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Heat Pipe Design Program

04-28-2009 , Past Projects, Muhhamad M. Raza,


Heat pipes are devices that effectively transfer large amounts of heat with small temperature gradients. They are highly desirable due to the high conductive properties and small size causing them to be used in many types of application requiring heat transfer. The design of heat pipes require much consideration in order to function properly. Materials, dimensions, and application are important factors in design and it is often difficult to optimize the heat pipe due to a large array of parameters. The project includes production of a program that will perform a thermal analysis on a user specific heat pipe. It would allow the user to input various heat pipe design parameters, and in return, the program would provide operational thermal limits and performance curves of the designed heat pipe to aid in optimization. By knowing the limiting factors in the design the user would be able to know whether the design is acceptable for a given application or if more improvements can be made.

The Program

Shown below is the GUI (graphical user interface) that my partner and I created in MATLAB™.

Heat Pipe Design Program GUI

The purpose was to generate the following thermal limit curves being given a set of parameters such as geometry, fluid type, types of wicks and/or wick/fluid interface types. Using the program, the thermal limit curves were generated to help in the aid in the design and analysis of a heat pipe.

Please check back soon for more updates on this project.


Autonomously Guided Robot

04-28-2009, Past Projects,Muhhamad M. Raza,

Autonomously Guided Robot

Autonomously Guided Robot

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Model Steam Engine Design Analysis

05-05-2009, Past Projects, Muhhamad M. Raza,,

  1. Download the SolidWorks drawing file here
  2. Download the SolidWorks drawing file here


The objective over the course of the class was to hone our skills in solidworks™ and COSMOSDesignSTAR™ in order to analyze a steam engine provided by Dr. Kevin Anderson.  The objective of the project was not simply to analyze the steam engine assembly, but also to apply what was learned through the course work.  The values that were provided were a power output of 0.5 Hp and an acceptable range for the efficiency of 0.3 to 0.6.  Furthermore a boiler pressure of 200 psi was given.  The thermodynamic expansion of the water vapor was assumed to be isobaric and a pure vapor.  The analysis was carried out in the campus laboratory (room 17-2660). For the purposes of supporting the generated stress and displacement data from COSMOSDesignSTAR™ hand calculations were required. For parts which contained complex geometry a hand calculation for the order of magnitude was carried out (these calculation were of the form found in beginning mechanics courses).  The results and supporting information may be found in the results and discussion.  In the process of the ME 425 course, we have learned that computerized methods are not reliable until the results can be verified by manual calculations that agree with the mechanics of the problem, as well as the established engineering judgment from undergraduate studies.  The manual verification can at times be more of an art than a science, and was the reason why design never has just one correct answer. Engineering judgment becomes critical where manual solutions versus computerized solutions, at times, may lead to large differences in excess of 20%. Finally, the assumptions made and the boundary conditions play a large part in the correct analysis (manual or computerized) of a problem.  Only the pertinent parts were selected for analysis.  These parts were chosen because of their function, and the loads they were subjected to (based on their function).  For example, the shaft for the valve was not analyzed because it was not being subjected to any loading.



Dynamomometer 3500 (electric motor dyno)

04-28-2009, Past Projects, Muhhamad M. Raza,,

The concept for the dynamometer device was established in schematic form as shown below.

Dyno Schematic


The final product is shown below.



The purpose of this senior project was to develop an electric motor dynamometer. The dynamometer was to be on a scale smaller than what is normally encountered in industry, and at a substantially lower cost. The design was supposed to be a brake style dynamometer. In addition, portability was also considered. Background: Dynamometers in general subject a motor to a load and measure the torque, RPM, voltage, and current at the given level of load. The torque and RPM essentially determine the mechanical power output. The voltage and current determine the electrical power input which is being exhausted. The ratio of the electrical and mechanical power determines the efficiency of the motor. Adjusting the speeds allows us to generate curves for the performance. Curves that are of concern are the torque vs. current, torque vs. RPM, power vs. RPM (both electrical and mechanical), and efficiency vs. RPM. The designed dynamometer was named the Dynamomometer™ 3500: “Just as powerful as the 3600 model, only it comes in red”. It was done so due to an error by a layman and the remarkable similarity to the marketing strategy from the Dilbert cartoons (a tribute).



Home made Laptop Cooling System Analysis

04-28-2009, Current Projects, Muhhamad M. Raza,,

Analysis of a homemade laptop cooling pad's design:
I built a pair of cooling pads a while back, and the only capabilities I had at the time in terms of analysis were nil. So the design relied heavily on concept. The strategy I had was to locate the location of the laptops CPU and then place CPU fans on the cooling pad such that I would keep the laptop cool even if I get another laptop in the future.

Most of the laptop cooling pads that are found at local retailers are either ineffective, of very delicate or unacceptable quality, and they generally lack any proper air flow. Also I built my cooling pads so that there are 3 speed settings to control the flow of the air. This feature proved useful for when the laptop was running in a high state (running MATLAB code, or playing video games, etc., etc.).

Aluminum Cooling Pad

Please check back soon for more updates.