ASHRAE provides undergraduate HVAC&R grants

Mar 03, 2005

Hoping to provide students a place where they can gain hands-on experience, an HVAC&R playground is being constructed at Pennsylvania State University through a grant from ASHRAE.

Twenty-six grants, totaling some $110,000, have been awarded by ASHRAE to colleges and universities worldwide to promote the study and teaching of HVAC&R, encouraging undergraduate students to pursue related careers. The grants are used to design and construct projects.

ASHRAE’s Student Activities Committee received 41 applications for the 2005 Senior Undergraduate Grant Program, a 20 percent increase over last year. Grants are awarded ranging in amounts from $5,000 (the maximum amount available per project) to $1,725.

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Currently, Penn State juniors majoring in architectural engineering are exposed to HVAC&R equipment primarily through course lectures, a few site visits and weekly practicum where
problems are solved on paper. As a result of the lack of hands-on experience, the field of HVAC&R loses students to other career specialization options, such as lighting, according to Jelena Srebric, Ph.D., Penn State.

“The lab will give students a place to interact and play with HVAC&R equipment and principles they learn about in their class,” she said. “It will promote HVAC&R while directly impacting students’ career decisions.”

The lab will include an air handling unit, two air-conditioning window units, a small heat pump, low differential pressure instruments and manometers, carbon dioxide meters, VOC meters and a human simulation device.

Other ASHRAE grant recipients are:

•   The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, an energy recovery demonstration module;
•   Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas, a refrigeration testing laboratory unit;
•   Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, HVAC, thermodynamics and controls trainer;
•   Purdue University Calumet, Hammond, Ind., effectiveness of nanofluids as a transfer medium in HVAC;
•   Rochester Institute of Technology, a traveling “energy and the environment” activity kit for middle and high school girls;
•   University of Colorado at Boulder, experimental investigation of thermal and energy performance of a task/ambient conditioning system;
•   Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, demonstration of microchannel heat exchangers for a transcritical refrigeration cycle;
•   Minnesota State University-Mankato, a radiant cooling and control demonstration unit for use in engineering courses;
•   Virginia Tech, Virginia Tech solar decathlon;
•   All India Shri Shivaji Memorial Society’s College of Engineering, Pune, India, experimental setup to understand heat transfer coefficient enhancement due to turbulators in convective heat transfer;
•   De La Salle University, Manila, Philippines, an HVAC instrument and intelligent control laboratory;
•   University of Detroit Mercy, an automotive air-conditioning system for laboratory use;
•   Jimei University, Jimei, Xiamen, China, a test facility for air outlets with cold air distribution;
•   Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas, test stands for demonstrating characteristics of axial and centrifugal fans;
•   Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, a solar refrigeration (ice-maker) for engineering labaratory;
•   Bradley University, Peoria, Ill., heat exchanger and pump system design project;
•   The University of Auckland, New Zealand, a modern vapor compression refrigeration/heat pump cycle demonstration unit;
•   University of Oregon, building respiratory systems;
•   University of Toledo, demonstration of a reversed refrigeration cycle as a power generator;
•   American University of Beirut, thermal comfort and energy consumption of radiant ceiling panel system combined with displacement ventilation and desiccant cooling;
•   Universidade do Algarve, Faro, Portugal, a climate chamber;
•   Tri-State University, Angola, Ind., design of an industrial refrigeration system simulator;
•   Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, air flow test branch;
•   Tongji University, Shanghai, China, self-adjustment of an experiment refrigeration system with a variance of load;
•   Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne, a heat pump unit for lab use.

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