 111.
    • additional lab space is allocated in room 105, Bldg. 98C, where the wind tunnel is installed.

Lab exercises are conducted in:

  • Fluid mechanics
  • Heat transfer
  • Thermodynamics

Senior-level Mechanical Engineering students use state-of-the-art computerized data acquisition equipment to perform experiments. Typical experiments include measurement of fluid dynamic drag, measurement of power output and efficiency from a Pelton turbine, and measurement of the forced convection heat transfer coefficient.

Recent research projects that have been conducted in the facility include experimental testing of the McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Notar (no tail rotor) concept, flow visualization through cascades of turbine blades, design of flow vanes for use in an exhaust stack at the APS Cholla power plant, and more.

This lab’s facilities consist of: 

  • Hydraulics bench (by Armfield) for fluid mechanics experiments
  • Jet impacts and Bernoulli's theorem demonstration experimental setups (by Armfield) that work with the hydraulic work bench
  • Extended fin experiment, developed in house
  • Data acquisition equipment for temperature measurements (by National Instruments) dedicated to the extended fin experiment
  • Educational wind tunnel (by Aerolab) with a test section of 1 ft x 1 ft x 2 ft and 12 scaled models
  • Accessories for the wind tunnel (data acquisition equipment, smoke generator and wand)
  • 6 Dell OptiPlex 990 MiniTower desktop computers with two monitors each
  • 5 Data Acquisition modules, each with analog input output, digital input output, strain gage, and temperature measurement capabilities

Faculty in charge: