Use of virtual instrumentation and computational fluid dynamics in an undergraduate research project

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Use of virtual instrumentation and computational fluid dynamics in an undergraduate research project

Margaris, Dionissios
Tzempelikos, Dimitrios
Filios, Andronikos
Xanthopoulos, Efstathios

Φιλιός, Ανδρόνικος
Ξανθόπουλος, Ευστάθιος
Μάργαρης, Διονύσιος
Τζεμπελίκος, Δημήτριος

The current paper demonstrates how to introduce a combination of CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) and virtual instrumentation to undergraduates in a research setting in the framework of a fluid mechanics course. A laboratory research project has been developed to enable students to compare and analyze pressure and velocity measurements obtained experimentally in a “Venturi tube” setup to those generated using a commercial CFD software package. An old but proven laboratory setup has been retrofitted with computer data acquisition system and custom written software has been developed to suit the experimental module. Pressure measurements received along the tube for five Reynolds numbers are directly compared with corresponding predictions using CFD code and all are contrasted with the 1-d inviscid flow solution. It is shown that, although undergraduate students may have limited knowledge in the underlying theories and equations used by CFD codes to solve flow problems, they are capable of using the code in solving classical and more complex problems with supervision by a faculty member. The developed project provides a cost-effective means for laboratory improvement in addition to educational benefits derived by the students since they have the opportunity to explore first-hand the various capabilities of CFD as an analysis tool and additionally to familiarize using modern measurements techniques such as pressure and temperature transmitters, experimental data acquisition and processing.

Conference (paper)

Venturi tube
Computational fluid dynamics (CFD)
Virtual instrumentation
Engineering education


Αγγλική γλώσσα

30 June – 2 July 2011

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